Game analysis: UMass’ dribble drive offense was difficult to contain and its 3-2 zone defense difficult to crack, and the Minutemen defeated St. Bonaventure, 78-69.
How St. Bonaventure lost: The Bonnies are going to win many games with Andrew Nicholson scoring 11 points. The 3-2 zone forces the offense to play further away from the basket than usual but the A-10’s second-leading scorer needs to shoot more than 11 times. St. Bonaventure also shot 28 three-pointers and made only nine.
Turning point: A block by Nicholson ignited a fastbreak layup by Marquise Simmons off a feed from Matthew Wright with 14:35 left to pull the Bonnies within two at 45-43. But Anthony Gurley scored seven points during a 12-2 UMass run that expanded the lead to 57-45. The closest Bona got again was seven points with 22 seconds left.
Player of the game: UMass coach Derek Kellogg is a disciple of John Calipari, who made the dribble drive offense trendy when he was at Memphis. So it’s not a surprise that Gurley dribbled drove his way to a game-high 28 points.
Stat of the game: The Bonnies got 28 points from their bench.
He said it: “The two keys to winning in the Atlantic 10 is that you have to defend and you have to rebound. When we win, [George Washington] for instance, we do a good job defending and we do a good job rebounding. We didn’t defend and we didn’t rebound.’’ – St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt.
What it means: The Bonnies are now in 10th place after falling to 10-9 overall and 2-4 in the A-10.
In the house: 3,332 at the Reilly Center.
Next up: 1 p.m. Saturday at Fordham