Friday, February 12, 2016

St. Bonaventure 76, Fordham 72: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

Bronx, NY -­ The coaches tell us, especially after an early season setback, the season is a marathon, not a sprint. The conference portion of the season, moving from the athletic analogy, is like an extensive book with a number of chapters. Each week is similar to a new chapter, as the conference games are filled with surprises, upsets, injuries etc. All you can pack in roughly eight or so weeks.

On Wednesday, St. Bonaventure traveled to Rose Hill Gym to face Fordham. The Bonnies came in with a 7-­3 Atlantic 10 record. The improved Rams were still below .500 in conference battles, with a 3-­7 mark.

Coach Mark Schmidt expected his Bonnies to be in a battle. Fordham, in that regard, did not disappoint. The Rams fell behind by ten in the second half. They fought back to take a late lead, but were unable to finish the job. The game necessitated an extra session. Overtime can sometimes border on annoyance. Not on this night. Two teams putting it all on the floor in a fast moving game.

The extra session saw the Bonnies utilize a late run to earn a hard-fought 76­-72 victory. While the teams were several games separated in the win-­loss column, no one expected an easy game for the visitors. A team looking to take the next step and playing in front of their home crowd would be no ‘easy out.’ In the end, Schmidt could take satisfaction in the “bottom line,” a road victory. Fordham mentor Jeff Neubauer was pleased his club competed with what he terms “an elite club.” Neubauer reiterated the Rams would not settle for getting close. They need to finish these off, and more work is ahead.

On the wintry, cold night at Rose Hill, another storyline is entered in the Atlantic 10 season. All part of another chapter in the conference’s comprehensive work.

Backcourt play as St. Bonaventure battles Fordham at Rose Hill:
A Ram fan with a message for head coach Jeff Neubauer:
Fordham's outstanding dance team entertains during a timeout:
St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt studies the action:
The Bonnies inbounding against the Fordham defense:
Officials Paul Faia, Rob Riley, and Jamie Luckie huddle late in the game:
Jeff Neubauer meets the media after a tough overtime loss:

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