The St. Bonaventure Bonnies defeated the Canisius Golden Griffins 59-53 in a hard fought game at the Reilly Center on Nov. 22. The Bonnies improve to 2-1 on the season while the Golden Griffs (2-1) dropped their first game of the season.
St. Bonaventure started the game off strong. Jay Adams buried a three-pointer on the left wing to ignite a 10-0 run that spanned over two minutes and was halted by a Canisius timeout following a dunk by Andell Cumbebatch. The Bonnies made 4-of-their first-5 shots, which included two three-pointers.
St. Bonaventure was just as good on the defensive end in the early going as they were on the offensive end. The Bonnies played very aggressive and challenged every shot that the Golden Griffs took. Canisius missed their first 13 shots and were shutout until Jeremiah Williams knocked down a three-pointer at the 14:03 mark.
Williams’ triple triggered a 11-0 run by the Griffins. Williams scored eight points during the spurt as the Canisius made three three-pointers. Marcus Posley knocked down a three-pointer of his own to put the Bonnies up 13-11 and end their scoring drought with 12:08 remaining in the half. The Bonnies missed six shots and had three turnovers during their four minute scoreless span.
Canisius went up 28-20 with 3:33 left in the half on back-to-back three pointers by Adam Weir. But Posley brought St. Bonaventure to within 30-28 at halftime with a buzzer beating trey. Both teams struggled from the floor in the first half as St. Bonaventure shot 27.6 percent from the floor (8-of-29) and Canisius made just 28.6 percent of their shots (10-of-35). Canisius was 8-of -18 from beyond the arc while St. Bonaventure made 4-of-13. Williams had 11 points to lead the Golden Griffins while Posley had 10 for the Bonnies.
“It was a hard-fought game, a typical Little 3 game. Give Canisius credit — especially in the first half, they shot the heck out of the basketball, St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt said We didn’t do a good job of keeping guys in front of us, but they played extremely well offensively. They made 8 threes in the first half and we were lucky to be down by two.”
The Bonnies and the Griffs went basket-for-basket over the first seven minutes of the half before Cumberbatch made two free throws at the 13:01 mark to give St. Bonaventure a 37-35 lead.
Down 43-42, Adams put St.Bonaventure up for good with a three-pointer with 5:48 remaining. Posley then stole the ball and converted a layup with 3:09 left to give the Bonnies a 51-47 lead. Following a Canisius basket to close the Bonnies’ lead to two, Posley drained a critical three from the left wing to put give the Bonnies some breathing room at 54-49 with 1:36 to play in the game. Posley scored nine of his 10 second-half points in the final 3:16.
The game saw three ties and eight lead changes. St. Bonaventure shot 37.5 percent from the field (18-of-48) and Canisius shot 31.7 percent from the floor (19-of-60). More than half of Canisius’ field goals makes were from long distance (10-of-25) while St. Bonaventure only made 7-of-their -21 attempts from beyond the arc (33.3 percent). The Bonnies held the advantage at the free line as the made 11 more than the Griffins (16-5).
The Bonnies out-rebounded the Griffins 39-38. But Canisius had a 15-6 advantage in second chance points as they grabbed 15 offensive rebounds.
Posley finished with 20 points on 5-of-14 shooting, but four of his makes were from long distance, to lead St. Bonaventure. Cumberbatch added eight points and tied a career-high with six dimes while Dion Wright played all 40 minutes and contributed 12 points along with nine rebounds. Adams contributed 11 points, on 3-of-6 shooting from the three-point line, and Youssa Ndoye chipped in with eight points, 12 caroms and four blocked shots.
Cansius got 26 points from its bench. Williams led the way for the Griffs with 14 points, on 4-of-11 shooting. Weir finished with nine points and Phil Valenti had 11 caroms.
St. Bonaventure leads the all-time series 98-65.