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.


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.”

Women’s basketball: Fleming calls hiring process “whirlwind,” gets ready to work

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By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

On a late summer day in 2001, Jesse Fleming was one of 520 incoming St. Bonaventure freshmen to move in and start the SBU journey.

Last week, Fleming started a new chapter of that journey when he completed the climb from the women’s basketball team’s manager to its head coach.

The 33-year-old, who becomes the seventh coach in program history and the youngest coach in the Atlantic 10, said he was contacted by athletic director Tim Kenney very shortly after Jim Crowley accepted the Providence job.

Fleming worked under Crowley for 11 years, first as manager and then as an assistant coach after graduation. He coached Jessica Jenkins and Tiara Johnson, who are joining Crowley’s staff at Providence, as well as Andrea Mulcahy, who is staying on at SBU as his top assistant coach.

“The whole process was a whirlwind… it was a definite mix of emotions,” Fleming said. “There was excitement to lead a program that I deeply care about but there was sadness that my good friends on the St. Bonaventure coaching staff would be leaving.

“As I started to talk to Tim Kenney and (Associate Athletics Director for Internal Operations) Steve Campbell, their enthusiasm and vision really made me believe that it was the right time to come home.”

Continue reading “Women’s basketball: Fleming calls hiring process “whirlwind,” gets ready to work”

Women’s basketball: Sources- Fleming agrees to be St. Bonaventure head coach

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By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

Jesse Fleming has agreed to become the seventh head coach in St. Bonaventure women’s basketball history, sources told The Intrepid.

Fleming, who was on the Bowling Green coaching staff the past four seasons and was the Falcons’ associate head coach this past season, is a 2005 Bonaventure graduate.

The 33-year-old was a manager under Jim Crowley, the man he is replacing, during his four years as a student and was hired as an assistant coach after a brief postgraduate stint at Louisburg (N.C.) College. He spent six years on the SBU staff before spending the 2011-12 season at Stony Brook, where he was a key recruiter.

The Falcons had a 73-55 record in Fleming’s four years on the staff, with two Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) appearances.

An official announcement and introductory press conference are expected soon.