The St. Bonaventure Bonnies are going to the NCAA Tournament this year after beating the Xavier Musketeers, 67-56, in the Atlantic 10 Championship Game on Sunday afternoon. Considered an unlikely bubble team after an up-and-down regular season, the Bonnies landed an automatic bid by winning the conference tournament.
After taking a sizable early lead, St. Bonaventure just needed to hold off rallies from Xavier. A few unanswered points to begin the second half gave the Bonnies a 41-24 lead, but the Musketeers proceeded to go on a 11-0 run to trim the lead to six points. Xavier never got any closer than four points, though, as St. Bonaventure constantly matched rallies and ultimately pulled away at the end.
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Both teams shot poorly during the game, as neither team shot above 40 percent from the field for the game. The Bonnies had clear advantages on the boards and at the charity stripe, though, making up for some issues with losing possessions.
Andrew Nicholson had a positively huge game for St. Bonaventure, putting up 26 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks in a dominant effort. No other Bonnie scored in double-figures. Xavier got 17 points from Tu Holloway and 16 points from Mark Lyons.
For more on this matchup and the impending March Madness season, check out SB Nation's college hoops news hub. Stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis for more Billikens recaps, previews and news updates. Click here for more on the 2012 Atlantic 10 Tournament.