(Katie Healy Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)
By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
A healthy Katie Healy may have reshuffled the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team’s rotation against the Buffalo Bulls on Wednesday night, but the final result was the same as the five previous games: a win.
Healy registered 15 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four blocks in 26 minutes off the bench to lead the Bonnies to a 59-32 victory. She had missed the two previous games due to a foot injury, but came back strong, shooting 6-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the foul line.
Nyla Rueter and Miranda Drummond played limited minutes due to foul trouble and ineffectiveness, but other Bonnies increased their production and fed off the return of their best player. Three Bonnies had career-high point totals (Matea Britvar with 10, Mckenna Maycock with six and Erin Wood with her first two collegiate points), while graduate student Kelcie Rombach scored eight points, including two three-pointers, in 11 minutes of play.
“For Kelcie to come in and hit those shots was vital because it got that zone spread out, and then we could go in to Katie and Matea and then they did their job with that,” said Bonnies coach Jim Crowley. “In the second quarter I think Mckenna did a good job of finding holes in the zone, too, to get some scores to get the pressure off and not allow them to focus on one person.”
Britvar attempted ten shots from the field, three more than her previous high of seven. It was a major bounceback performance and confidence boost after a tough individual showing on Monday against James Madison, where she was held scoreless and only shot the ball twice.
“(Matea) had a rough day Monday, and she knew that, and even hurried some things when she first went in today,” said Crowley. “That’s part of the maturation (and) the growth… instead of getting down and instead of feeling sorry, she knew what to correct and she knew how, and she did.
“We know we’re always going to get some rebounds from her. She had nine rebounds and there were probably a half-dozen where she kept her person away from (the basket) and others were able to go get it. She deserves to be comfortable inside; she’s worked really hard.”
Bona featured 10 different scorers in the victory, but the team defense was the constantly overwhelming factor against the Bulls. The Bonnies held UB to 11-of-59 shooting from the field, with a 1-of-19 mark from three-point range. The Bulls were unable to make a mid-range jump shot all night and were outrebounded 52-30 by the brown and white.
It was almost a record-breaking performance for Bonaventure, four points shy of the 28 the team allowed against Rhode Island on Jan. 28, 2013. It was the lowest point total for Buffalo since an 82-32 loss to Auburn on Dec. 7, 2003.
“Obviously we had a part in that, with our defense. I think we’re defending well,” Crowley said. “I think we’ve also caught teams on tough nights the last two games we’ve played, but our goal is to try to take away the paint, and I think we’re doing that pretty well. We’ve struggled at times there, and I thought we did a really good job making sure we had a hand or they had to shoot them out of comfort.
“That’s what you try to do defensively is not let them do what they’re good at.”
With four victories in nine days and another home game against Penn State on Saturday, the fatigue factor started to set in for the players who have logged major minutes over this tough stretch. Drummond played 110 of the 130 possible minutes against Stony Brook, Georgetown and James Madison, while Emily Michael and Nyla Rueter played 108 and 107, respectively.
“I thought Emily, Nyla and Miranda all looked tired, I think Gabby (Richmond) looked tired, I think all of those people who played a lot of minutes looked tired,” said Crowley. “I think their teammates knew that, so they knew they had to take it to another level. That’s what good teams do; you should play for your teammates.”
“I think something that you can’t measure, unless you see it everyday, is teammates want to make shots for each other. We see that in practice, so it was tough when we weren’t seeing it early in the season, but we see it the last few games, and it’s contagious.”
The Bonnies have two days of practice ahead of them before they take on Penn State on Saturday at 1:30. Healy will likely be back in the starting lineup to face the Nittany Lions, who currently stand at 4-5.