Coach Fleming and crew take on rival Niagara in first test

By Isaiah Blakely

St. Bonaventure women’s basketball opens the season by playing host against Niagara University as the Bonnies look to bounce back from its 9-20 campaign last year.

Niagara, coached by Jada Pierce, finished 8-22 last season. In the last meeting however, Niagara came out victorious at home 65-43 for the first time since 2006 leaving Bonaventure with a 36-24 series lead.

Second-year coach Jesse Fleming has four new players along with five returners lead by Atlantic 10 preseason All-Conference second team selection Mariah Ruff. Ruff averaged 13.9 points, 4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game last season.

Also headlining the offense is fellow captain Mckenna Maycock, who only started six games last season but was second on the team in minutes. Maycock averaged 7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.

Sophomore point guard Jalisha Terry will look for a larger impact this season after she led Bonaventure with 18 points in their scrimmage against Edinboro. Terry averaged 7.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2 assists last season.

Junior college transfer forwards Arielle Harvey and Bree Paulson are about to play their first official game for Bonaventure, while freshman Emily Calabrese looks to get action immediately after starting against Edinboro in an exhibition last Saturday.

With these new players Fleming mentioned the need “to speed up the chemistry curve.” “He was hoping that in the non-conference to have some games that really test us.” Fleming also wanted to “have games that we have a chance to win and we can just grow and learn”.

“These games are a learning experience,” Fleming said. “We need to use these so we’re hitting on all cylinders once A-10 play starts”.

Niagara is the first test and the Purple Eagles are returning three of their top scorers and nine players overall from last season led by redshirt-senior forward Victoria Rampado who lead the MAAC conference in points and was fourth in rebounds averaged 16.8 points and 7.9 rebounds. Rampado finished All-MAAC Second Team last season. Rampado lead the Purple Eagles to the victory over Bonaventure last season scoring 17 points. The 2017 MAAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll ranked the Purple Eagles to finish ninth in the conference.

St. Bonaventure was selected 12th in the Atlantic 10 preseason coaches poll.

St. Bonaventure is 25-4 against Niagara at home and will look to keep up that impressive record on Friday, at 5 p.m. at Reilly Center.

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Terry sets the example on and off the court

By Isaiah Blakely

Being better were words echoed many times by sophomore guard Jalisha Terry and her head coach Jesse Fleming.

“Jalisha had the hardest job out of anybody last year, she was the starting freshman point guard,” Fleming said. “I don’t know if there was anybody I yelled at more than Jalisha last year, and she took it.”

Despite having the “hardest job,” Terry was one of the best freshman in the A-10 last season averaging 7.3 points 2.8 rebounds and two assists per game.

Terry specifically wants to improve the offensive side of her game.

“To be better with my assists, my shooting percentages and just be more of a leader,” she said. “Since I’m the point guard, I need to be more of a leader and keep my team under control.”

Her game is not the only thing she wants to improve on.

“I don’t want to be the same person every year,” she said. “I want my stats to be better, be a better person and better teammate.”

Terry started 25 of 29 games last season and Fleming addressed that importance for her development as a player.

“It was valuable for her in the long run to get those experiences,” he said. “She should be ready to go, she’s got a better feel of the offense and she’s becoming a better defender.”

Terry has always homed in her skills against her younger brother Jalen Terry. Jalen is a sophomore at Beecher High School in Michigan, and he has already received offers from schools including Iowa.

“Every time I go back we still play, we talk stuff all the time,” she said. “He might win by two, I might win by a couple. He looks up to me, so I have to be the best I can be even though I am not at a big school. I still feel that I have to be an example.”

Sacramento Kings rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox made headlines when he credited the video game series NBA 2k for his ability to read the basketball court and improved court vision. Terry started playing the series recently, and was asked if she thinks she will see the same results.

“I think so,” she said. “Hopefully 2k can carry over to my game.”

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.