Despite Katie Healy’s 25 points, St. Bonaventure dropped their seventh straight game Wednesday evening.
The Bonnies trailed by five after Imani Outlaw stole the ball and drove for a basket with 8:18 remaining in the second half, but Duquesne (13-8, 5-3) took advantage of Bonnies’ fouls as they went 13-for-15 from the foul line the rest of the game.
“We just had moments (in) the last six, seven, eight minutes (where) we just lost our mind defensively,” said Bona head coach Jim Crowley. “They were undisciplined fouls. The ball was below their waist a lot; we were slapping and reaching.”
St. Bonaventure (11-10, 1-7) played much better in Wednesday’s 76-63 loss to the Dukes than they did last Saturday against Saint Joseph’s, last Wednesday against VCU or January 18 against Dayton.
“That’s probably the hardest we’ve played a full game since George Mason (which was January 14),” said Crowley. “Our effort gave us a chance, and that shouldn’t take that many games and I am hopeful that our kids understand that and that (it) will be consistent every day.”
It looked like it would be another long night at the Reilly Center once Duquesne jumped off to an 11-0 start, but St. Bonaventure battled much of the first half as they trailed 25-22 after Nyla Rueter hit a 3-pointer.
Duquesne answered Rueter’s triple with 7-2 run to end the half, including an April Robinson buzzer-beating 3-pointer close to half court.
St. Bonaventure finished the first half with 24 points, but they picked up the pace in the second half as they scored 39 points on 50 percent shooting. It wasn’t their offense that let them down like it’s had so many times this season.
“(The pace) was better. Much better. It was as good as it’s been since the George Mason game,” said Crowley. “There was a few times early we stood and held the ball, but I think anyone who has watched our last few home games would agree we went a lot more aggressively, we had a lot better pace. We handled things a lot better.”
Hannah Little and Rueter joined Healy in double figures. Little had 10 points, while Rueter had 11, including all three of Bonnies’ triples. The 3-point shot has been a staple of Crowley’s offense. The Bonnies’ made 25 percent of them Wednesday night, and have the second lowest 3-point shooting percentage in the conference. It’s been a problem all season.
“We rely on it,” said Crowley. “If we’re getting some scores at the rim through our forwards, which we did (Wednesday), we got to knock down some jump shots.”
Shooting’s something that Crowley and his staff have been working on with his players in practice.
“I believe there’s three things with shooting: I believe its reps, which I can promise you our kids are getting, they’re working hard, our staff is working hard with them and then it’s pace and confidence,” said Crowley.
The reps have happened, and will continue to happen. The pace is getting there.
As far as confidence goes…
“(It) still isn’t there,” said Crowley. “If you’re good at something, you’re good at something, and right now we’re letting some of the other things clog that, and we’ll fix it.”
The Bonnies have eight more games until the conference tournament begins to fix it. The season may seem lost, but for Crowley he’s seen improvement the last several days.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that at some point, and I hope it is sooner rather than later this whole group is going to be a lot stronger,” said Crowley. “I’ve seen things the last few days to see that start to happen.”
Rebounding – DUQ 44 (16), SBU 29 (9)
Free Throws – DUQ 25-30, SBU 12-18
Field Goals – DUQ 23-57, SBU 24-56
Assists – DUQ 11, SBU 10
Turnovers – DUQ 15, SBU 17
Duquesne had five players in double-digits, including Robinson who had 20 points, four assists and three steals.