Andrew Nicholson hit a midrange jumper with six seconds remaining and recorded the game-saving rebound on the other end of the court to give St. Bonaventure the victory over the Buffalo Bulls in the Reilly Center on Saturday night.
The Bonnies at one point held a lead of 19 points, which slowly evaporated over the course of a five-minute span. It was a scene the Bona faithful have seen before. A spirited start to the game gives way to a second-half collapse.
It has become a trademark of Bonnies teams over the past two seasons, but tonight’s result may have shown this is a different Bonaventure team. Where teams of the past would have melted, this team came together at a time where the ceiling was caving in and came out victorious.
There is a quote that states, “A win is a win,” and it certainly rings true for a Bonaventure program climbing to respectability—they will take wins any way they can obtain them. If it happens to leave their fans struggling with heart palpitations on the sidelines then so be it.
However, the negatives from this game must be discussed. The game should never have come down to a last-second shot, no matter how exciting those finishes tend to be. A great team never takes its foot off of the petal; when they have the advantage they exploit it.
This Bonaventure team has yet to take this next step and obtain the killer instinct it needs to make some noise in the Atlantic-10 Conference. However, a win such as this may be just what the team needs to string together a winning streak.
There were also some positives to take out of this game as well. Most analysts have said the Bonnies offense is Andrew Nicholson and no one else. Tonight, however, we saw even without big contributions from their star player, the Bonnies can still light up the scoreboard.
Da’Quan Cook provided the inside presence that was missing as the Bulls defensive mindset seemed to focus on taking away Nicholson. From the outside, Ogo Adegboye provided a spark.
He totaled 24 points on the night including hitting a career-high seven treys. Michael Davenport and Demetrius Conger even got into the action by hitting four threes between the two of them.
With an away game against the 5-1 St. John’s Red Storm coming up on Tuesday, the Bonnies will need to continue the hot shooting. New head coach Steve Lavin has the Red Storm playing inspired basketball, but if the Bonnies shoot well from the outside they will open up the inside for Nicholson.
The Bonnies have a chance to get into the national consciousness with a victory Tuesday against a tough opponent. In football there is a saying, “On any given Sunday.”
The Bonnies will hope it translates onto the hardwood as they try to top the Red Storm on Tuesday.