Very little separated Davidson and St. Bonaventure in their Atlantic 10 basketball game Wednesday at Belk Arena.
But in the tight window of the game’s final 4.8 seconds, Bonnies guard Marcus Posley took control, going the length of the court and hitting an 8-foot shot as the buzzer sounded, giving his team a 62-61 victory against the Wildcats.
The loss was the second in a row for Davidson (14-6, 5-4), which had taken a 61-60 lead with 4.8 seconds left on a 3-pointer by freshman Peyton Aldridge.
“We were feeling pretty good after (Aldridge’s shot),” Wildcats guard Brian Sullivan said. “But in Division I basketball (4.8) seconds is a ton of time. (Posley) made it; it was a dagger.”
After a St. Bonaventure (12-8, 5-4) timeout, Posley – the second-leading scorer in the A-10 – inbounded the ball to center Youssou Ndoye. Posley received the ball back from Ndoye and headed upcourt at full sprint.
“You know if you have four seconds, you have four dribbles,” said Posley, who finished with 19 points.
Posley reached the foul line with those four dribbles and leaned into a short jumper. The ball hit the rim a few times and dropped in as the buzzer sounded.
“We tried to corral him and double team him, but he got a full head of speed,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. “There’s nothing you can do to stop that kind of speed.”
Until that point, the story of the game was Davidson’s inability to cope with St. Bonaventure’s interior defense. The Bonnies blocked nine Wildcats shots and pulled down 27 defensive rebounds. Davidson, which leads the A-10 in several offensive categories, had stayed in the game mostly by its 3-point shooting (9 of 22), although the Wildcats were just 3 of 9 in the second half.
“We knew they were a terrific 3-point shooting team,” Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said. “They have great skill players. We knew we had to knock them off the 3-point line, which we did a better job of in the second half.”
St. Bonaventure jumped to an early 10-2 lead, the Wildcats rallied to take a 33-29 lead at halftime. The Bonnies quickly tied the score early in the second half and it stayed close. Neither team led by more than four points the rest of the way and the score was tied five times.
Davidson, which continues to play without leading scorer Jack Gibbs (knee), got 17 points from Sullivan and 13 points and eight assists from guard Tyler Kalinoski.
7-footer Ndoye scored 16 points and had four of St. Bonaventure’s blocks.
“(The blocks were) a big factor,” McKillop said. “We had four or five layups that would have gone down.”