photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu
By Dustyn Green
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — Despite 18 points from Asianae Johnson and a game-high 11 rebounds from Tori Harris, the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team fell to Richmond, 59-58, at the Reilly Center on Friday.
The Bonnies trailed by four points at the halftime and needed a momentum swing. Instead, they found themselves facing a ten-point deficit entering the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Olivia Brown took things into her own hands to get SBU back into the game, however, and hit back-to-back three pointers before Johnson made a free throw to tie the game at 54. Ultimately, Richmond freshman Grace Townsend scored the game-winning basket and sunk a clutch free throw afterward to put the Spiders ahead for good.
“I just give (Brown) a ton of credit for fighting back in the fourth quarter,” Bona head coach Jesse Fleming said. “She made a couple shots but, she rebounded and she got on the help side and she was there.”
With seven seconds showing on the clock, Richmond’s Kate Klimkiewicz missed two big attempts from the free throw line. Deja Francis took the ball down the court after the second miss and tried to find an open Brown on the wing, but the Bonnies couldn’t get a shot off before the game clock expired.
“I didn’t want to call a timeout, we had two ball handlers on the floor,” Fleming said. I thought it was a layup, it was a slot drive we practice every day.”
Fleming said he explained the expectations to his team in a timeout before the free throws.
“I thought we won the game; I thought (Francis) was going up with the layup. We just have to learn from it,” Fleming said.
One of the biggest challenges for Fleming and his staff going forward is finding what the best player rotation is going to be down the stretch.
“Right now, (the team is) still trying to figure out the lineups and who is going to be there and who is going to be consistent for us,” Fleming said. “We can be dangerous if we can get nine or 10 people playing their role.”
I’yanna Lops was able to chip in 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting and one freebie from the charity stripe to tie her career high.
“We think she has a really high ceiling,” Fleming said of Lops. “I think we are just scratching the surface with her.”
Klimkiewicz finished tied with Johnson for a game-high 18 points, and pulled down nine rebounds. Claire Holt and Addie Budnik each scored 12 points for the Spiders, while Harris had 12 points for SBU.
The Bonnies will return to the RC on Sunday to meet VCU at noon on ESPN+.