Women’s basketball: Michael prepares for final go-around

By Mikael DeSanto @MJTD07

Graduate student guard Emily Michael is entering her final season on the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team. She entered the program as a known shooter, but has held a point guard role throughout her college career.

“She’s our heart,” said head coach Jim Crowley. “When she is going full speed and competing and winning the 50/50 balls, the loose balls, all those things, we’re at our best.”

Crowley feels Michael needs to continue to grow her leadership role going into this season.

“She has to be a leader competitively, she has to be a leader toughness wise, she has to be a leader with her play,” he said.

Being the oldest of the team, Michael has taken the responsibility of being one of the players to get teammates together.

“I think I’m just a little more mature in the game and a little more experienced,” said Michael.

The Bonnies are coming off of a tough season where they dealt with many struggles. Michael had 54 assists last season, 30 fewer than the season before. She also had 38 turnovers this past season. She will be looking to increase her assist total and lower her turnovers, on top of reaching the team goal of the NCAA tournament.

Michael said that part of reaching these goals has been working harder than last season.

“I think just putting in extra time as a team,” she said. “We’ll come in get extra shots up, extra cardio, anything just to be more involved as a team outside of practice and outside of required stuff.”

One game that Michael is most excited for is the game at Dayton on January 20. Michael is from Clayton, Ohio and graduated from Chaminade Julienne High School, which is roughly 30 minutes away from Dayton’s campus. Her family plans to attend the game to see her play there one last time.

“I’ll be going home and all my family will be there so I’m really excited to go back for one more go-around,” Michael said.


Quick Hitters: Bonnies take down Saint Joe’s 73-67

By Joseph Phelan, @JPhelan13

Stepping Up: With Gabrielle Richmond out (leg), Hannah Little scored 13 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. She made big buckets down the stretch after Katie Healy fouled out.

Dynamic Duo: Natasha Cloud and Sara Fairbanks combined for 38 points to pace Saint Joseph’s.

Raining Threes: The Bonnies hit a season high nine triples against Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday night. Chelsea Bowker tied a career high with six.

Continue reading “Quick Hitters: Bonnies take down Saint Joe’s 73-67”

Women’s basketball: Michael’s defense leads Bona’s past Fordham

By Joseph Phelan, @JPhelan13

Fordham’s Erin Rooney entered today’s game against Bonaventure averaging 19 points a game.

She’s one of the best players in the league, and one of the best players Bonaventure has faced this year.

Although she had seven assists and nine rebounds, Rooney shot 3 for 16 from the field for 11 points.

You can thank Emily Michael for that.

Continue reading “Women’s basketball: Michael’s defense leads Bona’s past Fordham”

Women’s basketball roundup

By Joseph Phelan, @JPhelan13

St. Bonaventure women opened up 2014 with a loss to Duquesne. The Bonnies fell behind early, and despite a strong second half surge could not make the comeback. Tomorrow afternoon, the Bonnies take on the Richmond Spiders at 4:30. I’ve been away from this team for over a month now. The Duquesne game had been broadcasted on CBS Sports Network, and they had two home games streamed on GoBonnies.com, so I’ve had the chance to watch this team grow despite my absence from Bonaventure over break.

With 11 wins, the Bonnies have eclipsed their win total from last year. Five players average at least 9.5 points a game, led by Katie Healy who has risen her game this year. ESPNw recognized Healy’s game last month when it included her as a player who has stepped up from last season. Healy leads the team in points and blocks. As Healy continues to improve, Atlantic 10 coaches will be sure to tightly defend her. That’s where Healy’s teammates come into play.

Continue reading “Women’s basketball roundup”

Women’s basketball: #Bonnies with 19 assists in 74-59 win over Fairfield

By Joseph Phelan, @JPhelan13

Less than 48 hours after ending Wisconsin-Green Bay’s regular season win streak, the Bonnies opened and finished strong against Fairfield in a 74-59 win.

The Bonnies used a steady, balanced offensive attack — with 19 assists and five players with two or more buckets.

Chelsea Bowker hit all five the Bonnies’ triples. The redshirt senior knows her role in the offense. She stretches the floor with her jump shot, uses her court vision to find open teammates and sets picks.

As the lone healthy player from the 2012 Atlantic 10 regular season championship team, Bowker has had to adjust to playing with new players.

Continue reading “Women’s basketball: #Bonnies with 19 assists in 74-59 win over Fairfield”

Women’s basketball: Sophomores Healy, Michael to lead #Bonnies

By Matthew Strauss 

There is one word that will be most commonly used to describe the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team this season: young.  On a squad of 11 women, there are two graduate students, one senior and eight players that are either freshmen or sophomores.

In addition to that, neither of the graduate students appeared in games last year.  Chelsea Bowker was injured and Jillian Murphy is entering her first season on the team after four years as a member of the Bonnies softball team.  That leaves the lone senior, Ashley Zahn who is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, and five now-sophomores as the only players to have seen collegiate action last season.

So will they be able to come out of the gate strong, especially with an early matchup with preseason No. 1 UConn just over two weeks into the season? The Bonnies are confident they will, and they have reason to be.

The Bonnies have a pair of sophomores that quite resemble a duo well loved by Bonnies fans that took everyone on a wild run that resulted with an Atlantic-10 regular season championship and a Sweet 16 matchup with national power Notre Dame.  Anyone watching this year’s team will certainly see glimpses of Jessica Jenkins and Megan Van Tatenhove in current sophomores Emily Michael and Katie Healy.

Continue reading “Women’s basketball: Sophomores Healy, Michael to lead #Bonnies”

Women’s Basketball: Rueter, Little should give #Bonnies big boost this season

By Joseph Phelan, @JPhelan13

Last year Emily Michael and Katie Healy gave the Bonnies a boost as freshmen.

This year classmates Hannah Little and Nyla Rueter should provide the Bonnies another one.

The Bonnies beat Edinboro in an exhibition game 65-43 on Saturday afternoon.

Healy, Little and Rueter each scored 15-plus points, while head coach Jim Crowley leaned on Michael to be the floor general.

The first half belonged to Rueter.

“She is a really good weapon—she can handle the ball, she can shoot it, she can get to the rim,” said Crowley. “And she is getting better defensively.”

Continue reading “Women’s Basketball: Rueter, Little should give #Bonnies big boost this season”

Behind The Wolfpack: Bona Freshmen Provide Spark In Win

[Jessica Jenkins and Megan Van Tatenhove are just two of the seniors who have casted a shadow over St. Bonaventure’s freshman – Photo courtesy of gobonnies.com]

By Ryan Lazo, Co-editor in chief/feature columnist, @RMLazo13

Jim Crowley, his staff and players stood on the half court line on Bob Lanier Court in the Reilly Center as an Atlantic 10 regular season champions and Sweet 16 banners were raised to the rafters.

In their minds was the success of its past senior class, winners of 98 games – most in program history – and the ones who led the team to the NCAA Tournament for the first time.

While they are no longer suiting up for the Brown and White, their memory is everlasting in the product now seen on the court.

And the shadows of those players is casted entirely on the six freshmen entrusted to continue building on the foundation that is laid before them. In the season opener against Binghamton, the freshmen showed the promise of a brighter future mixed with immediate success.

The Bonnies (1-0) struggled early, falling behind 10-3, before utilizing a 30 to 6 run to take over the game and never looked back. The 61-34 victory tied a program record for  second fewest points allowed in a game and perhaps set the tone for the rest of the season.

“We didn’t start well and were settling for jump shots,” Crowley said following the game. “But I thought Emily and Tatiana came in and gave us a boost with their attacking ball pressure.”

Emily Michael, a freshman guard, entered the game in the middle of the first half and immediately made an impact. The 5-foot-8 guard zeroed in on Binghamton’s guards and did not let them out of her sight as she picked their pockets for two steals on the game.

“We work on defense all the time, and it’s really what we feed off of to get our offense going,” Michael said after her 2-for-6 shooting performance for 6 points. “The goal that I set for myself, and the team, was me bringing it on defense, and today it worked out.”

However, Michael was not the only freshman who made an impact. Katie Healy entered the game and utilized her height advantage in the interior.

Healy showed off a great post game, using quick pivots and surprising strength to put the ball in the basket. But she also showed some decent range, hitting shots from 15 feet out as well, similar to Megan Van Tatenhove.

The 6-foot-1 forward went 5-for-8 from the field for 12 points and nabbed seven rebounds to solidify her presence inside.

“My teammates and coaches said I needed to step it up,” Healy said modestly after the game. “And it’s all a credit to the post players that are on my team that go hard against me in practice. Through that I’m able to get better, and it shows on the court.”

Getting better in practice – a Crowley team staple. His teams are never going to be the most talented in the country, but they play the game the right away and execute to their strengths.

“We are never going to win the lay-up line,” Crowley said during last year’s run. “We’re not flashy, but we’re smart and do the little things.”

And it’s still the case with an entirely different team. Bona committed just seven turnovers in a game that 11 players saw game action, including five of the six freshmen.

While Crowley was pleased with the effort of his team, especially the freshmen, he is still the all-too-concerned coach.

“I have confidence in my team, and I have no confidence in my team,” ESPN’s National Coach of the Year said. “I know how good they are, but what I don’t have confidence is them showing they can do it all the time.”

But with the few returners pushing the freshmen in practice coupled with immediate success on the court, St. Bonaventure’s future is looking brighter than many assumed after losing four special seniors.