OLEAN – St. Bonaventure proved it can play fast and furious Saturday night by outscoring the highest-scoring team in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
The Bonnies got a career-high 30 points from sophomore guard Jay Adams and defeated Davidson College, 97-85, at the Reilly Center.
Bona pulled away from a back-and-forth, frantic game by outscoring Davidson, 22-10, over the final five minutes.
Adams, a sophomore from Baltimore, continued his hot shooting, hitting 5 of 8 three-pointers. He has made 24 of his last 37 shots behind the arc. A 10-points-per-game scorer last year, he’s averaging 17.4 ppg this year. Bona senior guard Marcus Posley scored 19 points, 17 in the second half.
“When you have two good guards, you have a chance in every game,” said Bona coach Mark Schmidt. “We have a really good backcourt. When they’re playing their A-game in my opinion they’re one of the best if not the best backcourt in the Atlantic 10.”
“Open looks got me going, and after that the contested ones started falling, too,” Adams said.
Records: Bona is 9-3, Davidson 8-4. It was the Atlantic 10 Conference opener for both teams.
Key injury: Davidson was without No. 2 scorer Brian Sullivan (14.8 ppg) and No. 4 scorer Jordan Barham (12.5 ppg). But reserve guard Jordan Watkins took Sullivan’s spot and scored a career-high 23 points.
Key spurt: Posley keyed the pivotal run. He went coast to coast at breakneck speed for a layup to tie it at 73. (“It was a 5.1 40-yard dash,” cracked Schmidt.) Then he made a 9.9 degree-of-difficulty scoop shot in the lane to tie it at 75. A corner three-pointer by Denzel Gregg 10 seconds later gave Bona the lead for good, 78-75, with 4:50 left. Bona scored on 10 straight possessions from the 8:11 mark to the 2:10 mark.
“I think it’s just the hooper’s mentality,” Posley said. “When you’re feeling it, you’re feeling it. You see red and keep attacking and attacking until they stop you. That was the case in the second half for me.”
Team D: Davidson got 15 points in the first 12 minutes from leading scorer Jack Gibbs. He scored just three points the rest of the game, as Bona attacked his outside shot. He made 7 of 27 shots.
Said Schmidt: “The way they run their offense, it’s so effective and efficient, that if you don’t switch, you’re going to give up wide-open shots. It was four guys out there making sure he didn’t get open looks.”
Clockwork O: Davidson averaged an Atlantic 10-best 79.9 points a game in going 24-8 last season. The Wildcats entered Saturday’s game averaging 81.7 points, 40th best in the nation and tops in the A-10. Against Bona, the Wildcat offense was a ball-sharing clinic. Davidson had 22 assists on 29 field-goal attempts.
“We just couldn’t stop them,” said Davidson coach Bob McKillop.
Bona offense: Adams hit 7 of 13 shots. Posley hit 7 of 12. Bona got 13 points from Gregg, 12 from senior forward Dion Wright and 11 from freshman forward Derrick Woods. The Bonnies hit 51.7 percent from the field and won the paint, 42-26.
“They don’t have a shot-blocker per se, so you’re going in there and you don’t have a big hand trying to swat the ball,” Schmidt said. “The game plan was to try to attack the paint, and I thought Marcus was a big part of that.”
In the house: Attendance was 3,783.
Proud alum: NBA great Steph Curry is Davidson’s all-time leading scorer, with 2,635 points in three seasons. He led Davison to an Elite Eight appearance in 2008, his sophomore season. Curry’s No. 30 jersey is not yet retired because the school requires a former player to have graduated to get that honor. Curry is a couple courses shy and has said he plans to eventually get his degree.
Series: Bona now holds a 4-2 series lead. Bona upset Davidson last season on the road, 62-61. Posley’s jumper at the buzzer won it. The first meeting between the teams was in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 1970. Bona won, 85-72.
Up next: Bona plays at George Mason at 8 p.m. Wednesday, then visits Massachusetts at noon Saturday. The George Mason game is on the American Sports Network. The UMass game is on the CBS Sports Network.