Extra points after St. Bonaventure’s tense, 80-76 victory over Duquesne Tuesday night at the RC:
x-The Bonnies’ NCAA at-large dream lives. You gotta think that if Bona can win out in the last three regular-season games and reach the Atlantic 10 final, it will move into one of the last couple teams in the NCAA Tournament field. Bona moved up to 34 in the NCAA RPI. St. Joe’s is 25.
X-The hard-fought win over Duquesne pulled the Bonnies within a game of the three-way first-place logjam. At 12-3 are VCU, Dayton, St. Joe’s. Bona (11-4) essentially is a game-and-a-half clear of fifth-place GW (10-5) due to its tie-breaker edge. Games remaining:
VCU: @GW, Davidson, @DAY.
DAYTON: URI, @Rich, VCU.
ST.JOE: STL, @Bona, DUQ.
BONA: UMass, SJ, @STL.
GW: VCU, GMason, @Davidson.
x-So fourth place is looking very safe for the Bonnies. Does it really matter whether Bona is 4, 3, 2 or even 1? It’s highly speculative. Certainly, Nos. 1 or 2 would offer a more favorable quarterfinal matchup. But beyond that, it’s all a guess.
x-Well, I'll be a suck-egg mule: VCU has lost to GW, UMass and George Mason in its last six games. Huh? That may have killed VCU’s at-large chances. Foul trouble and bad shooting hurt VCU vs. Mason. VCU over GW Saturday has to be a lock.
x-We’re not going to bother with scenarios yet, because they'll only make your head hurt. But a Bona sweep over St. Joe’s would be a huge in a tie with Dayton. Dayton lost to St. Joe’s. VCU beat St. Joe’s and Bona.
x-Even if Bona wins its next two, that finale at St. Louis figures to be a white-knuckler. It took Dayton overtime to beat St. Louis, 52-49!, on Tuesday. That game March 5 is going to be a low-scoring rock fight.
x-Mark Schmidt post-game quotes:
“It was a great victory. We didn’t play great offensively. But I thought we played really, really hard. I thought we showed some great character. When we got down by nine our guys didn’t panic. On offense we missed a ton of shots. But I thought our defense kept us in it. . . . We got annihilated on the backboard in the first half. We won the second half. Our guys showed some toughness. They came back.”
“Give Duquesne credit. They’re athletic. That’s a good team. We knew going in that was going to be a hard-fought game. They had lost five in a row by an average of six points. They were snake-bitten a little bit. We knew it was going to be a battle and it was. But give our guys credit we found a way.”
“We have mentally tough players and guys that have been there before. And once you’ve been there before and had success it’s easier. But our guys they found a way.”
x-Marcus Posley was just 4 of 15 from the field and 3 of 10 from three-point range, but he hit a clutch three-pointer from the wing in transition with 3:22 left to give Bona a 72-69 lead. Posley has been hindered by what’s been called a sore hip down the stretch of the season. He had to leave the game with 14 minutes left to have his hamstrings worked on by trainers in the corner of the RC. Still, he played 35 minutes and he’s 19th in the nation in percentage of minutes played. Posley did a good job of chasing dead-eye Micah Mason all over the Allegany.
Schmidt on MP3: “I thought he played really well. From a defensive standpoint he gave great effort. He’s not shooting the ball. He’s a little bit banged up. But he hit that big three to tie the game. We’re better with him out on the court, even though he may be playing at 80 percent. But I thought his effort was great. He really played hard. His offense will come.”
X-Duquesne consistently had the size edge at the 3-4-and-5 spots and used it to hold a 28-26 rebounding edge in the first half. In one sequence, the Dukes got four O-boards before finally converting a layup on the fifth shot of the possession to go up 15-14.
Schmidt: “They got a ton in the first half but they only had eight second-chance points in the first half. We talked about it at halftime, we’ve got to get better, and we outrebounded them in the second half. You can get as many offensive rebounds as you want but you’ve got to put ‘em back in.”
x-There are some matchups where 6-10 red-shirt freshman Tyson Jordan is more important than others. Bona needed him in this one because 6-11 Dukes center Darius Lewis played one of his better games. Jordan played 27 minutes, had no foul trouble. Key.
“I thought Jordan Tyson was a huge key in that victory. Eight points, seven rebounds, six offensive rebounds. He had more rebounds where he kept it alive. He was terrific. We made our foul shots. Jay hit two big threes against their zone. Marcus hit a big three in transition. We found a way.”
X-Bona made just seven turnovers and NONE in the last 18 minutes. Outstanding. Bona ranks fourth in the A-10 in TOs per game, with just 11.1.
“Really important. The more shots you can get up to the rim the more chance you have of scoring. The thing with Duquesne is they’re such an explosive team in the open court off of turnovers. We did a good job. They only had eight fast break points. Part of it was taking care of the basketball so they can’t get out in the break.”