Monday, January 31, 2011

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: St. Bonaventure at Fordham

by Ray Floriani
BRONX, NY- St. Bonaventure bounced back from a tough home loss to UMASS on Wednesday, defeating Fordham 69-60 at Rose Hill on Saturday.

Outside Rose Hill Gym
Enough with the snow but at least its photogenic

The pace and efficiency:

St. Bona67103

The Four Factors:

St. Bona46552412

Inside Rose Hill Gym

Free Throw Rate.
The Bonnies were 26 of 41 from the line while Fordham was 5 of 9. Rams coach Tom Pecora had nothing but praise for the officials. On the disparity from the stripe he said, "they (Bonaventure) came out aggressive. When you come out like that you put yourself in a position to get calls and get to the line. Give them credit. We came out too passive."

Mark Schmidt of Bonaventure added, "we get to the line a lot in our games. Our philosophy is inside/out. We get the ball inside and as a result get opportunities to go to the free throw line."

Fordham led 17-8 in offensive rebounds. A strong second half showing on the glass was responsible for the edge in the OREB percentage category.

TO rate was a revelation for the Bonnies especially. They had been plagued with turnover problems in recent seasons. On the season both clubs have a 21% TO rate. And in this contest they showed outstanding TO rate numbers.

Forward/Center Andrew Nicholson shows his form

Crucial Four
The first four minutes of both halves are critical to setting a tone. Fordham, down 36-20 at intermission, utilized those opening minutes to their distinct advantage. On Bonaventure's opening possession Andrew Nicholson was fouled in the act of shooting. Nicholson missed both free throws. Fordham scored on their first three possessions of the half. The Bonnies missed shots on the two possessions following Nicholson's misses from the line. Instead of a potential 18 point Bonaventure margin, the Ram deficit was 10 points with about 17 minutes to play in front of an energized home crowd. Fordham closed the four minute stretch with a 9-2 scoring edge in 6 possessions. The efficiencies for that juncture were Fordham 150 and Bonaventure 33. More important, a lead that took the Bonnies about a half to build was virtually sliced in half in the span of just four minutes.

Defending the Three
Taking a cue from David Hess' Project Scoresheet on the Audacity of Hoops site, I decided to chart every field goal attempt from three point range. For uncontested attempts, a notation was made. The results:

1st Half3 Point Shooting
St. Bona3-4 (75%)2-2 (100%)
Fordham3-11 (27%)0-2 (0%)

2nd Half3 Point Shooting
St. Bona2-7 (29%)2-5 (40%)
Fordham2-11 (18%)2-6 (33%)

For the game, the numbers were:

Game3 Point Shooting
St. Bona5-11 (46%)4-7 (57%)
Fordham5-22 (23%)2-8 (25%)

Seven of the 11 three point attempts by the Bonnies were uncontested. That was largely due to the inside game and the attention afforded Nicholson by the Fordham defense. The Rams just did not close out quicker on perimeter shooters. Also, the likes of freshman Matthew Wright (9 points on 3 of 5 beyond the arc) shot some very deep threes.

On the Fordham side, the Bonnies did a good job ensuring the Rams got a minimum of open, uncontested looks. They did get 6 uncontested looks the second half. Chalk that up to a few Fordham attempts in transition and with Chris Gaston more effective in the paint the final twenty minutes, the perimeter opened up a bit.

St. Bonaventure is 11-9 (3-4 A-10). The Rams drop to 6-13 (0-7). Andrew Nicholson led all scorers with 25 points. The Bonaventure junior added 11 boards. Brenton Butler paced Fordham with 15 points while Chris Gaston led the Rams with 11 rebounds. Game was a sellout at Rose Hill. Gaston finished with 11 points and was well defended especially the second half. Fordham did own a 30-24 points in the paint edge. That was largely due to the second half and not just on posting up. The Rams were successful those final 20 minutes in hitting the offensive boards and getting dribble penetration. Demetrius Conger, a sophomore forward, finished with 11 points 5 rebounds and made a few big plays to allow the Bonnies to maintain the lead when Fordham made its second half run. Attendance was a sold out 3,200.

Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt meets the media

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