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Freshman guard Jalisha Terry leads Bona to third straight win

ALLEGANY – Freshman point guard Jalisha Terry scored 17 points Wednesday night to lead St. Bonaventure to a 51-37 women’s basketball victory over Stony Brook.

Terry was part of a promising recruiting class former Bona coach Jim Crowley signed before he left for Providence College last spring. The 5-foot-6 native of Flint, Mich., was the Michigan Class C Player of the Year last season.

Terry quickly is making an impact. She was shut out her first two games. But new coach Jesse Fleming inserted her into the starting lineup four games ago. This was her third straight game scoring in double figures.

“I feel more comfortable,” Terry said. “It’s really because of my teammates. At practice this past week, I’ve gained trust with them and now on the floor I feel more comfortable. I’m not panicking. I don’t have the jitters as much as I did before.”

“She’s the nicest kid you’ll ever meet, and she was too nice when she started,” Fleming said. “Now she’s got a little bit more swagger, a little more confidence, and it’s showing in her play. . . . She understands she’s good enough. She got a little meaner, which is a good thing.”

Bona improved to 4-3 with its third straight win. Stony Brook fell to 2-4.

As a senior at Hamady High last year, Terry averaged 20.5 points, 4.2 steals and 4.8 assists. She showed good ability to penetrate the lane against Stony Brook. Once defenders started backing off, she hit a couple of pull-up jump shots.

“All great point guards have a change of speed, and she’s got a great one,” Fleming said. “She’s got a little shake to her game. She’s got a pretty pull-up game. You don’t see a lot of girls be really, really balanced in their pull-up game, their mid-range game. She’s very balanced.”

Goose egg: Stony Brook was shut out in the first quarter and fell behind, 14-0, before scoring its first points, 11:50 into the game.

Stony Brook shot 22.8 percent for the game and just 15 percent (5 of 33) from three-point range. The Seawolves were averaging 56 ppg.

“I just thought we did it with our defense tonight,” Fleming said. “They’ve been locked in all week. . . . We were doing a great job executing the game plan, keeping the ball out of the paint. Stony Brook shot 33 threes. That’s the plan. We’ve been doing that the last four games now.”

Defense: Over the past four games, Bona has held its opponents to 26.9 percent shooting from the field.

Scoring: Besides Terry, the only other Bonnie in double figures was senior forward Gabby Richmond with 11. Bona shot 44.7 percent from the field and only tried six three pointers (they made one).

Youth movement: Terry played 32 minutes. Freshman Sarah Hart, a guard from Minnesota, played 36 minutes for the Bonnies. Freshman Danielle Migliore, a guard from Frankfort, N.Y., played 11 minutes.

Home cooking: The win gave Bona 21 victories in the last 23 home games at the Reilly Center. Bona saw its 17-game home-court win streak snapped on Nov. 16 with a loss to Canisius.

Polls: Stony Brook was picked to finish fifth out of nine in the America East Conference. The Seawolves went 17-15 last year. Bona was picked for 10th out of 14 in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Up next: The Bonnies play host to Bucknell on Tuesday. Bucknell went 25-8 last season and claimed its second straight Patriot League regular-season title. Bucknell is the favorite to win the Patriot League again this year.

Email: mgaughan@buffnews.com

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