Rhode Island basketball’s first opponent in the A-10 Tournament will be St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies advanced after obliterating UMass this afternoon.
It’s now official. Most Rhody fans were banking on a showdown with St. Bonaventure in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, and the Bonnies held up their end of the bargain. SBU absolutely wrecked UMass 73-60 yesterday — although that final score doesn’t tell the whole story. Bona led by as many as 25 in the beat-down as the outcome was never in doubt. It was so bad that UMass fired Derek Kellogg practically as soon as the final horn sounded. Now, it’s five-seed Bonaventure versus four-seed URI.
The Bonnies finished up their regular season at 19-11 overall and 11-7 in A-10 play. But their performance in conference play was pretty much by the book. SBU went 0-5 against teams that finished above them in the standings and 11-2 against teams that did not. The two losses came at George Washington and at Davidson. And, of course, the Bonnies dropped their only meeting with Rhode Island this season as the Rams picked up a 71-59 victory at the Ryan Center.
Bonaventure can be quite dangerous for one simple reason: Jaylen Adams. The 6’2″ junior is arguably the best player in the A-10, and his 20.8 points per game certainly backs that up. Adams dropped 25 on Rhody earlier in the season, although the Rams were able to hold him to 6-of-15 from the field. The Bona star is going to get his points. Rhode Island basketball just needs to make sure they limit his efficiency.
The other guy to key on is fellow guard Matt Mobley. The 6’3″ junior checks in with 18.9 points per game this season and a 38.2 shooting percentage from three. The good news is that URI held Mobley to nine points in January, although the Bonaventure guard did tally 11 rebounds and five steals.
The recipe for a Rhody win is simple: limit the guards, do work inside, and hang on to the basketball. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. tomorrow.