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Bona-Richmond Game Analysis

St. Bonaventure 62, Richmond 47

How Bona Won: Fifth-year coach Mark Schmidt knew from the start of his Bona tenure that he wanted an exemplary defensive team. He just didn't have the athletes to make it happen. Until now. The Bonnies limited Richmond to 5 second-half field goals and 26.5 percent shooting overall They destroyed the Spiders on the boards, 43-27. Bona bolted out to a 10-0 lead and never was seriously threatened in winning for the ninth time in the last 12 games.

Player of the Game: Fouls put the handcuffs on Andrew Nicholson (how many times have you heard that in his career?). But he still managed 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out three assists -- all in 28 minutes. He fouled out with 3 1/2 minutes left.

Play of the Game: Bona made it 6-0 when Nicholson pivoted from eight feet, took a long step, stumbled and launched an underhanded scoop shot that found the net. And you wonder why NBA scouts are smitten with his athletic ability?

Play of the Game II: Chris Johnson was huge off the Bona bench. Momentum seemed to be slipping away when he produced a steal and finished a three-point play off a Matthew Wright pass a little over four minutes into the second half. That made it 39-30. Johnson finished with 11.

Future Watch: Kendall Anthony, a 5-foot-8 guard, came off the bench to score 21 for Richmond, matching his career high. He's legit. He's lightning. And he's only a freshman.

Stat of the Game: Richmond went 6 of 22 from behind the arc. They were 16 of 33 in their last game, a 102-58 dismantling of Fordham (which beat GW Saturday, by the way).

What It Means: Bona improved to 12-7 overall and 5-2 in the A-10. They're in a three-way tie for first.

In the House: A great crowd of 4,589 savored every minute of it. Well, almost every minute.

Next Up: The next two games probably will determine Bona's chances of taking the A-10 regular-season crown. They visit Saint Louis Wednesday. Then they're at UMass a week from Wednesday. A 1-1 road trip would be a major success.

Bob DiCesare

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