WBB: Bonnies fall to Davidson in first round of A-10 tournament

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Dustyn Green

RICHMOND, VA — One month ago, the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball game beat Davidson on back-to-back nights.

The Wildcats came ready to get revenge on Wednesday, however, winning by a score of 69-61 in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

Davidson was led by Cassidy Gould’s 25 points, 19 of which came in the first half.

“Gould is a really good player,” Bona head coach Jesse Fleming said. “Her teammates did a really good job of finding her today, especially in the first half.”

Davidson head coach Gayle Folks also had strong things to say about Gould’s performance. 

“She does not care about a single statistic, just the win or loss,” Folks said. “She is probably the most selfless player I have ever been around.” 

Gould’s teammate, sophomore Adelaide Fuller, followed up her effort with 17 points. Davidson senior guard Katie Turner, who scored 11 points, said that intensity was a key difference between this matchup and the teams’ first two contests.

“We went in with even additional intensity, and wanted revenge,” Turner said. “I hate losing, and I know the rest of these girls do too.” 

St. Bonaventure was led by 18 points from Asianae Johnson and 17 points by Tori Harris. Johnson went to work late in the first half after a slow start. 

“I was trying to give our team a kick start, since we were not ready,” she said. 

Fleming took much of the blame for the loss during his postgame press conference. 

“I need to do a better job preparing us for the zone,” Fleming said. “(Davidson) saw we did not hand the zone well. (They) changed a lot of things; maybe we should have rotated help on Gould.” 

SBU was out-rebounded 45-35 in the game. SBU ends its season with a 6-14 record in a season shortened by COVID-19.

“Practices were fun because of the competitive nature of the team,” Fleming said.  “I am really excited, and I really like our core.” 

Fleming said that he’s not yet prepared to look forward to next season. 

“I just want to sit back and appreciate these kids,” he said. “They are really hard workers, and they are really hurting today.”

NEW: Brown, Johnson lead Bonnies past Duquesne

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Dustyn Green

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — The St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team and head coach Jesse Fleming needed a bounce-back game on Monday night. They did just that by beating Duquesne, 72-55, at the Reilly Center. 

The Bonnies came out fast to start the game.  Scoring came from all over for SBU. Senior forward Emily Calabrese had seven points in the first half, including a nice and-on3 from the rim. 

“The ball movement was really good; I thought the ball moved really well tonight,” Fleming said of the hot start. “I am proud of the girls.”

The Bonnies took exactly what the doctor ordered. Sophomore guard Olivia Brown went 5-for-7 from 3-point range on her way to a 17-point performance.

“My teammates got looks for me which was amazing,” Brown said. “Everyone was getting shots.” 

Redshirt junior guard Tori Harris and junior guard Asianae Johnson combined for 15 points in the first half. The duo’s explosion came in the midst of 63% shooting for the Bonnies in the opening frames.  

The Bonnies took an 8-for-8 combination from the field for Calabrese and Brown to the locker room, and they led 46-21. 

The Bonnies only saw six points fall before the third quarter media timeout fell. Upon the return, Deja Francis was called for an offensive foul, but Asianae Johnson scored two from the inside before picking up her third foul.  

The Bonnies finished with only 12 points in the third quarter. 

“Duquesne really knocked us out of our mojo coming out (in the 2nd half with a press)” Brown said. 

The woes continued in the fourth quarter, Brown had to get on the ground to corale the basketball. Duquesne went on a 6-0 run before Asianae Johnson who had 9 assists played hero again. 

“(Johnson did a nice job at the end of the press creating the layup,” Fleming said. 

Ny Langley finished with a game-high 17 points for the Dukes. Fleming praised the junior college transfer as “very physical.” 

Brown and Calabrese finished with 17 and 11 points respectively. Their teammate, Johnson finished one digit shy of a double-double with 18 points and nine assists. 

The Bonnies will round out the season in Philladelphia with contests against St. Joseph’s and Lasalle. Both games can be found on ESPN+. 

“We just have to finish our fight now,” Fleming said. 

Bona splits pair of road games at George Mason, GW

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Dustyn Green

WASHINGTON, DC — The St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team  put together a three-game win streak last week, but had it put to rest on Sunday against George Washington.

After beating Davidson in back-to-back home games last week, the Bonnies and head coach Jesse Fleming took care of business against George Mason on Friday, winning 72-62, but face-planted in a slow offensive effort on Sunday. The Bonnies were the victims of a 56-39 George Washington win.

Bona junior guard Tori Harris led the Bonnies in Friday’s contest with 16 points and 10 rebounds, her third double-double of the year. Junior guard Deja Francis followed her with 12 points and assisted on six occasions. Junior guard Asianae Johnson and senior Emily Calabrese chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively. 

The Bonnies led for 35 minutes, out-scoring the Patriots by no more than four points in a single quarter. Patriots star Rachel Balzer would threaten with 6:36 remaining by making two shots from the charity stripe that cut the SBU lead to eight points, but Francis and Harris made crucial plays. Francis hit one from the charity stripe, and Harris followed down low with a layup. 

George Mason forward Dajjah Jefferson had a game-high 25 points to go with 10 rebounds. 

After winning by double digits on Friday, the team was slowed down on Sunday afternoon. Sophomore guard Olivia Brown attempted to find a pathway to victory. Brown, who led the way in scoring with 13 points, also tallied four steals on the afternoon.  

Despite the 13 points from Brown, the Bonnies could not secure a win. Sophomore guard I’yanna Lops chipped in 12 points, but first-half shooting woes proved too much to overcome for the Bonnies. The team shot a lackluster 26.9% in the first half. The Bonnies found themselves down 25-15 heading into the locker room. 

To start the second half, things looked a little different for St. Bonaventure. Brown came out firing on all cylinders to start the third frame. She hit two big 3-pointers to lead the Bonnies on an 8-0 run, but GW had an answer.  

The Colonials went on a 6-0 run to finish the third quarter, and held on the rest of the way. Ali Brigham had 15 points on the day and led both teams in scoring. 

The Bonnies were out-rebounded in both games, as the Patriots held a 39-24 advantage on the boards, while GW out-rebounded Bona, 30-18.

SBU returns home this coming Saturday, when it hosts Rhode Island at the Reilly Center.

Bona women beat Davidson on back-to-back nights

photo: Connor Raine/The Intrepid

By Connor Raine

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY —  The St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team put up over 70 points on back-to-back nights against Davidson. 

After defeating the Wildcats at home on Sunday, 71-58, the Bonnies once again hosted Davidson on Monday night in the second half of a back-to-back at the Reilly Center. 

This season has been a tough one for the Bonnies, who currently sit at 11th in the Atlantic 10 conference with a 4-10 record. However, the team’s record doesn’t show for the chemistry displayed this weekend to sweep the doubleheader.  

After winning big on Sunday, the Bonnies returned to the court with slow start on Monday, as they trailed 15-7 after the first quarter. The Bonnies shot only 27% from the field in the first quarter. This was their lowest shooting percentage (by quarter) from the field in the contest. 

The Bonnies were able to make up some ground in the second quarter, converting on 46% of their shot attempts from the field. The Bonnies trailed only by four points going into halftime.  

“Today we came out a little flat,” said St. Bonaventure head coach Jesse Fleming. “I was proud to see us battle back.” 

Led by Asianae Johnson, who scored points 20 points and collected and two assists, the Bonnies were able to bounce back and secure the victory late in the third quarter where they were leading by as many as 12 points.  

“It is amazing to win back-to-back, our team had to play 80 minutes in two days,” said Johnson, a junior guard. 

Also contributing to the scoring was I’yanna Lops with 13 points and seven rebounds, and Tori Harris contributed with critical 3-pointers in the game, totaling 12 points and seven rebounds. Jurnee President and Deja Francis each had 11 points.   

Johnson was named A-10 player of the week this past week for her double-digit scoring performances against Saint Louis and Dayton. 

“At the end of the day I am proud of my accomplishments, I have been putting in so much work and everyone can see it,” said Johnson.  

This accomplishment was well deserved, as Johnson also had a career night Sunday in the first game of the double header, shooting 8-for-11 from the field totaling 18 points. Johnson is now averaging 14 points per game on the season and shooting 47% from the field. 

“Well deserving (of her accomplishment),” Fleming said. “I don’t think she has missed a day since the end of July when we returned to campus. She couldn’t shoot outside of three feet a year ago, now she has a very strong pull up jumper.” 

The Bonnies look to continue their two-game winning streak as they travel to Fairfax, Virginia on Friday evening to take on the 3-14 the Gorge Mason Patriots. The Patriots are currently 0-10 in league play and are sitting in last place in the A-10 conference.  

On Sunday, the lady Bonnies will take on George Washington in Washington D.C, which will conclude a two-game road trip. Gorge Washington is currently 1-9 in conference play and 4-12 overall sitting at 13th in the A-10. 

“We have to find a way to win on the road,” Fleming said.  

Three out of the four Bonnies wins this season have come at home. The Bonnies are looking to flip the switch and gain two wins on the road and are coming into the weekend road trip with momentum after winning two straight against Davidson.  

Bona women fall to Dayton at home

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Anthony Goss

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — The St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team had another opportunity to return to the win column after missing its first chance at home on Friday night, but Dayton denied their upset bid. 

Falling behind early, the SBU (2-10,1-8) suffered its second-consecutive home defeat in a 68-51 loss to the Flyers (7-1,6-0) at the Reilly Center Sunday afternoon.  

In the first quarter, the Bonnies struggled to find the basket and did not score any points until freshman Maddie Dziezgowski drained a three with 5:18 remaining in the period. The Flyers built a 17-9 lead as seven different players scored in the quarter.  

“We played really poorly to start the game,” Bona head coach Jesse Fleming said. “We were still kind of in our Saint Louis malaise.” 

The Flyers expanded their lead, this time attacking from behind the three-point line, where they shot 80% in the second quarter and took a 40-27 lead into the break. Deja Francis had a big second quarter for Bona, shooting 4-for-4 from the field while scoring nine of her 13 points for the game. Francis missed the team’s previous game against Saint Louis.

“With (Francis), it’s just about consistency,” Fleming said. “Hopefully this was another step for her to get her confidence back, and probably had her best half of the season.” 

After a quiet first half with only two points for the Bonnies, leading scorer Asianae Johnson led a Bona’s rally that cut the Dayton lead. The Bona defense tightened up, however, only allowing seven points and drawing two charges in the quarter. 

“I thought we showed some maturity by really battling back,” Fleming said. “We had some good energy in the third quarter.” 

In the third quarter, Johnson had four points (including a layup that cut the deficit to six), two assists and three rebounds. She finished the game with 12 points and drew two charges. 

“It says a lot, as far as having some grit,” Fleming said. “Instead of pointing fingers, she really did show some grit.” 

With the score siting at 47-40 in favor of the Flyers, Jenna Giacone led a quick 9-0 spurt from Dayton to extend the lead. Giacone had nine points in the final quarter and led all scorers with 20 points in the game. 

“I give them credit,” Fleming said. “Giacone had a great game and hit some big shots when we closed it to single digits.  

In a sloppy game, the Bonnies forced 22 Dayton turnovers, but also turned the ball over 18 times on their end.  

The Flyers out-rebounded the Bonnies, 42-22, and secured 14 offensive rebounds to just five from Bona. Flyers’ guard Araion Bradshaw had 11 rebounds, while forward Kyla Whitehead had seven rebounds, five coming on the offensive end.  

“I thought it was a step in the right direction as far as getting us back to that competitive level that we were earlier in the year,” Fleming said. 

The Bonnies have a week off until they host Duquesne at the Reilly Center on Sunday at noon. That game can be seen on ESPN+. 

Bona women drop pair of games at Fordham, Rhode Island

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Nic Gelyon and Dustyn Green

The St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team played back-to-back road games this weekend, and it wasn’t handed any favors. 

The team, led by head coach Jesse Fleming, played two conference matchups in a span of 24 hours, the first on Friday against then 4-2 Fordham, and the other Saturday against 4-2 Rhode Island.  Both games ended in disappointing fashion for the Bonnies, a team that was looking to build on its momentum from a home victory over La Salle on Jan. 15. Instead, SBU lost by 19 points to Fordham and by 14 points to Rhode Island. 

The Bonnies led just over two minutes combined between the two weekend games, both by an early 2-0 score.

Despite double-digit scoring efforts from senior Emily Calabrese, who had 11 points against Fordham, and sophomore I’yonna Lops, who tallied 14 points in Kingston. Bona continued to struggle behind the three-point line, shooting under 25% from there in both games.  

The Bonnies did not lack in toughness or physicality in either game, and they were successful in forcing and creating success off Fordham’s mistakes, including six steals and 12 turnovers. Throughout the game, the Bonnies were not able to keep up with Fordham’s attack on the inside giving up 21 second chance points to the Rams. However, Bona scored 22 points in the paint and nine more points off turnovers. 

The Bonnies also were unable to shut Fordham down from three-point range, allowing the Rams to go 13-for-30, but Bona hurt itself by not being able to hit from long range, going 2-for-10 from deep on offense.  

The Fordham halftime lead was only 12 points, despite being able to knock down seven three-pointers in the first half. The Bonnies could only answer one of those, which allowed the Rams to expand their lead. 

Both teams scored the ball at about the same clip, but it was clear that Fordham’s ball-sharing opened up its opportunities from deep, as they paired their three-point shooting numbers with 18 assists, compared to St. Bonaventure’s seven. The Bonnies were out-rebounded by the Rams, 26-20. 

Against Rhode Island, the Bonnies dug themselves a hole early, as SBU unsuccessfully tried to create offense from the perimeter. The first quarter didn’t see either team shoot particularly well, but by the time the clock hit zero, the Rams had hit 11 three-point baskets. 

A 12-3 run early in the second quarter allowed the Bonnies to cut the Rams’ lead to four points, with Olivia Brown on the court for the entirety of the run. The Bonnies played physical, disrupting Rhode Island at seemingly every turn, including a block by Tori Harris and a forced turnover that led to a Harris three-pointer. Once again, however, the well ran dry for St. Bonaventure, and the half ended with the Rams up by eight points. 

The Bonnies were able to keep their deficit manageable, until the missed shots and 11 turnovers became too much to overcome. Despite giving up 34 points in the paint and 11 points off of turnovers the Rams never let up the reins, as the teams traded baskets down the stretch, but the Bonnies found the deficit to large and fell against the Rams 76-60. 

The Bonnies will now return home for three games, starting with a Friday night slate against Saint Louis on Friday. You can catch the game next Friday at 6 p.m., on ESPN+ 

Bona women close out La Salle for first A-10 win

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Nic Gelyon

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — “Hopefully, this breaks the dam and we’re on to a really good run here.” 

That’s what St. Bonaventure women’s basketball head coach Jesse Fleming had to say following his team’s 65-60 win against La Salle at the Reilly Center on Friday. 

Fleming’s hope is warranted, as his team managed to exercise some of its demons against the Explorers. The Bonnies won their first game since Dec. 16, a home victory against Binghamton. They won their first conference game, finally getting themselves out of the Atlantic 10’s basement. SBU hadn’t beaten La Salle in nearly seven years.

The Bonnies’ veterans continued to contribute in notable ways. Asianae Johnson had 15 points, four rebounds and four assists, leading the Bonnies in scoring and icing the game by knocking down 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch. 

Senior forward Emily Calabrese finished with five rebounds and three assists to go along with four points. 

For the Explorers, junior Kayla Spruill led the way shooting, going 4-for-5 from the field for 16 points while hitting a perfect 6-of-6 shots from the foul line. Sophomore Claire Jacobs made an impact on the glass for La Salle, notching a team-high nine rebounds with 11 points and four assists.  

But it was up-and-comers like Olivia Brown, Kaitlyn Parker, Maddie Dziezgowski, and I’yanna Lops who glued the game together for the Bonnies. All played key roles at different points in the game, particularly in scoring and rebounding, as the Bonnies continued to not rely solely on the veterans to do the heavy lifting. 

Fleming knows it was the team’s balance that made this game different. 

“I thought that everybody who came in really did something positive,” he said after the game. “I love the 19 assists number, really shared the basketball; the shooters came out shot ready, good shots.” 

Right out of the gate, the Bonnies dominated their way to a 22-4 lead, playing fast and taking advantage of some fantastic looks gifted to them by La Salle. Brown, a sophomore, led the first-quarter charge. One of the Bonnies’ more reliable shooters this season, she scored 11 points in the first quarter, aided by three wide-open looks from beyond the arc. 

But even as the Bonnies shot over 60% from the floor in the first half, their defense is what allowed them to build an 18-point lead. Limiting La Salle to just eight points in the first quarter, the Explorers couldn’t find a way to penetrate the Bonnies’ zone. Forcing them into long-range shots, the Bonnies played to La Salle’s weakness as a team, shooting just under 30% from three. 

Fleming spoke about the Bonnies’ defensive stand in the first half. 

“Love the defensive energy,” he said. “[La Salle] played down in Drexel on Wednesday, and then they came up here… we came out and said, if you guys aren’t going to have the energy, we’re going to have twice the energy.”  

The Explorers found some energy of their own in the second half. The Bonnies’ 18-point lead was cut to single digits by a dagger three from Deja King to bookend the first half. But, fresh out of halftime, Brown answered back with a three of her own. She’d finish the game with 14 points and five rebounds. 

Rebounding was also a team effort for SBU on Friday. Six Bonnies had four or more rebounds in the game, as St. Bonaventure outrebounded La Salle, 37-25, with a dominating plus-six advantage in offensive boards. It was a different look for a team that had ‘t dominated the glass this season. 

What kept La Salle in the game was their knack for getting to the free-throw line, hitting 17 of 19 on the day. But as La Salle began to capitalize on some of the Bonnies’ errors, and as they eventually cut their deficit to two points, the Bonnies exercised one of their more evil demons: their inability to close out games. 

This season, the Bonnies have blown a late lead against St. John’s on the heels of a Brown technical foul. They’ve failed to maintain their momentum during comeback efforts against Dayton and Richmond.  

And the Bonnies could have faltered amid a wave of Explorers after an Asianae Johnson turnover midway through the fourth with La Salle threatening to take the lead. Instead, they gathered themselves. They returned to what had worked the entire game, setting up their offense, working inside the paint, and asserting themselves on the glass. 

Resilient, the Bonnies successfully stood their ground on Friday, conquering the demon that has haunted them all season. 

“We could be licking our wounds after a couple tough losses,” Fleming said. “People were ready to step up… and we needed that.” 

Deja Francis, who had 11 points, four rebounds and six assists on Friday, agreed with her coach that this win could be the start of change for her team.

“It feels really good… just to finish this one out,” Francis said said. “We’re really close. It feels really good to just take that next step and get the win.” 

After a Sunday slate against Saint Joseph’s was canceled due to COVID-19 concern within the Hawks’ program, SBU will begin a two-game road trip that begins by visiting Fordham on Jan. 22.

Bona women fall to VCU in overtime

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By Dustyn Green

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — Mistakes can be crucial late in any college basketball game, and that proved true for the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team on Sunday.

Asianae Johnson was issued a technical foul in the overtime period of a 59-57 loss to VCU at the Reilly Center, and the Bonnies had a shot to win the game on its last shot, but a Tori Harris three-point attempt rimmed out as the overtime clock expired.

Despite the mistakes throughout the game, the Bonnies had four players reach double-figure scoring on Sunday. Harris, a junior guard, led the way for SBU with 18 points and six rebounds. Johnson, a junior, followed closely behind with 15 points. Sophomore Olivia Brown and junior Deja Francis joined with 12 and 13 points, respectively. 

Brown hit three clutch three-point shots, shooting 4-for-8 from beyond the arc on the day, which kept the Bonnies in the game after trailing early in the second half.

Despite the efforts from his team, head coach Jesse Fleming had a strong message during his press conference following the loss. 

“Close doesn’t matter,” Fleming said. We need to find a way to start winning games. There are tears in that locker room and it’s tough for them, but life’s not fair. Win, lose, whatever, we go back to work. That’s all you can do.” 

Although Fleming acknowledged there was some slopy play throughout the game, he also acknowledged the ability of his team to acknowledge the mistakes and improve on them as the contest progress.

“We need to do a little better job on reads late,” Fleming said. “We need to be a little more locked in to defend some assignments. We got screwed up in (the defense) that we were in, and that’s a coaching mistake.”

The Rams were led by Sydnei Archie and Tera Reed with 17 and 15 points, respectively. Maddison Hattix-Covington added 10 points for the Rams.

The Bonnies, who fell to 1-6 overall and 0-4 in the A-10, will welcome La Salle to the RC on Friday at noon. The game’s broadcast of the contest can be seen on ESPN+.