ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Saint Joseph's men’s basketball team fell victim to the highest individual scoring effort in Division I this season as Marcus Posley scored 47 points in a 98-90 win for St. Bonaventure at Blue Cross Arena on Wednesday night.
Senior Isaiah Miles and sophomore Shavar Newkirk led the Hawks with 19 points, while senior Aaron Brown and junior DeAndre’ Bembry added 18 apiece. Newkirk set a new career high in the game.
Saint Joseph’s (24-6 overall, 13-4 Atlantic 10) trailed by 13 at halftime but began to chip away at the Bonnies’ lead. Newkirk scored the first four points of the half before a layup from Miles cut the deficit to 41-34 with 18:17 remaining.
St. Bonaventure (21-7 overall, 13-4 Atlantic 10) would push the lead back to double digits, and a four-point play by Dion Wright at the 15:52 mark made it a 53-41 game.
The Hawks then went on a 14-0 run over the next three minutes to take the lead. Bembry and Brown each hit a pair of free throws to make it a nine-point game before a three-pointer from Papa Ndao cut the Bonnies’ lead to 53-48 with just under 15 minutes to play.
After a miss by Wright, Newkirk hit a layup to make it a one-possession game before a jumper by Brown made it a 53-52 game with 13:35 to go. Miles then canned a three at the 12:50 mark to give the Hawks their first lead of the second half at 55-53.
Denzel Gregg answered immediately for St. Bonaventure, which then went ahead on a three-point play by Posley with 11:54 to go. Brown then converted one of his own to tie the game at 58-58 with 11:35 remaining.
Unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, the Bonnies would score the next nine points en route to a 20-4 run, holding the Hawks without a field goal over a four-minute span and opening a 78-62 advantage with seven and a half minutes to go.
The deficit remained in double digits until the final minute, when an 8-0 spurt got the Hawks back within five at 93-88. After Posley hit one of two at the line, Miles had a look from outside that would have made it a one-possession game in the final 30 seconds, but it would not fall, and the Bonnies salted away the win.
"It was a wonderful atmosphere. Congratulations to the Bonnies fans. They truly made it a home court at a neutral site,” said Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli.
“Obviously the Posley numbers jump out at you and we have to look at the man in the mirror and see what all of us could have done. But the other number is the turnovers for us. Turning the ball over was a real issue.”
It wasn’t the individual defense but the accountability on the defense. We didn’t prepare them well enough and that’s on me. What are you going to do (about Posley). We did a nice job on Adams and we didn’t do enough on Posley. It was just a rhythm game.
SBU opened up an early lead, going ahead 6-2 two minutes in. The Hawks then answered with a 6-0 run, featuring four points from Newkirk, before Posley scored his first points of the game on a three-pointer with 15:40 to go in the half. Bembry answered with a three of his own to put the Hawks back on top, 11-9, at the 14:11 mark.
The teams traded baskets over the next five minutes, with the Hawks taking what would be their largest lead of the game at 20-17 with 9:46 to go in the frame. A layup by Gregg then kicked off a 22-4 run by the Bonnies; Gregg finished the stretch with a pair of free throws to make it a 39-24 game with 3:19 remaining in the stanza. Baskets by Miles and Newkirk cut the deficit to 11 before Gregg hit a jumper to close out the half with the Bonnies on top, 41-28.
The Hawks had their highest free-throw percentage of the season on Wednesday night, hitting 22-of-23, including 20-of-21 in the second half. However, the Bonnies shot 63.5% from the floor on the night, the highest by an SJU opponent this season.
Saint Joseph’s wraps up the regular season on Saturday afternoon as Duquesne visits Hawk Hill. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m. at Hagan Arena.