BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As red-hot St. Bonaventure heads into the final two games of the regular season, the Bonnies are hitting their stride at the right point. After winning three of the last five games, including a sweep over rival Davidson this past week, the Bonnies sit at the top of the Atlantic 10 with a 10-3 league record, currently tied with VCU for the top spot in the Atlantic 10 tournament.
But, like everything surrounding 2020, this basketball season could’ve turned out completely different for the Bonnies, had they let the early circumstances of the year affect them.
St. Bonaventure was set to play in the “Bubbleville” Tournament in Connecticut over the week of Thanksgiving to kick off the 2020-21 season, but six days before the tournament was set to start, a member of the Bona Tier 1 personnel tested positive for COVID-19, sending the team into an immediate pause and cancelling the trip to CT.
Once the Bonnies were back on the court, they prepared for a December 12th season opener against St. Francis, only for that game to be cancelled day-of after St. Francis experienced a positive COVID test.
“When it started, we were really looking forward to going to Connecticut, and when that happened we kind of got down, but down in a good way, because we knew that once we got out of quarantine, we knew we were going to cherish every single game we played, because we didn’t know how many we would get to play or if we were even going to get the chance to play,” Bonnies redshirt junior guard Jalen Adaway said. “Once we got that first game in, we treated every game like it was our last and just try to leave it all out there.”
Bona finally played their first game of the season against Akron on December 15th, and followed that win up with another win against Hofstra on the 19th to open the year with a 2-0 record heading into their Big 4 match up against Buffalo.
But that game was also cancelled, due to positive tests within the Bulls program.
When the Bonnies played their third game of the season 11 days later, they lost to Rhode Island 63-57, marking their first L of the year.
Bona would then go on a seven game winning streak, winning every single game they played in the month of January.
After such a tough start and stop beginning to the season, the Bonnies put the pedal to the metal when they finally got the chance to.
“We’ve been working since March 12th, ever since the A10 Championship Tournament got cancelled, we’ve been working. Appreciate every game, because you never know if it’s going to be your last one,” Bonnies junior guard Dominick Welch said. “Even though games were getting postponed and cancelled, appreciate every game that you get. You got to keep the right mindset, it’s frustrating sometimes. We’re all happy at this point, but we’re not satisfied. Just trying to get this regular season title, then make a run in the tournament.”
With two games left to play in the regular season, the Bonnies control their own destiny at this point. Tied with VCU at 10-3 at the top of the Atlantic 10, Bona could take sole possession of first place with wins on Friday against George Washington and Monday against Dayton, while VCU only has one regular season game left to play on Saturday.
“We know how huge the [games] are, and we know every game is like a championship for first place. There’s a lot on the line, and we just look at it as focus on the game that’s right in front of us, take care of business there, do what we gotta do, leave it all out there, and from there we’ll move forward,” Adaway said. “Going into the conference tournament, we want to have as much momentum as possible, and coming into the tournament on a win streak is huge, and that’s what we’re planning on doing.”
The Bonnies tip off against George Washington on Friday evening at 6 pm at the Reilly Center.