BROOKLYN, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure’s Jordan Gathers hit a 3-pointer as time expired to lift the ninth-seeded Bonnies past top-seeded Saint Louis 71-68 Friday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship at Barclays Center.
Saint Louis, the A-10 regular-season champions and defending A-10 tournament champ, dips to 26-6 overall. St. Bonaventure, which picked up its second win in as many days, improves to 18-14 and advances to tomorrow’s A-10 semifinal matchup.
Senior guard Mike McCall Jr. registered a career-high 21 points for Saint Louis. Senior forward Dwayne Evans scored 15 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, while senior guard Jordair Jett finished with nine points and eight assists.
Freshman Tanner Lancona was a spark off the bench, scoring eight points (including two 3-pointers) in a career-high 26 minutes.
The Billikens used balanced scoring to build a 10-point lead at halftime. Eight different Billikens scored in the opening session, including McCall who drained 3-of-4 from 3-point range.
St. Bonaventure gained its first lead of the contest at the 9:15 mark of the second half on a trey by Matthew Wright. The Bonnies would stretch their lead to as many as five points on several occasions, but the Billikens remained close in a game that would come down to the very end.
With less than a minute to go, SBU’s Wright hit a 3-pointer to put the Bonnies ahead by three.
On the other end for Saint Louis, Evans had the ball near the top of the key. He hesitated, then pulled up for the game-tying 3-pointer to make it 68-68 with 21 seconds remaining.
St. Bonaventure, with the ball and the shot clock off, ran the clock all the way down, and Gathers buried a contested trey near the top of the key as the horn sounded to the lift the Bonnies to the win.