(Imani Outlaw and Mckenna Maycock Photo: Cameron Hurst)
By Cameron Hurst @CameronNHurst
In Matea Britvar’s eyes, the extensive preparation by the St. Bonaventure coaching staff for Wednesday’s face-off with Davidson contributed greatly to a quick start for the Bonnies in their 70-51 route of the Wildcats at the Reilly Center.
“With the preparation that we’ve had the last couple days, it just felt right,” said the Orlando, Fl. native, who started the game 3-of-3 from the field after knocking in the Bonnies’ first score of the game. “Just coming out and seeing my first shot go in just kind of led the momentum for everyone I think.”
Leading the momentum is an understatement, as the Bonnies scored 18 of their season-high 29 points off the turnover in the first half, helping forge a 20-2 run starting at the 8:19 mark to close out the half with a 39-18 lead.
“[Britvar] got us going making jumper after jumper right away, even if we didn’t have a good offensive position,” said Bonaventure head coach Jesse Fleming, who was fortunate not only for the junior’s performance, but for a strong overall performance by his team.
“I was proud of the maturity tonight,” added the first year head coach. “I’m really proud of the way we’re playing. We’re getting a lot of deflections. We’re covering up for each other defensively. Even the stuff that [Davidson] scored on, a lot of it was us covering up for other people.”
The Bonnies also had, for the second straight game, at least four players in double-digits for scoring. In addition to Britvar, who finished with a game-high 14, Mckenna Maycock, Mariah Ruff, and Gabby Richmond all finished with 13 points.
Maycock, who also finished with six rebounds and four steals, also credited the victory to a strong preparation period by the Bonnies coaching staff.
“We’ve been stringing together so many good practices together and it’s no surprise it’s showing in these games,” said Maycock. “We’re playing so well together and I think we’re finally getting to know each other that it’s all coming together.”
It is rare for a sixth-woman to receive as much time off the bench as Maycock does. But for Fleming, the addition of the Randolph, N.Y. native several minutes after tip-off, especially as of late, is viewed as the catalyst for the St. Bonaventure offense.
“I like [Maycock] coming off the bench,” said Fleming. “I just think it gives us a shot in the arm every time and our starters haven’t done a bad job starting these last couple games, but [Maycock] is really good and that way I can kind of keep a four-man on the floor. I just like our rotations that way.”
And, while the Bonnies offense has ultimately led to their strong success over the last three games, Fleming believes the motivation to perform has come from within, out of support for one of their own.
“I think it starts with Gabby [Richmond],” said Fleming. “[Richmond] brings a ton of energy and I think [the girls] are playing for her a little bit. Just, everybody got on the same page. It was no longer pointing fingers.”
Added Fleming on the strength of the St. Bonaventure leading scorers: “Even through that five-game losing streak, we were close with Dayton, we were on the road against some tough teams, and I thought we had [a good game plan] put together, and now the top six [Ruff, Richmond, Britvar, Maycock, Terry, and Hart] have just found and they’re playing with that energy we’re talking about.”
The Bonnies now head to Philadelphia for a date with St. Joseph’s on Sunday at 3 p.m., and Fleming is hopeful the successful home stand will help kickstart the Bonnies on a path to the postseason.
“Now we hit the road for a couple games and I’m hoping we can continue to perform at this level,” said Fleming. “I’m just excited for where we’re going.”