The St. Bonaventure Bonnies traveled to take on the Massachusetts Minutemen on Saturday, and after building a 13-point lead around the mid-point of the second half they lost their 23rd straight game to a ranked opponent.
After a rally on Wednesday night to beat Saint Joseph’s that was led by guard Chaz Williams, the front court led the way for the Minutemen on Saturday. Forward Raphiael Putney had a team-high 17 points and eight rebounds along with four assists, with center Cady Lalanne (16 points, four rebounds) and forward Sampson Carter (11 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists) also chipping in. Williams finished with eight points and nine assists as well as three steals, but this time it was guard Trey Davis who took center stage with two key baskets late in the second half to give Massachusetts another close victory.
The Minutemen have certainly benefited from playing 13 of their first 15 games at home on their way to a 14-1 record, including their first two conference games, but five of their next six games and the next three in a row will come on the road. That will be a true test of their staying power as a top-25 team, even if the Atlantic 10 is not one of the marquee conferences in college basketball. There’s a chance the Minutemen drop down a couple spots in next week’s rankings even with two wins over the past week, and I think even one loss over this upcoming stretch to end January could lead to a fall out of the top-25 with no chance of a return.