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The St. Bonaventure women's basketball team tied a program record for wins in a season Tuesday night with a 54-48 win over Rhode Island. The Bonnies are now 18-6 on the season and have five games remaining before the conference tournament begins March 6.
ESPN columnist and Bona alum Charlie Creme has the Bonnies on the NCAA tournament watch, under the category "Next Four Out." If SBU can do some damage in the conference tournament, the Bonnies might be dancing in March.
Here's the remaining schedule with a breakdown of each game until the end of the season. (Conference standings can be found at the bottom.)
2/14 @ Fordham
2/18 Duquesne *Listen on wsbufm.net
2/21 @ George Washington
2/25 @ St. Louis
2/28 Charlotte *Listen on wsbufm.net
If the Bonnies win out, they will be 12-2 in the conference and clinch the second seed in the tournament, based on the head-to-head match up with Charlotte.
This schedule, at first glance, seems like it could allow SBU do just that. However, five games are an eternity in college basketball. Here's a breakdown of St. Bonaventure's last five contests.
Fordham didn’t win a game last year. This year they’ve won 8. However, they’ve only won one game in conference, and that was a three-point game at La Salle. Fordham’s ranked 14th in the league in scoring offense (53.5), and SBU’s ranked 2nd in scoring defense (55.9). The Bonnies should handle Fordham no problem, 76-45.
Duquesne in the Reilly Center should be a good game. The Bonnies snuck by the Dukes 61-55 in the Palumbo Center earlier this season. The last three games between the two schools have been decided by 6 points or less. The Bonnies won each of those games. The Dukes currently lead the A-10 in scoring at 69.8 points per game. The Bonnies, on the other hand, are only giving up 55.9. As coach Crowley said after the Rhody game, his players are learning how to lean on defense to win the close games. I think that will happen here. Chalk this one up for the Bonnies, 67-62.
Going to D.C. to tip-off with the Colonials scares me. After what happened in the RC last year, I’m sure the GW players haven’t forgotten. GW is 11-3 at home this season, with the three losses coming to: No. 7 Tennessee; No. 10 Auburn; and Richmond, a team the Bonnies lost to. Former GW coach Joe McKeowan may have left the conference, but he didn’t take his players with him. George Washington takes this one, 57-53.
St. Louis’ Theresa Lisch leads the conference in scoring at 20.4 points per game, but the Billikens still don’t have a record above .500. St. Bonaventure hasn’t lost to a team with a losing record all season. The lowest RPI out of SBU’s six losses is 74 (Oakland). St. Louis’ RPI: 190. Hopefully, the Bonnies won’t have any travel legs on them. They should win this game easily, 75-59.
When the 49ers dig their way into Bob Lanier Court, the Bonnies will be ready. This game could be the difference, depending on what the rest of the conference does, between a 2, 3, 4 or 5 seed for the Brown and White. Charlotte has run the table since losing to Xavier in its first conference game of the year. In those 8 games, the 49ers beat their opponents by an average of 11.75 points per game. In the four road wins, they’ve won by an average of 13.5. All of these numbers are fine and dandy, but the Wolfpack will be out in droves that night to support its team. And we all know how tough it is to play in the RC when it gets loud. I might be off my rocker, but the RC will be a magical place on the last day of February. Bonnies win this game, 64-60, and take at least a 3 seed in the tournament.
The coaching staff and the players have worked hard to put this program in a position to make it to its first post-season birth, whether the NCAAs or the WNIT. The conference tournament is in Charlotte this year, and there’s a huge contingent of Bona Alumni in North Carolina. Maybe some of those proud grads will make their way toward Halton Arena to support the Bonnies.
If you can't make it, listen to the games right here at WSBUFM.NET or over the airwaves on 88.3-FM in the Allegany/Olean area.
Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Standings:
1. Xavier 9-0 (21-4)
2. Charlotte 8-1 (17-6)
3. St. Bonaventure 7-2 (18-6)
4. George Washington 6-3 (14-10)
Temple 6-3 (15-8)
6. Richmond 5-4 (17-7)
7. Dayton 4-5 (15 -10)
Duquesne 4-5 (14-10)
Saint Louis 4-5 (10-14)
10. Massachusetts 3-6 (10 -14)
Saint Joseph's 3-6 (11-13)
12. Rhode Island 2-7 (9-15)
13. Fordham 1-8 (8-16)
La Salle 1-8 (10-14)