(Photo Credit: Assistant coach Andrea Mulcahy (@CoachAndiSBU)
By Katie Faulkner @kfaulkner20
After a historic season for the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team, the Bonnies are headed to the NCAA tournament for just the second time in school history.
The Bonnies qualified as an at-large selection and received a No. 10 seed. They will play No. 7 Oklahoma State (21-9) on March 18 at Oregon State University.
“You could send us anywhere,” said Bona coach Jim Crowley. “To be a part of this NCAA Tournament and for these guys to get that reward is such a great honor.”
The Bonnies finished the season at 23-7, including 12 conference wins and a perfect 16-0 record at home. SBU ranked No. 34 in the RPI and had a winning record against RPI Top 25 opponents. They also had three wins against current conference champions.
“I think [the A-10] has prepared us very well,” Crowley said. “There’s great coaches and great players in our league and it’s something we’re proud to be part of and we’re looking forward to representing the best we can.”
Oklahoma State finished fourth in the Big 12 this season and will make its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in a row. Big 12 Player of the Year Brittney Martin leads OSU with 20 points per game. The 6-foot-4 Kaylee Jenson adds 15 points and five rebounds per game.
“[OSU] is going to be a great matchup for us,” said Crowley. “Once you get between the lines it’s still about how hard you play and how well you play to your strengths.”
Even though the Bonnies were placed on the bubble all week, there was still a great amount of uncertainty in the room as they waited for their name to be called.
“We didn’t even know what seed we were,” said senior Katie Healy. “We just saw our name and instantly everyone ran to each other.”
Crowley, who will appear in his sixth postseason in the last eight years, credits his players for maintaining a positive outlook after last season’s ending.
“A year ago if you told me this would be happening I think everyone sitting here would tell you you’re nuts,” Crowley said. “They all put so much time in and gave up a lot, so it’s great to see them rewarded.”
According to graduate student Emily Michael, people have been constantly reaching out to them to show their support.
“It’s so nice to have that support, but all the support we really need is in the room we were in,” Michael said.
Faculty, staff and administration accompanied the team as they waited for their name to be called.
“(President) Sister Margaret (Carney) has been so supportive of our program,” said Crowley. “To be able to give her this gift is something that means a lot to all of us.”
SBU is one of three A-10 teams to earn a bid into the tournament, along with Duquesne and conference champions George Washington.