(Mariah Ruff Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)
By Katie Faulkner @kfaulkner20
After tallying the second-most wins in a regular season in program history with 23, the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team is set to take on VCU in the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals at the Richmond Coliseum at 2 p.m. on Friday.
The Bonnies (23-6, 12-4 in A-10) earned the fourth seed after recording 12 A-10 victories. The Rams (22-8, 11-6 A-10) are the fifth seed and secured a quarterfinal spot with a 62-42 win over Richmond on Thursday afternoon.
While SBU is the only team to beat all top three seeds in the tournament, VCU is one team in the A-10 it has yet to defeat. The Bonnies will look to avenge last month’s 52-47 road loss to the Rams, which came without second-leading scorer Miranda Drummond, who missed the game due to injury.
Senior Adaeze Alaeze leads the Rams with 13 points per game. Junior guard Isis Thorpe chips in with 10 points, while Jessica Ogunnorin pulls down a team-high seven rebounds per contest. VCU struggles from long range, ranking last in the A-10 in three-point field goal percentage (27 percent). Its scoring relies heavily on second-chance points, as it averages 14 offensive rebounds per game.
This matchup will likely be a defensive one, as it will display the A-10’s top two defenses. The Rams are ranked first in scoring defense, allowing just 55.3 points per game, but the Bonnies aren’t far behind as they allow 55.4 points per contest.
The Bonnies are currently ranked first in scoring offense, as they continue to shoot over 43 percent from the field and 34 percent from beyond the arc. SBU has four players averaging double-figure scoring, including senior Katie Healy, who leads the way with 15 points and seven rebounds per game. Drummond remains consistent and chips in with 12 points on 43 percent shooting from the field. Senior Nyla Rueter and sophomore Mariah Ruff add 10 points apiece.
Ruff was named American Sports Network’s Women’s Basketball Player of the Week on Monday, Feb. 29 after recording her first double-double in a win over Duquesne on Sunday. She registered 18 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds in the victory.