photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu
By Anthony Goss
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — Last Friday, the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team had won its third straight game and seemed to have turned a corner in its season. Just over a week later, they had their senior day spoiled at the hands of the Rhode Island.
URI (9-7, 9-4 A-10) defeated St. Bonaventure (5-12, 4-10 A-10), 69-49, at the Reilly Center Saturday afternoon, handing the Bonnies their second-consecutive loss.
Once the Rams grabbed the lead in the early minutes of the first quarter, they were in complete control until the final buzzer sounded. Up 10-5 in the first quarter, Rhody guard Marie-Paule Foppossi made a run of her own by scoring eight of the final 11 URI points in opening period, extending the lead to 21-12.
Foppossi and the Rams continued their hot start into the next quarter, adding four more three-pointers to a total of eight for the half. URI shot 60.7% from the field and 8-for-13 from three in the first twenty minutes.
“We just didn’t have the urgency to dribble through it and get it up there,” Fleming said.
After taking a 43-29 lead into the break, URI continued to make separation and grew the lead to as much as 22 in the second half. The scoring from both sides dwindled in the final two frames, and the Rams won by a score of 69-49.
The Rams controlled the tempo from start to finish, and their defense gave the Bonnies fits. URI brought guards up to pressure the ball, then dropped into a zone which seemed to disrupt the flow of the Bona attack.
“We needed to make some quicker decisions on the catch,” Fleming said. “Sometimes we would catch it on the wing and make a slow decision.”
Transition was an issue for Bona, as the Rams burned them with 18 fast-break points compared to just two from Jesse Fleming’s squad. URI forced the Bonnies into uncomfortable shots and pushed the ball for easy baskets.
“That’s what they wanted us to take was that mid-range,” Fleming said. “I think a lot of it though was our offense leading to their offense.”
Rebounding and free throw shooting were other areas where Bona struggled. The Rams outrebounded the Bonnies 37-24 and did not allow any foul shots from the Bonnies.
“I think we needed to take it to the rim stronger a little bit more,” Fleming said. “I think we need to get to our spots quicker.”
Leading scorer Asianae Johnson finished with only eight points and Tori Harris added nine points. The only Bonnie in double figures was I’Yanna Lops, who finished with 10 points on 5-for-8 shooting.
“She’s showing some really good flashes,” Fleming said. “I’d like to see her rebound a tick better, but other than that, I liked her efficiency today.”
Foppossi led all scorers with 22 points and had a plus-minus rating of 27. Johanna Muzet finished with 14 points and sharpshooter Catherine Cairns added 11 points on 3-4 from beyond the arc.
The Bonnies will be back in action when they host Duquesne on Monday night at 6 p.m. That game can be seen on ESPN+.
“We gotta get a move on and get ready for Duquesne.”