Updated: Feb 27, 2020
Pennsylvania is slowly, but surely, becoming Bona Territory, folks.
We all remember the biggest win in program history on December 7, 2019 to cap off #Gannonfest2019. Our coach is from Robert Morris, which came in handy on Saturday. That's where we gave Duquesne another L, surprise, surprise. That now makes it 8 straight and 11 out of the last 12 against Dukes, who, as of press time, are no longer for real.
After conquering Canada, South Florida, the Beltway and western PA, the Bonnies now turn their attention to eastern PA and the St. Joseph's Hawks. While historically, the Hawks have dominated us, it has been a Brown and White bonanza in the last decade. Bona's has won 3 straight (last 2 by 25+ points), 10 out of the last 11 and we're 14-5 against the Hawks since 2010. We don't need to talk about what the record is against Joe's before that, though... 🤫 The best win of that streak is probably the 2OT win with Nicholson in 2012.
We need to revisit this game because it is like taking a damn time machine.
Picture it! Allegany, 2012.
This game was played over spring break, but it was also played on Leap Day. That's right, this bizarrely beautiful game was played on, of all fucking days, February 29th. That should have been a sign that tomfoolery would be afoot. The old SBU-TV SD video was rough at the time. Eight years later and it feels like it was from 1987.
A St. Joe's player used a townie's cane to get a ball stuck above the basket. The HORRIBLE foul call on Kloof with 1 second left in regulation. 69-69 going into OT, you already know that's nice. Langston Galloway (still in the NBA) starts going off in the first OT, but a couple missed SJU free throws and Matt Wright/Nicholson 3s push us to double OT.
Charlon Kloof knocks down the game-winning 3, followed by yet another 3 for Drew (he has 32 total points). Bonnies win 98-93 and a bunch of middle schoolers rush the court! This game had enormous seeding implications. The Bonnies ended up finishing 10-6 and a 4 seed, giving them a bye in the A10 tournament down in Atlantic City (this was the equivalent of having a double bye today). The rest is beautiful Bona history (shout out to Shannon Shepherd for this video).
St. Joe's is actually somehow worse than Fordham this year and it might not even be close. I remember last summer during all the turmoil around Phil Martelli's ousting, the Hawks had like 3 players left on the roster and I'm pretty sure that's still the case. They lost a guy who is literally named after one of the program's best players: Jameer Nelson Jr., to GW. I don't know if I could live with myself if Bob Lanier II decommitted from Bona's to go to La Salle or something.
Hawk Hill may not even be home to the best basketball program named after St. Joseph. Former UConn head coach Jim Calhoun came out of retirement to lead the University of St. Joseph, a Division 3 team in Connecticut. It literally had no basketball program three years ago and now they're 19-2. Maybe we can replace Fordham with USJ, so the A10 could have two Rams AND two St. Joe's.
Of course, now that Martelli is gone, the most well-known figure at Hawk Hill is... that damn hawk mascot. It's a corn dog in a Cosby sweater. It's a rat covered in raspberry syrup and old-timey pillow feathers. It's like if they did a reboot of the Rugrats episode where Chuckie gets chicken pox, but replaced Chuckie with a weasel. In a city with unusual mascots like the Philly Phanatic, Gritty and Frank Reynolds, the St. Joe's Hawk stands alone on top of the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as the heavyweight champion of crappy costumes.
Sure, the student loan debt crisis is plaguing most of us reading this, but the greatest injustice in higher education is that whoever dresses up as this thing gets a free ride! That's right, the St. Joe's Hawk gets just as much of a guaranteed tuition as Halil Kanacevic or DeAndre' Bembry did! That's all for just raising your arms up and down 3,000 times in 2 hours. I do that when reacting to bad calls by A10 refs even in non-Bonaventure games.
The stupid costume is shedding feathers. I even scooped one off the ground in the RC and still have it to this day. One day, I shall clone the Hawk and have the clone defeat the original one, ending our conference's nightmare once and for all.
Seven Steps to Victory
Expect Schmidt to get in Billy Lange's head with his Bostonian pronunciation of "water ice."
Not sure about how much of Bona Nation will go to this one on a Tuesday night, but with 3 Jersey guys and Hazelton, PA native Boca Bobby, I think we'll feel right at home.
EDM producer Marshmello went to St. Joe's. He chose his name as a tribute to the Hawks' soft 325th ranked defense on KenPom.
I mean, they got 4 wins. Come on...
Did you know Wawa's name references Martelli crying to the refs?
Hagan Arena isn't even the worst A10 gym in the city, but St. Joe's is only averaging 11 more fans per A10 game than La Salle this year. Yikes...
The game will be going on as the New Hampshire primary ends, so maybe CNN will call the game for us when the polls close at 8 p.m., so we don't have to waste our time and energy playing the second half.
BonaCommenter's Score on #a102k20: Bonnies 105, St. Joe's 97
Unrealistic 2k Stat of the Game: Halftime score was 63-48 Bonnies. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the final score IRL. Also, he didn't really have a great game, but Taylor Funk played and I think he's out for the season?
Bonnies A10Talk.com Forum Quote of the Day: [about me saying Dukes fans don't drive up 219 in the DUQ preview] "Jesus, Commenter, no shit, Sherlock. No Dukes fan drives up 219. First of all, there are only 3 of them that travel. More importantly, they can't use Google Maps, let alone read a real map. They're going to point their '71 Ford LTD towards I 79 N and make the great loop through Dreary Erie to I 86. Safety first. Personally, I never turn down a chance to drive through Johnsonburg, but we're made of sterner stuff."
St. Joe's Message Board Quote of the Day: [after last year's win at St. Joe's] "25 point loss is better than the 26 point loss at St. Bonaventure last month. I think we can keep it to 20 if we play them in Brooklyn."
I don't need a blowout this time, but I need an easy win before three HUGE home games.