The Ohio Bobcats knew that if they wanted to defeat the St. Bonaventure Bonnies on Saturday afternoon, they had to contain Jaylen Adams and Marcus Posley, who are two of the Bonnies’ top offensive players.
Despite a late comeback effort by Ohio, the damage was already done as Adams and Posley combined for 46 points in a 80-70 victory at The Convo.
“In the second half, the ball got sticky and we didn’t take good shots,” Ohio coach Saul Phillips said.
Ohio came into the second half with a 37-36 lead, and thanks to a Maurice Ndour jumper and a Bean Willis 3-pointer, Ohio’s lead was up to six with 1:04 gone in the second half.
After Posley received a technical foul, Willis made two free throws to give Ohio a 44-41 lead with 17:11 left in the game.
Once Willis made the two free throws, St. Bonaventure (6-1) stole the momentum.
Adams made a jumper to give the Bonnies a 45-44 lead, and Posley made a 3-pointer to extend St. Bonaventure’s lead to 48-44 with 13:41 left in the game.
Ndour, a senior forward, made two free throws to cut the Bonnies’ lead to two, but Adams made a 3-pointer, a layup and six free throws to help the Bonnies to a 61-53 lead with 7:54 left in the game.
After Adams scored 11-straight points, Posley made a 3-pointer to increase St. Bonaventure’s lead to 64-53 with 7:22 left in the game.
“We’re learning lessons,” Willis said. “We’re just trying to find our way.”
Posley made another 3-pointer to give St. Bonaventure a 73-58 lead, but, after that 3, Ohio started to make a run.
Ndour and Tony Campbell, who finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds, made back-to-back layups to cut the Bonnies’ lead to 73-62. Then, Treg Setty made a layup to bring the Bobcats within nine points.
Campbell started in the second half after starting the game on the bench. He said coming off the bench is something that is starting to feel comfortable to him.
“It’s fitting me pretty good right now,” Campbell said. “I’ll do whatever coach (Phillips) wants me to do.”
Ndour made another layup, and Stevie Taylor dribbled the ball the length of the court and made a layup to make the score 74-68 in favor of St. Bonaventure with 1:35 left in the game.
With 1:13 left and the Bonnies up 76-68, Taylor stepped to the free-throw line to shoot two shots. He missed both free throws, which ended any chance Ohio (2-3) had of earning a victory.
“We have to keep things in perspective and rally together,” Phillips said. “Our goals and aspirations didn’t go up in flames tonight.”
Ohio still has time to figure things out before MAC play begins on Jan. 7. Phillips knows that Ohio’s problems will not be solved in one day, week or month for that matter.
“It’s a process,” Phillips said. “There’s no magic wand. This isn’t the first time I’ve gone through something like this.”