photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — The St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team (1-2) started strong, but fell short to the Akron Zips (1-0), 63-54, after a disappointing second half at the Reilly Center on Sunday afternoon.
The Bonnies led the Zips by nine points at half time, but only scored 15 points in the second half.
The Zips outscored the Bonnies with 33 points in the second half, and went on a 20-4 run to secure the victory.
The Bonnies had led for over 38 minutes of the game.
Deja Francis led the Bonnies with 13 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Olivia Tucker shot 3-4 from the three-point line and had 11 points off the bench.
Dajah Logan and Jurnee President each had nine points for the Bonnies.
Akron’s Shaunay Edmonds scored 20 points and was 6-14 from the field. She scored nine of those points and seven steals in the second half alone.
Edmonds forced turnovers from Bona guards Francis and Olivia Brown, which led to easy transition baskets for the Zips.
The Zips secured 18 points off of turnovers and 24 points off of fast breaks.
The Bonnies executed well in the first half, connecting on their first six shot attempts as part of a 10-0 run in the first quarter. Akron grabbed its first lead of the game in the second quarter, 22-21.
In the fourth quarter, the Bonnies froze to only shoot 1-for-13 from the field.
“We did some really good things for a lot of the game and it just folded like a tent in the fourth quarter,” Bonnies head coach Jessie Fleming said.
The Bonnies shot 36.5% from the field, while the Zips shot 31.6% from the field. Akron drew 21 fouls and shot 80% from the free throw line.
“I was happy with threes not going down and still being in the game, where we didn’t have to rely on it,” Fleming said. “We should have been living at the foul line today and we were just taking the shots that were given to us today. Great to see that we have the ability to hit 11 threes.”
It was a close match up, but pour defense in the fourth quarter and missed shots secured the Zips’ victory.
“(Akron is) a team that been playing together for a while now,” Fleming said. “I’m not sitting here being negative about this loss. We are a young team that has two sophomores in the starting lineup and two freshmen playing a lot of minutes.
“My message to the team in the locker room was to use this as a learning experience and to continue moving forward.”
Now, Bonnies will hit the road for the first time of the season.
The team will play the defending Patriot League champion Bucknell Bisons at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.