The Saint Louis Billikens continue to look for some level of consistency, but were unable to find anything on both ends of the floor as they fell to the St. Bonaventure Bonnies, 64-48, on senior night for Center John Manning and Forward Grandy Glaze (Glaze was out this season with a shoulder injury). SLU only shot 33.3 percent during the game and failed to get consecutive made field goals for a second straight game. It has been a long year for this young team they have one more regular season game before the Atlantic 10 conference tournament begins next Wednesday.
St Bonaventure gets above .500 in A-10 conference play with this victory over the Billikens. The Bonnies are in the middle of the conference pack with the George Washington Colonials. SBU has gotten a huge contribution recently from Senior Guard Andell Cumberbatch who has averaged 15 points per game over his last 4 games. Cumberbatch along with guards Marcus Posley and Dion Wright could be a threat in the A-10 tournament, but the biggest question is how far the Bonnies starters can take this team. The Bonnies only average about 7 points per game from their bench and rely heavily on their starters.
The Billikens struggled to finish around the rim in the first half. Bills Forwards Reggie Agbeko and Milik Yarbrough had some chances to make some fairly easy buckets, but were a bit too strong around the rim and missed these opportunities. SLU’s missed opportunity allowed the Bonnies to slowly build a lead.
Guard Marcus Posley scored the first 6 points for the Bonnies. As the Billikens doubled and shadowed the Bonnies Center Youssou Ndoye, it gave the SBU guards openings in the lane allowing them to find the gaps from the help defense that SLU was using to cover Ndoye. After Posley gave the Bonnies their opening points, Guard Andell Cumberbatch built on the Bonnies early momentum. Cumberbatch scored 9 of the Bonnies final 11 points in the first half.
Cumberbatch aggressively slashed into the lane and drew contact against the Billikens defense. His aggression kept the Bills defense on their heels as they struggled to contain him all game long. However, he was their only SBU player who was consistently scoring in the first half as the team only made 40 percent of their field goals in the first half.
SLU got to the foul line to cut into the down to 6 points, but SBU’s Dion Wright hit a floater just before halftime to give the Bonnies an 8 point lead going into halftime. SLU struggled only shooting 6-22 from the field in the first half, a good chunk of those missed shots were around the rim. The Bills were close, but could not convert shots during this game.
The Bills cut the Bonnies lead down to 4 points in the second half to back-to-back 3-pointers by Center Austin Gillmann and Guard Marcus Bartley. It was a brief moment of consistency, but after that point the Billikens struggled to sustain that momentum. The Bonnies responded with a 9-2 run capped off by a Idris Taqqee layup to give St. Bonaventure a double-digit lead that it would not relinquish.
It was not the ideal senior night for Center John Manning and Forward Grandy Glaze. Glaze was out all season with a shoulder injury. Manning walked off the Chaifetz Arena floor for the final time with about a minute left in the ball game as St. Bonaventure had the game in hand. It was a tough senior year for both players after they were a part of 3 NCAA tournament teams during their previous three seasons.
Saint Louis will final their final regular season game on the road against the Richmond Spiders on Saturday, March 7th at 8 p.m. eastern time. The Billikens are locked into the No. 14 seed for the Atlantic 10 conference tournament and will play the No. 11 seed on Wednesday, March 11th at 9 p.m. eastern time. St. Bonaventure will return home for their senior day against the Fordham Rams at 4 p.m. eastern time.