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Niagara-St. Bonaventure game analysis

Game analysis: Niagara’s youngster may be growing up before our eyes, but score one for the veterans on Saturday as St. Bonaventure seniors Chris Johnson, Demitrius Conger, Marquise Simmons and Michael Davenport all came up with huge plays throughout the Bonnies, 80-75, victory over the Purple Eagles.

How St. Bonaventure won: Johnson, Conger and Davenport took control of the game at the end but the Bonnies Eric Mosley hit 3 of 6 from downtown as the Bonnies were 7 of 14 from long range in the second half. St. Bonaventure also outrebounded Niagara 43-36, including 18 offensive boards.

Turning Point: Davenport read a slip screen by T.J. Cline and stole the ball away from the freshman with six seconds remaining and Niagara threatening to win the game in regulation or send it into overtime. The Bonnies were clinging to a two-point lead.

Player of the Game: Conger was all over the place with 18 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and a block that will talked about for a long time to come. Speaking of which …

Highlight of the game: Off a missed free throw, Cline threw a beautiful baseball pass to a streaking Marvin Jordan who flew in for a layup until Conger swatted it off the backboard.

Key stat: Niagara entered the game sixth in the country in three-point field goals made with 42 and finished Saturday’s game 7 of 20.

What It Means: After Niagara’s come-from-behind victory over New Mexico State and a solid effort against the Bonnies, the Purple Eagles have enough talent to win. Davenport has been missing for the first three games of the season and this game (eight points in 15 minutes) may get him going.

In the House: 4,758 in attendance, mostly Bona fans.

He Said It: “They have a few more miles on those tires than we do. They’re not just seniors, they’re junior college guys, a couple of foreign guys, prep school and fifth year guys.” – Niagara coach Joe Mihalich on St. Bonaventure’s seniors.

Up next: Both teams take on a programs coming off NCAA Tournament berths. The Purple Eagles travel to take on Iona on Wednesday while on the same night the Bonnies play defending Mid-American Conference Tournament champion Ohio University.

---Rodney McKissic

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