Sunday, January 17, 2010

UGH Hawks

John Hickey/Buffalo News

Seems like old times as Bona snaps 10-year drought: The Buffalo News

OLEAN — St. Bonaventure celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Final Four team Saturday night in the Reilly Center. It was a moving, nostalgic affair. Bob Lanier, Greg Gary, Billy Kalbaugh and the whole gang showed up. The old coach, Larry Weise, gave a nice little talk to a large and appreciative crowd at halftime.

Of course, for younger fans who have been patiently waiting for Bona basketball to become merely relevant again, the more pertinent milestone was the 10 years since the Bonnies' last victory over Atlantic 10 rival Saint Joseph's.

The Bonnies had lost 15 straight games to Phil Martelli's bunch. Their last home win over the Hawks came a shade over 10 years ago, when their last NCAA team turned the trick on Jan. 12, 2000. If you're looking for an historical reference point, that game took place four days after the Bills' last playoff game.

And when you think about it, Saint Joseph's has been the hoop version of the New England Patriots, a team that has tormented its hapless Western New York rival for a full decade. So the setting was ideal for Bona to finally get it right against a rebuilding Hawks team that had lost 10 of its last 12.

It wasn't easy or artistic. In particularly shabby moments, the guys from the 1970 team must have been tempted to walk out and demonstrate a few of the sport's finer points. But the Bonnies played a strong second half and held off Saint Joseph's, 68-65, to snap the decade-long drought and post their first A-10 win of the year. (click title to get more depressed)

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