St. Bonaventure has won three straight games after beginning the season 1-2.
The Bonnies lost to Toledo on November 20, but defeated Detroit and Penn State to end a difficult four-game road trip. Then St. Bonaventure returned home yesterday, beating Binghamton 72-54 to improve its record to 4-2.
The road trip gave head coach Jim Crowley a clearer image of his team’s identity.
“I think we have learned a lot about our team,” he said. “We have some very good parts and when we play with full effort good things happen for us.”
For instance, St. Bonaventure traveled to Penn State and won for the first time in program history.
Penn State lost some key players from their nationally ranked tournament team a year ago, but they’re a tough team, and St. Bonaventure made big time shots in important situations.
Nyla Rueter won the game with a drive to the basket. As a junior, she has made plenty of clutch shots for St. Bonaventure. Last year, she hit a step-back jumper late against Saint Louis She doesn’t shy away from the big moment–she thrives.
“Ny has proven over her career to have the confidence and ability to knock down the big shots,” said Crowley. “It’s something her and her teammates are comfortable with her doing.”
Every team knows what St. Bonaventure likes to do on offense. It’s no secret. Work the ball inside. Utilize Katie Healy on the block.
Yesterday against Binghamton, St. Bonaventure did what they wanted to do as Gabby Richmond and Healy combined for 40 points.
But not every game will feature a ton of inside scoring, which is why shooting 3-pointers, a staple of Crowley’s offenses in the past, becomes so critical.
Kelcie Rombach, Ashley Zahn and Emily Michael, along with Rueter, provided a 3-point spark during the road trip.
Rombach kept St. Bonaventure in the game against Toledo with her 3-point shot. She had three triples.
“Kelc is someone who has worked hard on her game and if she can consistently knock down shots that will really help us,” said Crowley.
The Bonnies could use all the 3-point shooting they can get, especially if St. Bonaventure’s inside game struggles.
Michael has been great this season. She hit three big 3-pointers in their 56-54 win over Penn State.
“You know with Em that you will always get great effort and very good defense,” said Crowley. “When she controls the game like she did at Penn State we are a very tough team.”
Some individual players stick out after the first six games of the season. Hannah Little, Healy and Richmond remain consistent in the paint for St. Bonaventure, while Rueter and Michael have been steady shooting, controlling the ball and defending the perimeter.
St. Bonaventure takes on Colgate tomorrow night at 7. It’s another chance for the Bonnies to improve their record, but more importantly improve their game, which is necessary for a team with postseason aspirations.