ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Following three straight seasons of 20+ wins and three consecutive Women's National Invitation Tournament trips, the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team opened its much-anticipated 2011-12 campaign with its first practice Tuesday evening.
The official start date to begin NCAA women's basketball practices was Monday, Oct. 3. However, with a scheduled off day set on that date, the Bonnies took to the Reilly Center hardwood for the first time Tuesday, which is also head coach Jim Crowley's birthday.
St. Bonaventure returns all five starters from a team which went 21-12 overall and 9-5 in Atlantic 10 Conference play, good for its best-ever finish as it wrapped last season tied for third in the league ledger. The club advanced to the Second Round of the WNIT, and returns an experienced senior class of Armelia Horton, Jennie Ashton, Megan Van Tatenhove and Jessica Jenkins.
Jenkins set a single-season record with 100 made 3-pointers last season, finishing eighth in the nation in 3-pointers made per game with three. Those 100 3's led the A-10, and her 50 3-pointers in conference games were more than another other player.
The Marion, Ohio product – who is also a personal trainer – enters the season 64 3's shy of breaking the school record which currently sits at 291. She also needs just 44 points to become the 19th member of the 1,000 Point Club.
Van Tatenhove was named to the A-10 All-Conference Second Team last year after averaging a club-leading 14.5 points per game and 16.2 in league action. The A-10 All-Academic Team selection also led the Bonnies in rebounding, pulling down an average of 5.6 per outing.
The opening of the women's and men's basketball seasons will be celebrated at Brown & White Night, a midnight-madness style event, on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. The exhibition is set for Friday, Nov. 4 against Edinboro, and the regular season tips off at BIG EAST member St. John's on Saturday, Nov. 12.