NICEVILLE, Fla. -- St. Bonaventure played without its top returning scorer, couldn't hit a three-point shot all night and was on the short end in most other statistical categories, yet the Bonnies somehow managed to beat a bigger, stronger Maryland team.
After his team trailed most of the night, Courtney Stockard hit a driving layup in the closing seconds to give St. Bonaventure a 63-61 win over Maryland on Friday in the semi-finals of the Emerald Coast Classic.
"I thought our guys out-scrapped, out-worked (Maryland)," said St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt. "It was a blue collar approach. . We are not going to out-talent guys. We have a chance to out-work guys. That's what we did."
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon didn't argue with that analysis.
"They played hard from the beginning," Turgeon said. "We tried like crazy to get control of the game. It took us about 10 minutes to finally get going. . In the end our defense let us down. We gave them too many opportunities to get to the basket during their run. We didn't make them shoot jumpers."
St. Bonaventure (3-1) will meet Texas Christian (5-0) for the tournament title Saturday at Northwest Florida State College.
Matt Mobley led the Bonnies with 16 points while Stockard had 14. Josh Ayeni added 11. Anthony Cowan was the only Terp to score in double figures with 13.
The two teams battled back and forth all night ringing up 11 ties and eight lead changes. Maryland (5-1) held the lead most of the game, 25:42 to 5:55 for St. Bonaventure, but the Bonnies had it when it counted.
They came back from an eight-point second-half deficit to pull into a tie and then Stockard made the winning basket with 3.2 seconds left. Maryland was unable to get off a shot in the remaining time.
"I got the screen," Stockard said. "I was just thinking attack. I found a lane and took it."
The Bonnies again were without senior guard Jaylen Adams, their top returning scorer. Adams who averaged 20.6 points last season, has missed all four regular season games so far after spraining an ankle in an exhibition game.