St. Bonaventure put themselves into terrific position to earn an at-large bid on Friday night as they erased a six-point deficit in the final four minutes to take down No. 16 Rhode Island, 77-74.
The star for the Bonnies, Jaylen Adams, struggled shooting the ball, finishing just 2-for-12 from the floor with 10 points, but it was his assists to LaDarien Griffin with less than 30 seconds left that gave Mark Schmidt’s club a lead they would not relinquish.
Matt Mobley led the way for the Bonnies with 26 points and nine boards, but he missed a pair of free throws in the final ten seconds that gave URI two chances to tie or take the lead down the stretch.
What made this win for important for the Bonnies is that they entered Friday night with a lack of great wins of their résumé. They were 3-2 against Quadrant 1 opponents, but their three Quadrant 1 wins came at Buffalo, against Vermont on a neutral floor and at Syracuse. Quadrants are an easy way to group wins, but the committee absolutely is cognizant of who those wins came against.
Rhode Island is a top ten team in the RPI.
This is a marquee win.
This is a win that will help the committee overlook the fact that the Bonnies have losses to Niagara and at St. Joseph’s this season. And while they might have been able to find a way to get an at-large bid to the tournament without this, the fact of the matter is that winning this game all-but assures the Bonnies of a trip to the Big Dance as long as they don’t do something stupid the rest of the way.