February 9, 2013

#Bonnies Overcome Adversity, Claim Crucial Comeback Road Win

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KINGSTON, R.I. – Trailing 53-46 with less than eight minutes remaining, St. Bonaventure (11-11, 4-5 Atlantic 10 Conference) overcame some road adversity and claimed a 67-61 comeback victory over Rhode Island (6-16, 1-8 A-10) Saturday night at the Ryan Center to split its week-long roadtrip.

Senior Eric Mosley knocked down five 3-pointers, including one with 22 seconds remaining that gave the Bonnies a four-point lead and helped clinch their third A-10 road win of the season. Mosley finished with a career- and game-high 21 points, 17 of which came in the second half. It's the third time in a game this year the Louisville native has hit five or more 3-pointers in a contest.

Bonaventure arrived in Rhode Island early Thursday morning directly from Indianapolis following its game against Butler, and Friday night the power at the team hotel went out due to Winter Storm Nemo. The hotel generators broke, leaving the Bonnies without electricity, heat, hot water and hot food for nearly 20 hours before they left for the game around 4:30 Saturday afternoon.

The game was originally scheduled for 2 p.m., but was moved to a 7 p.m. start early in the day Friday to allow the storm to calm down and transportation crews more time to clear the roads. Rhode Island officials declared a state of emergency as many in the Ocean State were without power following high winds and snow ranging from 2-3 feet. Rhode Island's Ryan Center was the only building on campus with power, and that came from a generator.

Despite all that, SBU was able to earn its first win of the year when trailing with 5 minutes left (1-8). With the game tied, 46-46, with 10 minutes remaining, URI went on a 7-0 run in not even two minutes and looked destined for its first home league win of the season. However, that's when the Bona response came, started by a Youssou Ndoye hook shot. Michael Davenport added a free throw, Ndoye contributed another bucket and on a Mosley lay-in the Bonnies had rebutted with a 7-0 stretch of their own to tie the contest for the 11th time on the night, 53-53.

From there the two squads traded scores until less than two minutes remained. With the game knotted at 58-58, Demitrius Conger was fouled and hit both free throws. After one URI free throw, Chris Johnson hit a floater for SBU to stretch the lead to three, 62-59, with 1:13 left. Bonaventure dogged a huge bullet when Matthew Wright fouled the A-10's second-leading scorer, Xavier Munford, shooting a 3-pointer; however, the guard hit just 2-3 from the stripe.

Head coach Mark Schmidt then called a timeout, and with the shot clock winding down Mosley canned a triple to give St. Bonaventure its fourth straight win over Rhode Island. In all, the back-and-forth affair was tied on 13 occasions and the lead changed hands 15 times.

Johnson was the lone other Bona player to reach double-figure scoring as he added 12, 10 of which came in the first half. Ndoye had a solid all-around game with eight points and a game-high-tying six rebounds. After turning the ball over 10 times in the first half, leading to 11 URI points, the Brown and White gave it away just twice in the second half, leading to zero Rhody points.

Munford led Rhode Island with 18 points, while Andre Malone added 10 in a starting role for the Rams. URI out-rebounded SBU, 36-28, including 15-9 on the offense glass, leading to 14 second-chance points compared with just two for the Bonnies.

St. Bonaventure returns to action on Wednesday at home in the Reilly Center against La Salle. The Explorers are the only team in the A-10 which has defeated both Butler and VCU, and are 6-3 in conference action. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from Bob Lanier Court, and great seats are still available by calling the SBU Ticket Office at 716-375-2500 or online at GoBonnies.com/Tickets.

GAME NOTES: Wright played 26 minutes and scored four points in his first action since Jan. 26 as he recovers from a torn plantar fascia in his left foot … URI led at the half, 32-26, marking just the second time SBU has won when trailing at the intermission … after allowed Rhody to shoot 47 percent (9-19) in the first half, the Bona defense limited the Rams to just 33-percent (10-30) shooting in the second … Conger was the lone other Bona player to hit a 3-pointer as Bona's leading scorer finished with just five points, but did issue a season-high-tying five assists … Marquise Simmons added seven points in only 17 minutes off the bench … Bonaventure shot 1-9 (11 percent) in the first half from the 3-point line, but turned it around in the second to connect at a 36-percent clip (5-14) … the A-10's second-best free-throw shooting team put that on display against the Rams as Bonaventure shot 19-22 (86.4 percent) for the game.