Women’s basketball: Bonnies head to VCU for potential rankings booster

By Katie Faulkner @kfaulkner20

The St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team travels to the Siegel Center for a Wednesday night matchup with VCU at 7 p.m. The Bonnies will look to stay in a top position in the Atlantic 10 standings, where they currently sit at second place (8-1) behind George Washington (9-0).

Though VCU is tied for seventh place in the A-10 with Dayton, George Mason and St. Joseph’s at 4-5 in A-10 play, their defense is ranked second to only the Bonnies. SBU leads the league, allowing just 53.3 points per game, while the Rams surrender 55.6.

The Rams have been inconsistent since starting the season 6-1. They picked up a notable victory against Arizona State on the road, but dropped close games to Saint Joe’s (66-63) and Duquesne (71-67).

Senior Adaeze Alaeze leads her squad with 10.9 points and six rebounds per contest, while junior guard Isis Thorpe adds 10.1 ppg. Junior Ashley Pegram (nine ppg) is also a scoring threat for the Rams, knocking down 47.2 percent of her shots from the floor.

The Bonnies will look to claim their first victory over VCU since the Rams joined the A10 for the 2013-2014 season. The brown and white fell to VCU in the Reilly Center last season, 61-51. Senior Katie Healy notched a game-high 17 points in the loss. Alaeze chipped in with 15 points for the Rams.

The defensive-minded Bonnies are holding teams to just 53.3 points per game, ranking them 16th in the nation in scoring defense. Also, opponents are being held to 26.6 percent shooting from long range.

While coach Crowley stated he doesn’t recruit players based on their defensive ability, he believes his experienced coaching staff helps mold them into capable perimeter defenders.

“The way we play defense is really built on a team concept,” said Crowley.  “I think one of the reasons as to why we are even better this year is because three assistants played in our system.”

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