Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Red-hot St. Bonaventure cools off Richmond

St. Bonaventure 75, Richmond 59

With all due respect to Virginia and Florida Gulf Coast, this is probably the best team the Spiders have played all season, a veteran, well-drilled group that should have been in the Top 25 weeks ago. The Bonnies (17-2, 4-0 Atlantic 10) certainly played like a Top 25 team Wednesday as they doled out as comprehensive a beating as Richmond (14-4, 2-2) has suffered this season at St. Bonaventure. Led by Genevieve Okoro (21 points, 12 rebounds), the Spiders made a game of it early and were tied at 24 with less than 5 minutes remaining in the first half. But the Bonnies scored 14 of the final 18 points before the break to take a 38-28 lead into halftime, then pretty much maintained at least that much separation the rest of the game. Abby Oliver came on strong and scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half, but her output barely made a dent in the Bonnies' advantage. The Bonnies succeeded in part by neutralizing Richmond's vaunted 3-point shooting attack. The Spiders began play ranked third in the nation in 3-point percentage and averaging about 6 made treys per game, but were just 1 of 6 from deep Wednesday. Bilney, who splashed 8 3-pointers a week ago and ranked 6th in the nation in 3-point percentage, missed her only long-range attempt against the Bonnies and finished with just 2 points on 1 of 4 shooting in 35 minutes. The disciplined Bonnies also turned it over only 6 times - for the second straight game - limiting Richmond's transition opportunities. But perhaps Richmond's biggest problem on this night was an inability to string together defensive stops; three Bonnies finished in double figures and the team registered its third-highest point total of the season. None of this is a knock on Richmond but more a case of the Spiders catching one of the nation's best teams operating near peak efficiency.

Wednesday's result, coupled with Charlotte's victory over LaSalle, left St. Bonaventure and Charlotte tied atop the A-10 standings with 4-0 records. LaSalle, Dayton and Temple are next with 3-1 conference records, St. Joseph's is at 2-1 and Richmond and George Washington follow with 2-2 marks. The Spiders will host LaSalle on Saturday at 1 p.m.


  1. Bonnies and Charlotte meet Saturday. We've been waiting a long time for this from Bonas. Jim Crowley is doing a great job, and the team is making a lot of alums proud. Richmond is a quality team. It looks like the A-10 will be well-represented in postseason.

  2. Charlotte has benefited from a favorable early conference schedule (Xavier, Saint Louis, George Washington and LaSalle). They'll be a tough out, but the Bonnies play well on the road and we think they'll prevail. Still a lot of basketball to play, one game at a time and all that jazz, but we're thinking the Bonnies' Feb. 11 game at Dayton could be for all the marbles.