Bonnies Complete Virginia Sweep
RICHMOND, Va. — A week ago, St. Bonaventure prepared for perhaps its toughest back-to-back road dates on the schedule without a true road victory on the year.
Five days in Richmond changed all that.
The Bonnies scored their second consecutive win in the capital city of Virginia by holding on for a 66-62 triumph over Richmond Wednesday night at the Robins Center after their victory over VCU last Saturday.
With the win, St. Bonaventure improves to 12-11 overall and 6-4 in Atlantic 10 play.
A back-and-forth battle throughout between the last two Atlantic 10 champions, the Bonnies pulled away late and then had to fend off a desperate charge from the Spiders in the last 90 seconds.
Freshman Yann Farell shined with another showing to put him in the running for the league’s top rookie this season, displaying the poise of a veteran with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor.
On this night, he wasn’t limited to just perimeter shooting, instead taking over in all facets of the game during the second half. He added four rebounds and two assists as well.
Chad Venning matched his teammate, logging 17 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
Bona led by a bucket, 51-49, before Farell gave the visitors some breathing room with one of his four treys on the night. He then showed his court vision on the next trip, finding Anouar Mellouk down low for a bucket through traffic and a 56-49 score.
Farell led the charge of a 7-0 burst that moved what had been a one possession game and gave the Bonnies a 58-49 advantage.
SBU still led by nine with 1:19 to go, but the Spiders (11-12, 4-6) would not go away easily.
Threes from Matt Grace and Isaiah Bigelow made it 61-57 with 56 seconds left before Daryl Banks III knocked down a pair at the line.
The Bonnies fouled Tyler Burton attempting a 3-pointer and the All-Conference performer hit nothing but nylon on his tries to pull back to within 63-60 and 32 seconds still to go.
Bona was able to break the Spiders press, forcing a foul of Kyrell Luc. The sophomore drained both at the charity stripe, but Burton was fouled again and made two to force a one-possession game once more.
Richmond had to foul after being able to cause a quick turnover and one of two at the stripe by Luc was enough to put the game on ice under 10 seconds.
The Bonnies seemed to carry the momentum of Saturday’s win at VCU into the start of the contest, opening the game on a 15-5 run while opening 4 for 4 on 3-point attempts.
Venning dominated the paint for much of the opening half, allowing the visitors to open up an eight-point lead. Richmond would cut within a bucket, but the Bonnies made another push for a 31-26 lead at intermission.
The Brooklyn native put home the first bucket of the second period, but Bona’s lead would quickly become a thing of the past as Spiders would push ahead as offense remained at a premium.
From the first media timeout of the second stanza on, the game would remain a back-and-forth battle.
St. Bonaventure took a 46-44 lead on a find from Banks to Venning inside with six minutes and change to go.
Foul shots from the Spiders tied the game before the Richmond defense left Moses Flowers alone on the wing for a trey and a three-point edge at the five-minute mark, setting the stage for Bona’s late charge to take command.
Burton led all scorers with 22 points for the Spiders, shooting just 5 for 14 from the floor but 11 of 12 at the line.
The Brown and White had a nearly 47% success rate from the floor while limiting Richmond to 37%. The Bonnies also owned a narrow 32-29 edge on the glass.
NOTES: Venning posted his 16th double-figure scoring effort of the season. … Farell finished in double figures for the 11th time and was just off his career-best scoring output of 22 points vs. UMass Dec. 31. … Wednesday’s game was a rematch of a Bonnies win in the Reilly Center less than three weeks ago, 71-63. … The Bonnies sweep the season series with Richmond and have won nine of the last 11 meetings. … Luc finished with 9 points, five rebounds and three assists and he also drew nine foul calls against him. … Banks chipped in 7 points, nine rebounds and four assists and Mellouk registered 6 points off the bench. … Flowers earned his second consecutive start after joining the starting lineup over the weekend at VCU.
St. Bonaventure returns home to host Dayton Saturday night at the Reilly Center. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m. on ESPNU.
St. Bonaventure 66, Richmond 62
ST. BONAVENTURE (12-11)
Farell 7-10 0-0 18, Venning 8-11 1-1 17, Banks 1-7 5-6 7, Flowers 3-6 1-2 10, Luc 1-7 6-8 8, Evans 0-0 0-0 0, Mellouk 2-3 1-5 6, Hill 0-2 0-0 0, Rumpel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-47 14-22 66.
Burton 5-14 11-12 22, Grace 2-5 2-2 7, Quinn 5-7 0-0 10, Bailey 2-3 0-0 5, Gustavson 2-3 0-0 4, Bigelow 1-6 4-4 7, Nelson 0-5 2-2 2, Roche 1-4 0-0 3, Randolph 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 18-48 21-22 62.
Halftime–St. Bonaventure 31-26. 3-Point Goals–St. Bonaventure 8-16 (Farell 4-5, Flowers 3-4, Mellouk 1-1, Hill 0-1, Banks 0-2, Luc 0-3), Richmond 5-24 (Bailey 1-1, Roche 1-3, Bigelow 1-4, Grace 1-4, Burton 1-8, Quinn 0-1, Randolph 0-1, Nelson 0-2). Rebounds–St. Bonaventure 31 (Banks 9), Richmond 29 (Burton 9). Assists–St. Bonaventure 10 (Banks 4), Richmond 11 (Bailey 3). Total Fouls–St. Bonaventure 15, Richmond 18. A–5,235 (7,201).