Disclaimer: These are my personal favorite Bonaventure Basketball Moments. Agree or disagree, the choice is yours.
(10) Mr. NY Basketball
T-Relph at the Carrier Dome
No Top-10 List is complete without a moment from former Mr. NY Basketball, Tyler Relph. If you don’t hate Syracuse then you’re not a true die-hard Bonnies Fan – bottom line. Nothing frustrates me more than seeing Bonaventure students or alumni cheering on the “Orange” because they grew up in the WNY. If you loved Syracuse so much you should have just gone there. Despite an 82-70 Loss, watching Relph drain 6 three pointers in Eric Devendorf’s face at the Carrier Dome is something I’ll never forget. I can remember him jawing at Devendorf and smirking every time one of his NBA range three balls tickled the twine.
*Side-Note: Was Devendorf’s bicep cross tattoo with an orange basketball in the middle the worst tattoo of all time?
(9) SBU 99 – UMASS 94
Eric Mosley drops 39 points (most every by an SBU player in A10 history). I love a talented guard who can straight-up shoot the rock. Mosley evolved into one of the best 3-point shooters in the nation during his senior campaign. His performance vs Umass was the pinnacle of his career as a Bonnie. The maintenance staff was up all night replacing the lights in the RC after Mosley went 12 of 18 including five 3-pointers and 10-10 from the charity stripe.
(8) SBU 74 – Niagara 72
One of my favorite fast-break dunkers (along with Conger), Charlon Kloof goes coast-to-coast and gets to the rim for a buzzer-beating lay-up to beat Niagara. There were so many times Kloof had the ball in his hands at the end of the game and failed to execute. He got it right vs the Purple Eagles.
(7) Mr. Over-time
SBU 112 – Ohio 107 (4 OT)
Nicholson: 44 point & 12 rebounds
SBU 92 – Charlotte 88 (3 OT)
Nicholson: 34 points & 7 rebounds
Absolute monster performances by Nicholson here. He put the Bonnies on his back for these extended thrillers in the 2010-2011 Season. There was nothing better than watching Drew go to work on the offensive end. Just an unstoppable arsenal: take you to the block, thunder dunks on your head, step back jumpers, turnaround jumpers, sky hooks and long range tri-fectas “Another Community Bank 3-Point T!”
*Did you know: In his career, Nicholson averaged 29.5 points and 10 rebounds in games going to Overtime.
(6) The 2012 NBA Draft
“With the 19th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic select… ANDREW NICHOLSON, a senior out of St. Bonaventure University.” What a moment! Lucky for me the draft was held at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ so I was able to attend this historic night. I shared some beers and stories with Schmidt beforehand and found my way onto ESPN as the camera zoomed in on my throwback Bonaventure Jersey as Andrew’s name was called. A well-deserved 1st round selection for one of the all-time greats to dawn the Brown and White.
(5) THE “Philly Sweep”
SBU 81 @ Temple 78 (1/19/13)
SBU 73 –@ SJU 64 (1/23/13)
Historically awful in the city of Brotherly Love, the Bonnies finally turned the tide and captured two huge wins in a span of five days in January of 2013. The first win at Temple in 31 tries and a win at Hawk Hill. Not sure what else you could ask for as a Bonaventure fan. These games were highlighted by the emergence of Matthew Wright “the scorer” as he dropped 22 vs the Owls and another 19 vs St. Joes on combined 8-10 from beyond the arc.
(4) SBU 64 – Duquesne 62
Michael Davenport sinks a three at the buzzer to snap Duquesne’s 11 game win streak. This was especially memorable because I was in attendance at the RC. With pre-game White Russians at the Burton and Crystal Palace Mixers during the games it takes a lot to remember moments at the Reilly Center, but this one is “crystal clear.”
(3) SBU 98 – SJU 93
2 OTs at the RC (02/29/12)
This game had it all. Each team answered the call time and time again, trading blows like prized fighters at the MGM Grand. Highlighted by some of the must clutch deep shooting I have ever seen, Matty Ice and Nicholson brought the crowd to their feet on numerous occasions to secure the win. This game would also secure a 1st round bye in AC… and we all know what happened there.
(2) SBU 71 – SLU 68 (18)
2014 A-10 Quarterfinal
After beating La Salle on Thursday I started to get the feeling that maybe Schmidt and company had another magical run in them. Clearly I wasn’t the only one with this thought as people arrived by the busloads on Friday. Gather’s sinking that trey from the top of the arc as time expired was storybook stuff. Unfortunately we would come up short and fall to that damn Hawk in the semis. Nonetheless, the Bonnies took over Brooklyn for a short period of time last March. The Bona faithful always travel well, this weekend was no different.
(1) 2012 Atlantic 10 Championship
SBU 71 – SJU 86
SBU 84 – UMASS 80
SBU 67 – XAVIER 56
The obvious pick here. Not only a top Bonaventure Basketball Moment, but probably a top 3 moment in my life. I drove down Thursday night after work, won some money playing 3 card at the Trop and starting to feel that it was going to be a great weekend. The next 72 hours would confirm my inclination as our Bonnie’s went on to cut down the nets in Boardwalk Hall on that brisk Sunday afternoon. Everyone who made the trip to Atlantic City understands the complete take-over by Bona Nation, and the emotion, the pandemonium and the joy that went along with it. Looking back, the things that stick out the most are: $5 40oz beers at A Damn Good Sports Bar, swimming in the Atlantic after wins and the sheer quality of the actual games. Every single match-up was edge of your seat stuff. So much so that I watched the last minutes of the SJU and UMASS wins on a 32 inch TV screen located in the concourse. I literally could not take the stress. I was lucky enough to take in the Final vs Xavier courtside and was able to remain in my seat threw the final whistle.
Conclusion: Despite countless heartaches throughout my relatively brief time as a Bonaventure Basketball fan, creating this list of memorable moments has made me realize that this program has also provided some incredible games, solo performances and even a birth to the NCAA Tournament via an Atlantic 10 Championship. GoBonnies!