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Bona women's win streak is dry-docked

OLEAN -- Remember the cliche about shooting so poorly you couldn't hit the ocean if you stood on the beach?

Well, the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team knows the feeling.

The Bonnies had a terrible time getting their shots to fall Saturday night, while Kent State was draining three-pointers like they were layups.

It added up to an 81-59 loss at the Reilly Center, ending Bona's 5-0 start, best ever for a women's team at the school.

"Simple as it was, they made their shots and we didn't, and they made a lot more," Bona coach Jim Crowley said.

Heading into the game, Bona had been shooting 45 percent from the field and 49 percent from three-point range.

The hot-shooting streak ended as the Bonnies had trouble getting into the flow of their offense. Bona shot just 32 percent for the game and hit just 6 of 18 three-point attempts.

To start the game, Bona missed two shots and committed three turnovers while Kent (5-1) converted those into fast-break points, sprinting to a 6-0 lead. Back-to-back three-pointers extended the lead to 12-2 just three minutes into the game.

Erin Schiefen hit a three-pointer and Stefanie Collins scored eight points, including two three-pointers, to pull Bona within two points, 17-15, with 13:24 left to play in the half.

But once again, the Bonnies started turning the ball over, and Kent State quickly regained a 10-point lead halfway through the half. The Golden Flashes enjoyed a double-digit lead the rest of the game.

"The big thing with Kent's defense was when you caught the ball they were right up on you," said Collins, who led Bona with 14 points. "You didn't have much room to breathe. When we got the ball, we couldn't think to reverse it quickly. They took us out of what we wanted to do early."

While Bona was out of its rhythm, Kent was all about scoring -- from inside, three-point range, in transition and in the half-court set. Kent shot 52 percent from the field and 69 percent from three-point range. The Golden Flashes made 11 of their 16 three-pointers, including hitting seven of their nine attempts in the first half.

The defensive plan for the Bonnies was to pack the low post to shut down Kent senior forward Lindsay Shearer. The zone backfired as the Flashes were able to get a few easy, uncontested three-pointers that they nailed.

Shearer made 3 of 4 from three-point range and had a game-high 23 points. It was her fourth 20-plus-point output of the season and 22nd of her career. In all, four players hit double figures for Kent State.

"We had some open looks and some kids stepped up and made the shots they hadn't made in the first couple of games," Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said. "When the offense is flowing the defense has more incentive to play, and that was the situation for us."

The Golden Flashes have won three straight.

Bona is off until Saturday, when it will host Canisius at 2 p.m. The 5-0 start was among the third-best starts in Big 4 Division I women's basketball history. The record is 8-0 by the University at Buffalo to start the 2000-01 season.

e-mail: amoritz@buffnews.com

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