After playing three times last season, La Salle takes on St. Bonaventure for the first time this season.
The Explorers lost Sunday to Dayton 91-49, while the Bonnies defeated Davidson over the weekend for their fourth win in their last six games. The Explorers (13-14, 4-10) rank eighth in the conference in scoring at 61.7 points per game, while shooting the second worst percentage (36.8) in the conference.
La Salle’s led by two double-digit scorers: Micahya Owens and Alicia Cooper. Both players can score inside and out, but Cooper’s the more dangerous weapon.
“She can score it in a lot of ways and shoot it from anywhere,” said head coach Jim Crowley. “(She’s got) great range to go with a great burst and strength to take contact.” Cooper’s shooting a shade above 35 percent from deep this year.
La Salle isn’t a very good outside shooting team (30 percent on the year), but Cooper is definitely an exception.
The Bonnies know this La Salle team well. Last season St. Bonaventure finished 2-1 against the Explorers, including a victory in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic-10 tournament. La Salle struggled to shoot well in each game, and that’s a key for tonight’s game as well.
“We have to team defend and limit their easy looks at the rim,” said Crowley. “The more we contest shots, the better we will do.”
Crowley wants his team to win the rim.
On offense, the Bonnies need to maintain the pace it has played the last month. The Bonnies moved the ball around beautifully against Davidson last weekend. Katie Healy had five assists, and Mariah Ruff continued her strong shooting. She’s made 21 of her last 44 attempts from behind the arc, after shooting one of 15 the previous four games. Crowley said her shot prep and pace into the shots is the biggest reason for her high-efficient 3-point shot.
Tonight’s the last home game for St. Bonaventure this season. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.