photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu
The St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team played back-to-back road games this weekend, and it wasn’t handed any favors.
The team, led by head coach Jesse Fleming, played two conference matchups in a span of 24 hours, the first on Friday against then 4-2 Fordham, and the other Saturday against 4-2 Rhode Island. Both games ended in disappointing fashion for the Bonnies, a team that was looking to build on its momentum from a home victory over La Salle on Jan. 15. Instead, SBU lost by 19 points to Fordham and by 14 points to Rhode Island.
The Bonnies led just over two minutes combined between the two weekend games, both by an early 2-0 score.
Despite double-digit scoring efforts from senior Emily Calabrese, who had 11 points against Fordham, and sophomore I’yonna Lops, who tallied 14 points in Kingston. Bona continued to struggle behind the three-point line, shooting under 25% from there in both games.
The Bonnies did not lack in toughness or physicality in either game, and they were successful in forcing and creating success off Fordham’s mistakes, including six steals and 12 turnovers. Throughout the game, the Bonnies were not able to keep up with Fordham’s attack on the inside giving up 21 second chance points to the Rams. However, Bona scored 22 points in the paint and nine more points off turnovers.
The Bonnies also were unable to shut Fordham down from three-point range, allowing the Rams to go 13-for-30, but Bona hurt itself by not being able to hit from long range, going 2-for-10 from deep on offense.
The Fordham halftime lead was only 12 points, despite being able to knock down seven three-pointers in the first half. The Bonnies could only answer one of those, which allowed the Rams to expand their lead.
Both teams scored the ball at about the same clip, but it was clear that Fordham’s ball-sharing opened up its opportunities from deep, as they paired their three-point shooting numbers with 18 assists, compared to St. Bonaventure’s seven. The Bonnies were out-rebounded by the Rams, 26-20.
Against Rhode Island, the Bonnies dug themselves a hole early, as SBU unsuccessfully tried to create offense from the perimeter. The first quarter didn’t see either team shoot particularly well, but by the time the clock hit zero, the Rams had hit 11 three-point baskets.
A 12-3 run early in the second quarter allowed the Bonnies to cut the Rams’ lead to four points, with Olivia Brown on the court for the entirety of the run. The Bonnies played physical, disrupting Rhode Island at seemingly every turn, including a block by Tori Harris and a forced turnover that led to a Harris three-pointer. Once again, however, the well ran dry for St. Bonaventure, and the half ended with the Rams up by eight points.
The Bonnies were able to keep their deficit manageable, until the missed shots and 11 turnovers became too much to overcome. Despite giving up 34 points in the paint and 11 points off of turnovers the Rams never let up the reins, as the teams traded baskets down the stretch, but the Bonnies found the deficit to large and fell against the Rams 76-60.
The Bonnies will now return home for three games, starting with a Friday night slate against Saint Louis on Friday. You can catch the game next Friday at 6 p.m., on ESPN+