Bona 38 22 – 60
UB 33 25 – 58
By Nick Veronica
What it means: With the win, St. Bonaventure cemented itself as the Big 4’s top team for another season. The Bonnies beat Canisius and UB in a span of eight days and can sweep the season set from local opponents for the second consecutive year with a win over Niagara later this month.
UB’s three-game winning streak was ended as it fell to 4-3. Bona goes to 4-2.
How it happened: Marcus Posley hit a jumper from the top of the key with 10 seconds left and Derrick Woods blocked Lamonte Bearden’s layup at the buzzer to give St. Bonaventure an exciting win.
The Bonnies led by five with 2:30 left but inexcusably lost track of the shot clock on consecutive possessions and almost paid for it dearly. The first time it resulted in a desperate 3-point heave; the second led to a shot clock violation, after which Rodell Wigginton hit two free throws to tie the game.
Both teams started slow and never really got into rhythm, which was a stark contrast from UB’s 98-96 OT win against Canisius last weekend. The only player who really brought it from start to finish was St. Bonaventure’s Dion Wright, who dropped a career-high 26 points on 12-of-19 shooting. Posley added 13 points for St. Bonaventure while Idris Taqqee had seven rebounds.
Rodell Wigginton led UB with 16 points while Bearden had 12. Jarryn Skeete was shut out.
Game ball: Dion Wright. Wright got the Bonnies ahead early while almost everyone else in the game struggled, scoring 10 of Bona’s first 14 points. He sat early in the second half with three fouls but was a force UB didn’t have many answers for. Final line: 12-19 shooting, 2-2 free throws, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 3 steals.
Under the radar: UB’s CJ Massinburg. The freshman guard from Dallas impressed against Canisius last weekend and flashed a variety of moves Wednesday as well. He’s prone to the occasional head-scratching freshman play (lost the ball off his foot, bad turnover under his hoop), but you live with that when the kid only has seven games under his belt. Once he settles in to the pace of Division I he’ll be a nice player for Nate Oats and the Bulls.
Deep woes: Both teams struggled mightily from 3-point range, combining to shoot 3 for 34 (8.8%). UB made only one 3 in the game – Blake Hamilton’s with 13:37 to play. Skeete, normally the team’s top deep threat, attempted only one triple in the game.
Series history: This was just the 11th all-time meeting between these teams (UB wasn’t D-I until 1991). Bonaventure leads 8-3.
Vegas line: Line was St. Bonaventure -2. Push.
Starters: UB – Bearden, Conner, Skeete, Wigginton, Smart. Bona – Taqqee, Posley, Adams, Woods, Wright.
Next: UB goes to Duke on Saturday, where former AD Danny White would’ve played the school at which his father is AD. Bona hosts Ohio on Saturday.Follow @NickVeronica