Last year St. Bonaventure made 164 3-pointers on 35 percent shooting. But through two games the Bonnies have attempted 22 threes with zero made.
“It is concerning that we are not hitting the 3-point shot,” said head coach Jim Crowley.
The Bonnies start two 3-point shooters in Emily Michael (35.8 percent last year) and Nyla Rueter (40 percent), and then three forwards (Hannah Little, Gabby Richmond and Katie Healy) who combined to shoot 0 for 4 from three last season. Teams know what St. Bonaventure wants to do: get the ball inside.
But through two games, teams have been zeroing in on the Bona’s offensive game plan, forcing St. Bonaventure to shoot outside shots.
“We are struggling offensively,” said Crowley. “It starts with our pace and ball movement.”
Starting three forwards who are unable to hit 3-point shots can limit offensive production. Healy showed the ability to hit outside shots against Canisius last Friday. She hit nearly five jumpers from 15-feet out. But teams will let her, Little and Richmond shoot from the outside.
Crowley knows it’s not just the 3-point shot that’s impacted their offense so far. There was times last year where they couldn’t make 3-pointers, but Healy, Richmond and Little dominated inside.
“We are not moving well enough,” explained Crowley. “That coupled with our inability to space the floor with the 3-point shot has slowed our point production so far.”
Luckily, it’s early in the season, and everything that has gone wrong so far can be corrected.
The Bonnies (1-1) take on Toledo on Thursday night and then travel to Michigan to face Detroit Saturday.
Toledo gave St. Bonaventure their lone home loss last year in a two-point game. Healy played very well as she scored 25 points on 11 of 14 shooting.
“Healy was very aggressive, and did a great job of using her bursts to get offense at the rim,” said Crowley.
The Bonnies could use Healy’s offensive production, especially if their 3-point shooting isn’t there again.
Defensively, St. Bonaventure has to face Sophie Reecher and Inma Zanoguera. Reecher didn’t play much last year against Bonaventure, but she had 14 points and 15 rebounds in Toledo’s opening game this year.
“Reecher has some great size and is very dangerous on the glass and near the basket,” said Crowley.
Zanoguera led Toledo in scoring last year, and the ability to impact games in other ways besides scoring. She had seven assists against Cleveland State to begin the year.
“Imna (Zanoguera) does a bit of everything and whatever they need to be successful,” said Crowley. “We have to stop her offense at the rim and keep her from getting going in transition.”
Crowley expects two strong games from his team beginning tonight at Toledo, including a better 3-point percentage.
“I expect effort and improvement on our two games this weekend,” said Crowley.