St. Bonaventure's Marcus Posley, moments before what turned out to be game-clinching free throw. (Photo courtesy of Ray Floriani)
First Half: Not a surprise in these opening twenty minutes that St. Bonaventure is guard-oriented, or at least, guard-dangerous. Adjusting, Fordham coach Jeff Neubauer is trapping the guards in the corner. Bonaventure has a matchup problem in Ryan Rhoomes, as the 6-8 forward is effective early in the paint. Close for the duration, the Bonnies led 25-24 at the 4-minute media timeout. Jordan Tyson, a 6-10 freshman, is playing Rhoomes straight up with some weak side help on a catch down low. The Bonnies have opportunities to build the
lead to seven late in the half, but they were opportunities lost, as the half ends a one-possession affair.
Halftime: St. Bonaventure 31, Fordham 29
Offensive Efficiency: St. Bonaventure 100, Fordham 94
Second Half: Fordham comes out big (size wise). Rhoomes, 6-7 David Pekarek and 6-8 Chris Sengfelder are on the floor for the Rams. The Bonnies look to run and get out for a few transition baskets. Fast breaking builds an eight-point Bonnie lead four minutes in. Rhoomes is still played by Tyson, with the weak side help from a guard should Rhoomes get it in the paint. The Bonnies open a 10-point lead with just under 14 minutes to go. Turnovers plagued the visitors in the first half, (seven for an above average 23% rate) and are keeping them from building a double-digit lead. Fordham's offense this half comes largely from Pekarek, who is out on the perimeter. Fordham goes four out on offense. The Rams are willing to take the three-pointer. Several find the bottom of the net. Rhoomes finishes inside, and the Bonnie lead is cut to two with just under nine minutes left. The game has turned into a virtual three-point shooting contest, with neither team being shy about taking the shot from downtown. At the 4-minute media time out, the Rams hold a two-point lead. Fordham misses their own chances to expand the lead. With less than 90 seconds left, the game is tied at 66. The Bonnies get the ball with just a minute left, but throw it away. Fordham's last possession sees an off-balance three attempt by Antwoine Anderson fail to drop.
End Of Regulation: St. Bonaventure 66, Fordham 66
Overtime: Fordham looks inside to Rhoomes, while the Bonnies are relying on guard penetration. Getting in the lane is beneficial, but on several trips, St. Bonaventure does not get a good shot, or loses the ball completely. Still, with 1:22 to go, the Bonnies (somehow) lead by one. A potential game-tying three by Joseph Chartouny misses with seconds to go. The Bonnies rebound and get fouled, and Marcus Posley converts.
Final: St. Bonaventure 76, Fordham 72
Possessions: St. Bonaventure 72, Fordham 68
Offensive Efficiency: St. Bonaventure 106, Fordham 106
eFG%: St. Bonaventure 58, Fordham 54
Free Throw Rate: St. Bonaventure 30, Fordham 24
Offensive Rebound%: St. Bonaventure 27, Fordham 31
Turnover Rate: St. Bonaventure 24, Fordham 21
What St. Bonaventure did well: Battle back. After losing a 10-point lead, the Bonnies were down four late in the contest. They showed the resiliency, evident many times this season, to pull off a good road win.
What Fordham did well: Force turnovers. Rams coach Jeff Neubauer went as far as calling the Bonaventure guards “as good as any backcourt in the country.” Fordham defense forced the Bonnies into a 24 percent turnover rate, which nearly pulled off a win.
St. Bonaventure: Dion Wright (21 points, 30 EF) Marcus Posley (21 points, EF 27)
Fordham: Ryan Rhoomes (23 points, 34 EF)
Rhoomes and Wright tied for game-high rebounding honors, with nine apiece. Joseph Chartouny of Fordham (15 points, 11 assists) posted his fourth double-double of the season. Chartouny’s effectiveness factor was a gaudy 31. The Bonnie backcourt of Jaylen Adams and Marcus Posley logged 45 minutes, as did Wright and Rhoomes of Fordham. Adams (7) and Posley (6) combined for 13 of the 17 Bonaventure turnovers. St. Bonaventure scored two field goals in the extra session. Both were by Idris Taqqee, who finished with four points on those two field goals.
St. Bonaventure is 8-3 in conference, while Fordham falls to 3-8.
“Bottom line, we won. We handled the ball well at times, other times, they gave us problems. They shot the ball really well the second half. They shot 34 percent overall from three, the game is 40, 45 minutes tonight. Decent shooters got some good looks, but hit some when we were right there. Idris Taqqee made two big shots, makes plays, is tough-minded. We have good players, players win games. Great staff, the coach’s record comes up, but a lot of people are involved. We're only as good as our seniors. Marcus and Dion make plays for us. A senior is supposed to do that. They play a unique style, trap and you can’t run anything, just spread it out. Coach (Neubauer) has done a great job.” - St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt
“We asked our guys to play as hard as we can and put ourselves in a position to compete. This is the first time we played an elite conference team and took the game down to the end. We need consistency. When we have all five guys play well, we can be a very good team. We talk about positives, and at the end of the day, we did not win. We played a team with an outstanding backcourt. Tonight, we forced 17 turnovers and stole the ball 10 times. The unique thing about playing here, visitors like Dayton and St. Bonaventure had a good following. That’s pretty unique.” - Fordham coach Jeff Neubauer