It was another loss on Wednesday night for head coach Jim Crowley and his team, but it might have been a step in the right direction.
The Bonnies lost by 13 to Duqesne, but they played better offensively, and they gave the effort Crowley wanted. It’s the effort that the team hasn’t met in practices, and in previous losses to Dayton, VCU and Saint Joseph’s.
“Our effort gave us a chance,” said Crowley following Wednesday’s loss.
St. Bonaventure worked to get better shots, and the end result was a better shooting night (42.9 percent on the night; 50 percent in the second half) than their usual 39 percent.
The Bonnies assisted on four of the nine first half field goals, and six of the 15 second half buckets.
The biggest element of Bonaventure’s offense that’s missing continues to be the 3-point shot. Chelsea Bowker gave Bonaventure that ability last year. She stretched defenses with her long-ball, and this team sorely lacks a difference-making 3-point shooter.
St. Bonaventure shoots a conference second worst from the 3-point line at 27.6 percent.
Last season, the Bonnies made 35 percent of its 3-pointers.
Crowley said the team gets their reps each day. Coaches and staff work on players’ form and repetition. Confidence is key, and during this losing streak confidence is something Bona’s has lost.
“We try not to let it affect us, and we just try to say like keep going, keep going,” said junior Nyla Rueter. “Honestly, (the losing streaking) is kind of draining.”
This team didn’t lose many games in a row last year. They would bounce back nicely after losses. This is something that they didn’t experience last season.
“It’s tough because we had a good season last year we only lost like maybe two in a row, so we’re not quite used to it,” said Rueter. “We’re just trying to get more reps and just try to pick everyone up and get through it.”
Crowley saw it Wednesday night.
He hopes to see it Thursday and Friday in practice, and Saturday at UMass.
The “it” was effort.
The effort was definitely lacking before, but if effort is what Bona’s gives the rest of the season then maybe they’ll regain that confidence from last season, which would result in better shooting from the outside.
Bonaventure may still lose some games, but if they give effort Crowley knows it will all work out in the end.
“If we keep on seeing that, results will be what they’ll be, but it’ll happen if we keep seeing that and I feel confident we will,” he said.