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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With confidence soaring, Calabrese looking to make an impact this season

By Jeremy Castro

Emily Calabrese, one of five new additions to the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team, is one of the two freshmen on the squad alongside Abigail Johnson.

Calabrese hails from Wyckoff, New Jersey (about thirty miles outside of New York City) and has played a big impact in how she has developed.

“I really love where I am from,” Calabrese said.

“They really focus on recreational sports and the travel teams are great. This is how I got involved in basketball and has really helped me grow my play and become a really good player.”

Growing up, Calabrese played numerous sports. However, basketball eventually came out on top.

“I was the kid that played all the sports,” Calabrese said.

“Originally, my main sport was soccer. Eventually, my dad asked me if I wanted to start playing basketball and I said I would try it out. It ended up being my favorite sport and I knew(basketball) was the sport I wanted to pursue and play in college.”

 

Calabrese went to Ramapo High School in Ramapo, New Jersey, where she averaged a double-double for her career, recording 17.6 Points and 12.6 rebounds per game during her four years. She was named to multiple selective teams, such as First Team All-North Jersey and Second Team All-State. She is also the only player to record both over 1000 points and 1000 rebounds in the history of Ramapo High School.

When Calabrese came to visit the little school in Olean, New York, she knew right away she belonged.

“The atmosphere, the community, the coaches, everyone was great,” she said. “I knew this is where I wanted to be.”

A lot of this success can be attributed to the confidence that Calabrese has in herself.

“Over time, my confidence (has grown),” Calabrese said.

“I tried out for my AAU team. I didn’t think I was going to make it at first, but I did. That really grew my confidence. I started going to a trainer to help grow my game more. I like being a leader on and off the court.”

Being a freshman, this will be Calabrese’s first taste of Bonnies basketball and she is very much looking forward to it.

“I have an opportunity to really make an impact this year,” Calabrese said.

“Hopefully I can be very positive and play really well to help my team. (Also) to have a successful season in and out of conference. Maybe even make it to the (NCAA) tournament.”

Right before our time together ended, and with both of us New Jersey natives, there was one question that stood above the rest and needed to be answered.

Pork Roll or Taylor Ham?

“Taylor Ham,” Calabrese said.

Migliore prepared to be a leader this season

By Justin Myers

Last season, sophomore Danielle Migliore was just a freshman guard from Frankfort,New York who could knock down threes.

This year, she’s a key starter on a young team hungry to improve off their 9-20 campaign last season.

With second-year coach Jesse Fleming getting a full off-season with his team, Migliore impressed enough to crack the starting lineup last Saturday in the exhibition game against Edinboro, playing 35 minutes, scoring 12 points, coming off four threes at 50% shooting.

Reporter Justin Myers sat down with Migliore to discuss her relationship with the team, who she models her game after and her personal goals for this season.

What are some things you improved on during the off-season? 

Migliore: I really tried to improve all aspects of my game from confidence, to mental game, defense, just getting in the gym a lot and shooting extra really helped me.

The most important thing you learned from freshman year?

Migliore: My mental game was most important. In high school I was able to get mad and not care. But here, it’s different. If you get mad it affects your next play, rather in high school it didn’t.

What goals do you have for yourself this season? 

Migliore: Personally, just to make an impact for the team, be more of a leader, and to set myself up for success.

How is this year’s team different from last year? 

Migliore: I think we gel better as a group this year. A few of us are more experienced like me, Jalisha Terry and Rhianna Council. We had a learning year, which helped a lot. This preseason getting to be together all the time helped our team.

Are there any players you try to patent your game after?

Migliore: Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore.

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.

Arielle Harvey ready to play in the “lit and legendary” Reilly Center

By Keara Donnelly

Junior 6-foot-0 forward Arielle Harvey has come all the way from Daytona State in Florida to make an impact for the Bonnies.

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Harvey averaged 16.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season for the Falcons. She was named First Team Mid-Florida Conference and finished as the team’s leading scorer earning a selection to the All-State Regions 11X team.

In last Saturday’s exhibition loss to Edinboro, coming off the bench, Harvey scored eight points, grabbed five rebounds and recorded a block in 17 minutes of play.

Reporter Keara Donnelly sat down with Harvey to get her thoughts on her inspirations, expectations and impressions about playing for the St. Bonaventure Bonnies.

When did you start playing basketball?

Harvey: I started when I was thirteen, but didn’t take it seriously until high school.

Did Your Family play?

Harvey: Actually, I was the only person in my family to play basketball. The rest of my family swam and played tennis.

Who was the most influential person in your life?

Harvey: My mom.

Which coaches helped you the most during your career?

Harvey: My first AAU coach Daphne Pierce-Smith and Texas Legends lead assistant  coach (NBA D-League) Walter Pitts.

Why did you chose Saint Bonaventure?

Harvey: I liked the atmosphere. Since I’m from a city and not used to a small town I liked the close-knit community and how genuine everyone was.

What do you bring to the team?

Harvey: I bring a lot of athleticism, energy and scoring.

What are some rituals you have before the game?

Harvey: I always wear a headband and I never wear my hair up when I’m playing.

Who’s your favorite basketball player?

Harvey: LeBron James. He is the first one I really looked up to basketball -wise and is why I wear the number 23. Whatever team he is on, I follow. I love his all-around game and it is something I want in my game.

What are your thoughts on the Reilly Center?

Harvey: It’s lit and legendary.

Women’s basketball: Kemph, Billiken offense dominate in win over Bonnies

(Gabby Richmond Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Cameron Hurst @CameronNHurst

In her four years as head coach of the Saint Louis women’s team, Lisa Stone had never won a game at the Reilly Center.

“I’ve never come to Olean and jogged around the campus and left this place happy,” said Stone, following the Billikens’ 74-58 rout of the Bonnies on Saturday afternoon. “This will be a happy flight home. I’m really proud of our kids.”

The Bonnies (9-16, 4-9 A-10) struggled early as Saint Louis started 12-of-16 from the field in the first quarter thanks to 12 early points from Jackie Kemph, who would finish with 20. And, while St. Bonaventure kept it close, only trailing 26-16 after the first quarter, the Billikens (20-6, 10-3 A-10) would hold the Bonnies to only four points in the second quarter, heading into halftime with a 36-20 lead. That lead would set the tone for the rest of the game.

“Saint Louis is better than us,” Fleming openly said following the loss. “Jackie Kemph is a great player …. They just have a lot of pieces. I was disappointed with our fight in the middle of the game. I thought we finished stronger just like out there.

“We’ve got to get back to defending and playing for each other a little more … we’ve just got to keep working.”

Continue reading “Women’s basketball: Kemph, Billiken offense dominate in win over Bonnies”

Women’s basketball: Bonnies look to rebound against talented Billikens team

By Cameron Hurst @CameronNHurst

After a disappointing loss to La Salle on Tuesday night, the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team welcomes a familiar foe to the Reilly Center this afternoon as it faces off against Saint Louis (19-6, 9-3 A-10) at 1 p.m. The Bonnies were defeated by the Billikens on Jan. 11 by a score of 64-49.

“They’re an experienced team,” Bonnies head coach Jesse Fleming said. “All five kids will touch the ball on every play. They can put five scorers on the floor all at once. I like the makeup of their team.”

The Billikens are led by legendary head coach Lisa Stone, who has totalled 587 wins over her 31-year coaching career. Stone, who has led the program to great success since her hiring in 2012, is someone Fleming personally admires for her success and demeanor.

“She treats her people right,” said Fleming. “I know two of their assistants and they talk about how she’s just a pleasure to work for. She’s just a good human being. She treats people the right way. I admire the way they play … It’s not an isolation one-on-one game. They play team basketball. My personal interactions with her, she’s been nothing but kind to me and just a good person.

“If we could have 13 Lisa Stone’s in this league, we’d be in good shape.”

Continue reading “Women’s basketball: Bonnies look to rebound against talented Billikens team”