St. Joseph’s has shown a zone defense periodically in games. It’s usually for a couple of possessions, but that wasn’t the case Tuesday night against visiting St. Bonaventure.
The Hawks played zone for 40 minutes. The defense was active and caused disruption, but the zone makes a defense susceptible to open threes. St. Bonaventure (17-8, 9-3 Atlantic 10) took advantage by knocking down 13 threes, and defeated St. Joe’s, 74-56.
St. Joe’s (4-20, 0-11) led 34-31 at the half, but the Bonnies started the second half with an 8-0 run. That lead grew to 13 in the blink of an eye, and the Hawks weren’t able to regain the lead. The Hawks were outscored 43-22 in the second half.
Ryan Daly made a move at the right elbow early in the first half and suddenly stopped, appearing to be hobbled by an ankle injury. It was swollen after the game, but he said it didn’t hamper him much in the second half after getting it taped. Daly led the Hawks with 21 points. Myles Douglas added 10 points.
St. Bonaventure connected on 13-of-31 three-pointers, but most of its success came in the second half. The Bonnies shot 8-for-16 from three in the second period. St. Joes shot 6-of-28 from deep for the game.
Daly called St. Bonaventure’s Kyle Lofton “one of the best guards in the league.” Lofton and Justin Winston shared the Bonnies’ scoring honors with 20 points.
“It’s simple. We have more points from turnovers, more points from the paint, we have more second-chance points, we have more fast-break points, and we had more bench points,” coach Billy Lange said. “They made more threes, and that’s where the game of basketball is today. I want 40 to 50 threes attempted every game and we only took 28.”
“I think about it more when I’m taking it to the rim," Daly said of his injured ankle. “I don’t think I had as much lift on my finishes. I kind of left [Osun] Osunniyi a few that he can block. Other than that, it didn’t really hamper me.”
“I’m proud of our guys,” Lange said. “I love our spirit. I love our energy. I love the aggressiveness.”
St. Joe’s channeled its inner Houston Rockets and played extreme small ball. Lorenzo Edwards played 18 minutes and Anthony Longpre finished with 10. Those are the two big men. At 6-foot-7, Douglas was often the biggest player on the court for the Hawks. Lange said that he is “searching” for a spark.
Douglas had started 14 consecutive games, but Lange decided to bring him off the bench. He played 17 minutes, which was his second-fewest this season. The sophomore forward was still productive, and Lange appreciated his ability to push the ball after rebounds.