By Ryan Lazo, Editor-In-Chief, @RMLazo13
Game Story: Attempting to end a six-game losing streak, St. Bonaventure hosted No. 14 Dayton in the Reilly Center. And these Bonnies may have turned in their best effort of the season. Bona tightly contested each and every Flyers’ shot limiting them to just ( ) shooting for the night. But a late-rally would fall short, Bona fell to the Flyers, 67-63.
Frantic Finish: Trailing by 13 points with just 37 seconds remaining, the Bonnies went on a 9-0 run to pull the gap to just four points, 65-61. But Bona would not score again until an Alaina Walker jumper went through nylon with just one second remaining.
Moral Victory: Facing the No. 14 team in the country and the A-10’s top-scoring offense which averages 77 points per game, Bona played up to their opponents. They battled Dayton point for point and did not relent until the final whistle, possibly making this game something to build on not only for this season, but for the future.
Board Problems: Bona was out rebounded on the glass by a 50 to 35 margin including Dayton’s 20 offensive rebounds. However, Bona battled Dayton on each possession, limiting the Flyers to just 32 percent shooting on the game.
Senior Strong: The lone starting senior Alaina Walker turned in another solid outing. Walker led all scorers with 17 points on 6-for-10 shooting, grabbed five rebounds while also dishing out two assists and nabbing two steals
Ortega’s Streak: Doris Ortega has now scored in double figures for the seventh consecutive game after dropping in 12 points on just 4-for-7 shooting.
Solid Half: The Bonnies, losers of six straight, played an all-around first half. The Brown and White only stared at a 32-24 deficit because of limiting their turnovers (eight) and holding Dayton to just shooting 31.4 percent in the half. Emily Michael’s 3-pointer as time expired in the half pulled Bona to within eight at the half.
Freshmen Impact: Emily Michael, Katie Healy and Nyla Rueter once again made significant contributions to Bona’s effort against the Flyers. The trio combined for 32 of the Bonnies’ 63 points on the games, showing the hope for the future with such a young team.
Young Flyers: Dayton graduated seven seniors from last’s championship winning squad, including four starters but have not missed a beat. Their victory over Bona keeps them undefeated in Atlantic 10 Conference play
Rematch: These two team’s faced off in last year’s Atlantic 10 Conference Championship game as the Flyers raced out to a 27-5 lead. But the Bonnies did not wilt, battling back to take a lead in the second half, but Jessica Jenkins’ 3-point attempt as time expired went off back iron.
Quotes: Jim Crowley “This can only be a victory if we understand that if we play hard all the time then this is what can happen. For the first time in a while, we played the game hard. We didn’t worry about the scoreboard, we just played the game hard.”
Crowley, “That looked like a Bonaventure basketball team. Whether it was an extra pass, helping each other out, we did it. We blocked nine shots. That’s covering up for on another.
Doris Ortega “They thought they were going to come in here and blow us out by 30, but they didn’t. We didn’t get the win, but I’m really proud of my team. We could have given up but we just kept coming back, especially in the last minute.”
Dayton coach Jim Jabir, “St. Bonaventure deserved to win. I’m in no way happy with my team. Our record is gaudy. Our ranking is nice. But it doesn’t in anyway shape or form show how we are currently playing.”
Jabir “Coming to hear is like going to the dentist where you know you have to go, but it’s going to hurt. I don’t think people realize how good Jim Crowley truly is.”