Bonnies' Posley is money! Second buzzer-beater in week stuns VCU
The buzzer was no match again for St. Bonaventure guard Marcus Posley. Neither was VCU's stifling defense Saturday.
Posley split two defenders and scooped in a 6-footer off the backboard at the buzzer to give the Bonnies a 73-71 victory over the injury-depleted No. 18 Rams.
It was the second consecutive game Posley sealed as time ran out. On Wednesday, he went end-to-end in the final 5 seconds and scored on a layup in a 62-61 victory at Davidson.
"It's definitely nerve-racking," said the junior guard, who finished with 15 points. "I'm just very grateful to be in that position. And to hit two back-to-back like that, it's a crazy feeling."
Crazy also might describe the frenzied celebration that followed Posley's basket. As students mobbed the court, Bonnies forward Dion Wright stood on the scorers' table with his arms raised.
"He's the heart and soul of our team," coach Mark Schmidt said about Posley, the junior college transfer who is leading the Bonnies in scoring. "To be involved in two games like that against two teams that we're not supposed to beat and we pull it out in the end. It's exciting. It's why you coach."
Wright had 19 points and added eight rebounds in a game St. Bonaventure (13-8, 6-4 Atlantic 10) never trailed.
Terry Larrier scored 15 points and JeQuan Lewis had 14 for VCU, while Jordan Burgess had 11 rebounds.
VCU (18-5, 8-2) has lost two of three, with the troubles coinciding with injuries that have hit the Rams' starting lineup.
Already missing guard Briante Weber, who sustained a season-ending knee injury last weekend, the Rams played St. Bonaventure without leading scorer Treveon Graham. He's listed as day to day after aggravating an ankle injury in a 72-60 win at George Mason on Wednesday night.
"We knew coming in that without Tre and Bri, our margin for error was a little bit smaller," VCU coach Shaka Smart said. "I'm proud of the way our guys showed fight throughout the game. We just didn't get quite enough stops to win."
The Rams overcame a 10-point deficit with 10 minutes left to pull into a tie on what became their last possession.
After Bonnies center Youssou Ndoye's 6-foot attempt was too hard off the backboard with 26 seconds left, the Rams scrambled down the court with Jordan Burgess hitting an easy jumper with 17 seconds left.
Back came the Bonnies, who were out of timeouts. Posley began with the ball on left wing, and then worked his way to the top of the key.
With just over 2 seconds left, he drove to his right between VCU defenders Mo Alie-Cox and Doug Brooks. Posley then worked around Jordan Burgess and got a side-armed shot off high off the backboard.
"It was just a little up and under," Posley said. "I was able to get it off and have enough of a look at it."
The Rams dubbed HAVOC pressing defense didn't have much bite against St. Bonaventure, which was quick in pushing the ball up the court.
The Rams defense is clearly missing Weber, who was leading the nation in steals before he was hurt. The Rams entered the game ranked third in the nation in forcing 17.3 turnovers and getting 10.3 steals per game. On Saturday, they forced just nine turnovers, matching a season low, and had five steals.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT
"When you're 18, 19, 20-years-old, you shouldn't get tired. Just play," Schmidt on having four of his five starters log more than 33 minutes, and playing just three reserves.
VCU: Senior forward Jarred Guest made his first start of the season in place of Graham. The Rams had a seven-game road win streak snapped. ... Though VCU entered the game with nine players who had scored in double-figures this season, Graham and Weber accounted for 502 combined points -- nearly a third of the Rams' offense.
St. Bonaventure: The Bonnies had won their previous two games against ranked opponents, both last season. They beat then No. 19 St. Louis 71-68 in the A10 quarterfinals, and knocked off No. 21 Massachusetts 78-65 at home on Jan. 29 to snap what had been a 24-game skid against ranked teams.
VCU: Hosts La Salle on Wednesday night.
St. Bonaventure: Hosts UMass on Wednesday night.