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1/06/2023 2:46 pm  #1

GW versus St. Bonaventure Thread

Next up:                  Saint Bonaventure University (SBU) Bonnies
Time:                       January 8, 2023; 1 PM
Venue:                     Reilly Center; Olean, New York
2021-22 Record:    12-16 overall; 4-12 in A10
2023 Projection:    15th
Current Record:     3-14   
   OOC Record:       
   A10 Record:        0-2
Common OOC:      ETSU (Loss)
Broadcast:             ESPN+ 

GW travels to Saint Bonaventure on Sunday for a 1 PM tipoff against the Bonnies. SBU is in the midst of a six game losing streak, including their first two conference games versus UMASS and George Mason.  The Bonnies were projected to finish 15th (last) in the A10 this season, and their 3-12 OOC record (3-14 overall) clearly reflects a team in transition. They share one common opponent with GW-- East Tennessee State University (ETSU), who defeated SBU 68-58 in early November.
The Bonnies enter the contest scoring 52 ppg on 34.2% shooting from the field (28% on 3’s) and 65.5% from the free throw line. Their opponents score 64.2 ppg while shooting 39.3% from the field. I’yanna Lops , a 6’3” senior leads the way, averaging 11.3 ppg and 5.5 rpg. Scoring contributions come from Nadechka Laccen (8.3 ppg) and Nikki Oppenheimer, a graduate transfer from James Madison, who was recently inserted into the starting lineup, and led the Bonnies with 15 points in their loss to George Mason this past Thursday. Second leading scorer Maddie Dziezgowski (9.7 ppg) has not played since before the holidays.
Last year, GW took 2 of 3 from the Bonnies. GW was on the short end of 50-49 decision in the other game. In that contest, Maxine Engel had a breakout game, scoring 19 points on 8-10 shooting, including 2-2 from beyond the arc, and had 7 rebounds.

About the game:
SBU has had to juggle their starting line-up due to injury and to uplift an offense that has been struggling. Lops is a proficient inside player, but the Bonnies do not present the height and length problems we encountered with St. Joe’s. They are the A10’s lowest scoring team and turn the ball over 18.7 times a game. The matchups for this game are favorable to GW, and we should be able to keep the SBU score down.
GW cannot afford to have a letdown. The starting five has been very steady and if Robertson is healthy, it would be great to see her and Lok get increased playing time. This game could also be an opportunity for GW to go deeper into our bench and give some playing time for Engel, Gingras, and Loving, who could all benefit from some game experience. With both Thornton and Webster playing inconsistently, I would love to see Engel to get into the mix. She showed last year that she is capable of big games, and we could use another reliable and productive player as we get deeper into the A10 schedule.
It's important for us to be 2-1 in conference play after this game. With Fordham and LaSalle coming up next, bigger challenges await.

Last edited by xAC (1/06/2023 7:35 pm)


1/08/2023 3:11 pm  #2

Re: GW versus St. Bonaventure Thread

GW wins 56-43.

GW got out to a sluggish start, and the 3’s weren’t dropping. Enter Robertson, who provided a spark with 7 quick points to stake the Colonials to a 16-11 1st quarter lead. The 2nd quarter started out much like the first, with the offense stagnating and the Bonnies hitting some shots. A pair of 3’s by Thornton and 5 points by Robertson helped, but with Lakstigala being shut out (0-7 from the field), GW could only manage to increase the lead by 2 points and led 33-36 going into halftime. Engel saw some early action but hurried some shots and was held scoreless in her short stint. The 3rd quarter was awful. Neither team scored a field goal in the first 4 minutes and at the official time out, the Bonnies had put up 3 points and the Colonials only 2. Things went from bad to worse. Both offenses were out of sync and the Bonnies won the period 8-6. GW led by only 5 points, 39-34 going into the 4th. Blethen gave us 5 early points to start the 4th, providing a cushion that let us build the lead to 15 points with 4 minutes to go. Some sloppy back and forth ensued and mercifully, the game ended with GW out in front 56-43.

Luckily for GW, Taiwo played up to her usual standard and finished with a huge 14-15 double-double that included 10 offensive rebounds. Robertson finished with a game-high 17 points and 5 rebounds, and Blethen, with 8 big points in the 4th quarter, helped to ice the game away. Lakstigala had her worst outing of the season and finished with 2 points on 1-11 shooting. GW shot 32.8% for the game, but luckily, we were able to hold the Bonnies to just 29.6% and outrebounded them 53-24. With those kinds of numbers, the margin of victory could have been a lot larger, but more importantly, we found a way to win when a lot of things weren’t going our way.

Next up is Fordham, undefeated in league play and with comparable talent to St. Joe’s. GW will have to play much better than today to compete with the Fordham Rams.

     Thread Starter

1/08/2023 5:39 pm  #3

Re: GW versus St. Bonaventure Thread

This was one of those games where the important thing is we came out with the W and nothing else matters. Like xAC said, we found a way to win while playing far from a perfect game. Thankfully Mayowa was fantastic as usual on the boards. Nya Robertson feels like a lock to make the all-rookie team.

The team definitely had some open shots rim out, but isolation ball continues to be an issue. Perhaps the best play of the game was Nya Robertson (I believe?) making the extra pass to Faith for 3 in the fourth quarter. Making additional passes in the halfcourt is very inconsistent on the team and for whatever reason despite having so many shooters on the floor spacing seems to be really poor on offense. I think Taylor has been playing better lately, but that play where she tried to force a pass to Mayowa that was clearly not open has to drive McCombs crazy. When shots aren't falling, the team has to find ways to get to the line. 10 free throw attempts just simply isn't enough when shooting under 40% from the field. Nya Lok definitely played, but felt invisible all game.

The team needs to add guards that can penetrate and break down a defense. I think Robertson is the closest thing the team has who can do that right now, but we need more guards like that. Asjah and Mia usually end up stopping midway and then we are forced to pass it out or force a tough off-balanced shot.

Defense was really good but my goodness St. Bona has to be the worst team we've faced all season and it's not close. I can see why they have that record. Apparently their head coach is entering his seventh year with the program. I'd be stunned if he's brought back after this year but I don't know anything about his current contract. Bona couldn't even attempt a shot that hit the rim seemingly half the time. In many ways, it was good for us that a poor shooting performance came in a game against SBU. Despite the team's struggles, I wasn't particularly concerned about losing the game even when it was close.

The team has to play better than they have the past couple games to come out with a win against Fordham. I think the Rams are beatable, but hitting at least 65 points feels like a must. Hopefully Mia got all the missed shots out of her system for the next game.


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