Five takeaways from St. Bonaventure University vs. Edinboro University

By Isaiah Blakely

Editor’s Note: Information about Abigail Johnson was added to the story in order to address a big event during the game and to provide transparency to our loyal readers.

In a gritty and razor-thin contest, the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team was upset by the Edinboro Fighting Scots, 67-64 at the Reilly Center. While it may have only been an exhibition, a few things from the game stood out.

Here are five takeaways from the scrimmage.

1. Chemistry

With four new players it was clear it’ll take some time for this team to gel. Several offensive sets were clunky, and the team had 25 turnovers. Many of the turnovers came off miscommunication errors and players not being on the same page. You could chalk it up to preseason jitters, but the Bonnies will have to improve communication if they want to succeed this season.

2. Three point shooting

There are definitely more shooters on the floor at all times. Sophomore Danielle Migliore especially impressed, shooting 4-8 from behind the arc. Overall, the team shot 35% from three.

3. Mariah Ruff doesn’t have to carry the scoring load

Last year’s leading scorer by far, Ruff got some help as Migliore and freshman Emily Calabrese each put up double figures, while sophomore Jalisha Terry led with an 18 point effort off the bench. Ruff still scored 12 points, but struggled from the field going 3-10. Ruff should improve on those numbers as the season goes on and if the Bonnies can get more players in double figures the team could improve on their showing from last season.

4. Defensive Rebounding

Edinboro had 18 offensive rebounds, a startling stat that heavily contributed to their win. The Bonnies forwards have to do a better job of boxing out and hanging on to loose rebounds. That could depend on 6-2 forward Abigail Johnson’s health as she “appeared to faint during a stoppage of play” and hit her head on the court during the game. Johnson was transported to a regional medical facility for evaluation in a scary moment at the Reilly Center. With Johnson’s health in question, and frankly a more important issue than her basketball status, the Bonnies will need better technique from their remaining bigs if they want to win the rebound battle this season.

5. Rim Protection Edinboro had success in the paint even though they were the smaller team out-muscling the Bonnies with 14 second-chance points. The Bonnies had 3 blocks in the game, but two of them came from the guards. The bigs only mustered one block and will need to protect the paint better to improve their defense.

The Bonnies open the season with a Friday home stand vs. Niagara University at 5:30 p.m. at the Reilly Center.

The Bonnies Are Back And Ready For The Season.

By Joseph Phelan, Assistant Sports Editor, @jphelan13

St. Bonaventure led Edinboro 10-9 with 13:19 remaining in the first half. That would be the Bonnies last lead until 5.2 seconds left in the ball game.

Senior Jordan McGee knocked down a jump shot to give her team a 63-62 win.

“She worked really hard on that shot,” said head coach Jim Crowley. “There was no hesitation.”

An exhibition game was important, especially for a team with six new players and three new starters.

“Other people are in new roles; we don’t know what they are going to deliver, so there’s some excitement with that, but there’s also some frustration with that and, we got to build that consistency,” said Crowley.

Edinboro took advantage of the Bonnies lack of defensive consistency, connecting on eight 3-pointers and shooting 48 percent from the field.

“Our defense is really built on trust,” said junior Doris Ortega.

There were obvious wrinkles in the Bonaventure defense.

“We were leaving people out on islands because we were worried about our kid scoring instead of defending everyone. The best way to teach that is against another opponent,” said Crowley.

But what did Crowley like about Saturday’s win?

“The two things that I really liked: that we made plays late and, we took care of the ball,” said Crowley. “The team pressed us pretty much the whole game, and I think we had nine turnovers.”

One of those players who made plays late was junior Ashley Zahn.

Zahn struggled with her shot for most of the game.

“I thought she passed up a few shots. I thought she got bothered at times that she missed some, but we know she is a competitive kid,” said Crowley.

She finished 2-8 from the 3-point line.

But her last three with 4:44 left in the game was huge.

“For her to make that last one doesn’t surprise us, but it is also really good to see because now we can make sure she remembers that on other days she struggles,” said Crowley.

Moving forward, Crowley trusts Zahn and her abilities.

“We need a shooter. Everybody does, but the way we play, we especially need it,” said Crowley. “She (Zahn) is the kid most ready to do that for us.”

This Saturday, the Bonnies will face off against Binghamton in the team’s first official game of the season.

It’ll be an exciting time when the Sweet 16 and Atlantic 10 regular season champion banners are raised, but for the Bonnies, it’ll be all business with test No. 1.