St. Bonaventure can greatly enhance its chances of drawing a bye through the first two rounds of next week’s Atlantic 10 Conference men’s basketball tournament.
All the Bonnies have to do is upset the Davidson Wildcats in their 7 p.m. game Wednesday night at the John M. Belk Arena in Davidson, N.C. Bona has won only once the last five times it faced Coach Bob McKillop and the Wildcats. That included a 75-66 loss at the Reilly Center on Feb. 1.
Bona 15-14, 11-5 A-10) is tied for third with Dayton in the A-10, one game behind Davidson (12-4) A-10. The Bonnies sit one game in front of Duquesne and George Mason, each 10-6.
Dayton owns the tiebreaker advantage over Bona. Coach Mark Schmidt’s Bonnies swept Duquesne and split with George Mason. Bona is 0-3 against the teams even or above it in the conference standings and 8-0 against the bottom six.
To defeat Davidson on Senior Night at Belk, the Bonnies will have to contain the Wildcats’ outside shooters and 6-10 freshman Luka Brajkovic.
Bona led Davidson, 44-34, at the half in their previous meeting but was outscored, 41-22, in the secondwhen the Wildcats made 8 of 15 shots from 3-point range in the final 20 minutes. Davidson hit on 14 of 30 3-pointers overall with sophomore Kellan Grady and redshirt freshman Luke Frampton each making 5 of 9.
On top of that, Bona made just 8 of 27 (29 percent) of its shots in the second half.
The Bona team, especially freshman center Osun Osunniyi seems have to grown since then, winning seven of the next eight including the last six. The lone loss was at home to Atlantic 10 leader VCU.
The Bonnies are 11-4 since Osunniyi became the starting center and 9-3 since another freshman, Dominick Welch (Cheektowaga) returned as a starter after an early season foot injury.
UB women face BG
Senior Cierra Dillard, who on Tuesday was named Mid-American Conference East Player of teh Week for the sixth time this season, will lead the University at Buffalo women in their final home game against Bowling Green at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night in Alumni Arena.
Besides it being the final home game of the season, the Bulls have other incentive.
Bowling Green is only 2-14 in MAC play, but one of the two wins was a shocking 78-72 win over UB on Feb. 13 at Stroh Center. It was the first conference win of the season for BG and came after a 10-game losing streak.
UB (19-8, 11-5 MAC) will be looking to clinch a first-round bye in the MAC tournament with a win. A loss by Toledo on Wednesday night would accomplish the same objective.
Coach Felisha Legette-Jack’s UB team rebounded from a three-game losing streak by routing Ohio by 30 points and handling a good Miami (Ohio) team, 86-61, at home on Saturday. Dillard had 36 and 31 points in that order in the two games.
Villa women to play for USCAA title
Villa Maria will face Central Maine at 2 p.m. Wednesday for the women's basketball championship of the U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association Division II. The Vikings defeated Johnson & Wales (N.C.), 66-62 in overtime on Tuesday in the semifinals in Uniontown, Pa.
Leah McQuiller (Mount Mercy) made a steal, was fouled and made the first of two free throws with 0:06 to play to nail down the Villa victory. Ineesha Hankerson of Johnson & Wales sank two foul shots with 9 seconds left in regulation to force the overtime.
Villa went in front for good (63-62) on a 3-pointer by Bianca Brown with 3:06 left. Free throws by Shaquana Owens in the final minute stretched the Vikings lead to three points before McQuiller's steal.
Owens led Villa with 23 points Nina Cray had 11.
Maycock gets double-double in Bona loss
Davidson blitzed St. Bonaventure, for a 26-8 first quarter lead and bounced the Bonnies out of the Atlantic 10 Conference women's tournament with a 74-49 first-round win Tuesday night at the Belk Center in Davidson, N.C.
Bona never led in the game and trailed by as many as 32 points in finishing its season with an 8-22 record. Davidson will take a 17-13 record into the quarterfinals which begin Thursday at Duquesne University's A.J. Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh.
Graduate student Mckenna Maycock (Randolph) finished her Bona career with a double-double, 15 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Emily Calabrese had 16 points for the Bonnies.
Five different Davidson players scored in double figures led by Justi9e Lyon's 17 points.