In judging LIU Post's apparently easy 86-67 victory over Bridgeport for the ECC men's tournament title and an automatic berth in the NCAA field, the degree of difficulty was in the shots made by Post senior Stefan Bonneau.

Falling back, pulling up, taking fouls, Bonneau repeatedly hoisted exquisite rainbows from binocular range in Sunday's championship game at Queens College. Off his back foot, circling around screens, in his defender's face, Bonneau scored a game-high 29 points in carrying Post to its 23rd victory in 28 games.

"Makes me look very intelligent, doesn't it?" Post coach Chris Casey said of his 5-10 guard's show of marksmanship. "It's like Lou Carnesecca said, 'Get the ball to your best player and get out of the way.' "

Bonneau certainly wasn't alone in Post's sound performance. Junior Tobin Carberry scored 19 points and added a game-high 11 rebounds. Freshman Tyuan Williams scored 13 points and sophomore Vaughn Allen had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

But, in a game in which neither team wasted much time passing the ball -- Post had 14 assists and Bridgeport 13 -- Bonneau's ability to defy gravity and logic defined the proceedings.

Yes, he said, he practices what would appear to be such low-percentage attempts. "My teammates will be looking at me going, 'What are you doing?' " Bonneau said. And his final scoring line Sunday -- 9 of 22 field goals, 5 of 10 on three- pointers -- didn't quite capture the enormous impact of his shooting touch.

Bridgeport (19-10) had pulled within a point with 2:19 to play in the half, at 30-29, when Bonneau slashed through the lane for a layup, then followed that with a leaning-back three-pointer on which he was fouled. The subsequent free throw suddenly had Post ahead by its largest lead of the half, 36-29, with 1:10 left.

Then, when Bridgeport surged to start the second half, again pulling within one at 40-39, Bonneau hit another long-distance three and, in hallowed H-O-R-S-E tradition, teammate Terry Coleman hit a copycat three-pointer of his own. Minutes later, a 13-2 Post charge featured six points by Bonneau.

With his teammates providing plenty of scoring help, Bonneau turned his attention to other matters -- he made two nifty assists and took only one shot in the final eight minutes -- as the lead ballooned to as many as 25.


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