By CHUCKIE MAGGIO
In Mark Schmidt’s second attempt at tying Larry Weise for St. Bonaventure’s all-time coaching wins record, the Bonnies could not have done a much better job following one of his favorite teachings.
For 11 years now Schmidt has rounded up his squad of self-proclaimed “misfits” and preached a fundamental victory formula he calls the trifecta: defense, rebounding and taking care of the ball.
Against VCU three days ago, the Bonnies failed to accomplish any of those tasks. On Tuesday night against St. Joseph’s they were three for three, holding the Hawks to 29 percent shooting while winning the rebounding battle by 12 boards and committing just eight turnovers to their 18 assists.
Bona (10-14, 6-5 Atlantic 10) rolled 76-51 at Hagan Arena, its second blowout victory over SJU (11-14, 4-8 A-10) this season. The victory was Schmidt’s 202nd with SBU, putting him level with Weise with a chance to have the record all to himself on Sunday against George Mason.
Some takeaways from the milestone victory:
Co-Players of the Game: Courtney Stockard and LaDarien Griffin, St. Bonaventure. Stockard was hot early, scoring 10 points in the first 5:39 and making his first five field goal attempts. After how ineffective the Bonnies’ offense was last week, the St. Louis native was a tone-setter as they shot 50 percent to snap out of the slump. He shot an efficient 8-of-13 from the field and also grabbed eight rebounds.
Griffin posted 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting and corralled 10 rebounds, his seventh career double-double and first since the season opener against Bucknell. He scored 12 points in the second half, highlighted by an emphatic two-handed slam dunk off a slick spinning assist from Dominick Welch.
Honorable mention: Welch (10 points, eight rebounds), Kaputo (nine points on three three-pointers, three assists, two steals)
Another popular Schmidt mantra, that you’re only as good as your seniors, proved true once again.
Stat of the Game: SBU’s combined margin of victory against St. Joseph’s this season is 51, the same amount of points the Hawks defeated the Bonnies 51 on Jan. 24, 2004. Bona is 14-13 over Joe’s since that day.
Stretch of the Game: Bonaventure went on a 15-1 run in the first from the 8:30 mark to the 3:01 mark that grew its lead from six to 20. The Bonnies made five of their 10 field goal attempts in that run, including three of four three-point tries. The Hawks endured the type of drought Bona did against VCU, missing all nine tries from the floor.
Quotes of the Game: “The guys were in the gym at 7:00 on Monday working on their games and it shows… It’s so important to believe you’re gonna make those shots and the only way you believe them is to work on it,” Schmidt told WPIG radio.
“Hopefully we just keep on moving up,” Schmidt said of the Atlantic 10 standings, which currently have Bona tied for sixth. “Our goal is to get into the top four so we get a double-bye and see what happens in those three games.”