[St. Bonaventure fell to the VCU Rams on Sunday afternoon and will look to regroup before facing Butler next week — Photo by Daulton Sherwin]
By Joe Phelan, Assistant Sports Editor, @jphelan13
Looking to snap a four-game losing streak, this young St. Bonaventure squad was handed another lesson to learn against VCU.
Facing a harassing 2-3 zone for much of the game, the Brown and White struggled to run even the simplest of set-plays in a game in which they turned the ball over 22 times. The Rams’ turned those 22 turnovers into 25 offensive points as VCU (9-15, 2-7) defeated the Bonnies, 64-51 in the Reilly Center.
However, in the game’s opening minutes, it seemed that it would be St. Bonaventure who would be victorious in this game. Bona was led by freshman Katie Healy who scored eight of the team’s first 10 points.
But that would be all Bona (9-15,2-7) could muster as frequent turnovers were the story in this game.
“You can’t start a half with four turnovers,” Bona coach Jim Crowley said. “We just did not play well.”
And he’s right.
The Bonnies not only struggled on offense, not able to decipher where to go with the ball, but they struggled on the defensive side as well, specifically in the second half.
After forcing the Rams’ to a poor shooting first half, Bona was overrun in the second half. VCU shot a blistering 50 percent while St. Bonaventure couldn’t hit nylon if it was right in front of their faces.
“We allowed them to do what they wanted,” Crowley said. “We guarded as individuals, not as a team.”
The biggest contributor to the VCU victory was Robyn Parks who lead all scorers with 21 points while also hurting Bona on the glass with nine rebounds.
Along with the hot second-half shooting, the Rams shot a scorching 93.8 percent from the line in the second half.
Healy and Doris Ortega paced the Bonnies offense.
While Healy started out hot, she scored just two points in the second half, but did earn her first career double-double on an 11-point, 10-rebound afternoon.
“I think I was just tentative with the ball,” the freshman said. “I didn’t try to go at them.”
Ortega stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, but it couldn’t override the theme of the game—effort.
“They outplayed us,” said junior Doris Ortega. “They just wanted us more than we did.”
Crowley knows how important effort is, especially on a team that no longer has the services of Jessica Jenkins, Armelia Horton and Megan Van Tatenhove.
“You can get away with that when you have a number of shot makers, we don’t have a number of shot makers, so we got to make sure we play hard the whole time,” Crowley said.
With five games remaining, the Bonnies are in danger of missing out on the Atlantic-10 postseason tournament.
“We got to demand more of ourselves, each other,” Crowley explained. “Who we play, what they do obviously we will work on and prepare for, but we got to be a lot more worried about what we do.”
While St. Bonaventure delivered a subpar effort against VCU, the season is not over and there is still a chance they can find their way into the A-10 Tournament.
The Bonnies will have a full week of practice to figure it out before they travel to Butler to take on the 14-9, 5-3 Bulldogs.
“We got to get ourselves right,” said Crowley. “We got to get better each day.”