Women's Basketball Opens Season At No. 25/RV St. John's Saturday
St. Bonaventure @ No. 25/RV St. John's
Saturday, Nov. 12 | 2 p.m. | Carnesecca Arena (5,602)
Game Notes: St. Bonaventure | St. John's
The St. Bonaventure women's basketball team opens its much-anticipated 2011-12 campaign Saturday afternoon as it travels to nationally ranked St. John's looking to avenge a loss at the Reilly Center a year ago. The Red Storm begin the year ranked No. 25 in the AP poll and are Receiving Votes in the ESPN/USA Today poll.
In last season's meeting, St. John's – ranked No. 22/24 at the time – raced out to leads of 8-0 and 16-3 before St. Bonaventure fought back to tie the game at 38-38 with just 8:36 remaining. However, from that point the Johnnies went on a 15-2 run to pull away from the Bonnies and secure a 55-44 win.
The Brown and White has won six straight season openers, dating back to a 73-70 loss to Colgate to kick off the 2004-05 year. Furthermore, St. Bona has not lost a road game to start the season since head coach Jim Crowley's first year at the helm of the Bonnies in 2000-01 – a 97-75 loss against Cincinnati.
Bonaventure unofficially tipped off its season with an exhibition win over Edinboro, 75-65, Nov. 4 at the RC. The Fighting Scots – ranked No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Division II Coaches Poll led by as much as 11 in the first half before the Bonnies were able to make a late run to pull away. St. John's has played two closed scrimmages in preparation for the season opener.
Scouting St. John's
~ The Red Storm returns three starters from a team which finished No. 29 in the final RPI last year.
~ STJ advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament before falling at Stanford to the Cardinal.
~ Head coach Kim Barnes Arico ran the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday.
~ The team lost two of its top three scorers from last season, and returns just 50 percent of its scoring offense.
~ Freshman Amber Thompson was ranked as the No. 91 recruit in the nation by Blue Star Basketball, while classmate Mallory Jones was tabbed as the 39th-best wing in the country by ESPN Hoopgurlz.
Saturday's game will be a homecoming for four current Bona players and an assistant coach. Freshman Tatiana Wilson, sophomores CeCe Dixon and Doris Ortega and redshirt senior Armelia Horton all hail from either Harlem or Queens. Assistant coach Priscilla Edwards – who played for the Bonnies – is also a Harlem native. Additionally, Dixon, Ortega and Horton all went to the same high school: city powerhouse Murry Bergtraum.
With 64 made 3-pointers this season, Jessica Jenkins will not only own the program record in that category, but also the Atlantic 10 Conference record. Jenkins enters this year with 228 made 3's in her career. The school – and conference – record is 291, held by Suzie Dailer. Dailer, who played at Bona's from 1992-95, actually shares the all-time league mark with Cathy Jones of George Washington. Additionally, 2006 SBU grad Stefanie Collins currently ranks third on that list with 288 3's. If Jenkins hits 64 3's, St. Bonaventure will become the only school in the nation with three of the top four 3-point shooters (in terms of made field goals) in any respective conference in women's basketball Division I history.
Jenkins and Megan Van Tatenhove are riding impressive starting streaks for the Bonnies. Jenkins has started 66 straight games, dating back to the beginning of her sophomore season in 2009-10. Van Tatenhove has started 49 consecutive contests, dating back to the middle of the 2009-10 year.
Add Her To Another List
With 61 rebounds this year, Van Tatenhove will become just the ninth member of the 1,000 Point & 500 Rebound club. The Wisconsin native scored her 1,000 career point last season, and enters this year with 1,050 career points. She led the Bonnies with 185 rebounds last year, increasing her career total to 439.
St. Bonaventure will have a quick turnaround as it will return to the court in Buffalo on Monday night against Little 3 rival Canisius. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from the Koessler Center as the Bonnies look to duplicate last year's 33-point win over the Griffs.