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Wrong turn leads to Bona victory Slow start dooms Canisius women

On the way to Buffalo, the bus driver missed an exit, taking the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team an extra 40 minutes out of its way en route to the Koessler Center.

Maybe that's why the Bonnies seemed so anxious to get going.

Jumping to a 9-0 lead, St. Bonaventure never trailed, got into a nice offensive groove and walked away with an easy 69-44 win over Canisius in front of 639 Saturday afternoon.

"Today was as good as it's been," Bona coach Jim Crowley said, as his team evened its record at 5-5. "We executed perfectly and played pretty well defensively and that gives us chances. That was as great a team effort as we've had since I've been here. We had great leadership and the team was really prepared."

The Bonnies showed their versatility on offense -- scoring in the paint, driving to the basket and everyone stepping back to hit timely three-pointers. Their offense was smooth and patient, and, though they enjoy a game with fewer possessions, their tempo during those possessions can be fairly upbeat, with crisp passes, good movement away from the ball and excellent spacing on the floor.

"When you make shots you're supposed to make, you get confident," said senior Audrey Latendresse, who had a game-high 17 points. "The way we play with spacing lets everyone get involved in the offense. You can go one-on-one and kick to someone else for an open shot. It's teamwork. Everybody's got a chance to do something."

While they shot 42 percent for the game -- including 47 percent (8 of 17) from three-point range -- the Bonnies' defense disrupted the Canisius offense.

The Golden Griffins (6-4) were without sophomore guard and leading scorer Amanda Cavo, who sat out the game with tendonitis in both shins. The injury only heals with rest and the team has no exact timetable for her return.

While Cavo's jump shooting and her defense would have helped the Griffs' cause, Canisius had other problems. Forwards continued to miss layups after the offense worked to get a good shot and the team hit just 12 of 26 free throws.

"I thought we got beat in just about every aspect of the game today and [Bona] had a lot to do with that," Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. "They play in front of you and their guards are bigger than ours so it's hard for us to feed the post. It forces you take jump shots which we didn't make and take in our rhythm."

Against the Griffs, Bona outrebounded its eighth opponent in 10 games this season, holding a 40-29 advantage.

"It's definitely a team effort and it's all about boxing out," said Ashley Edwards, who pulled down a game-high nine rebounds with her 16 points. "If Audrey or Erica [Schiefen] don't box out, I can't get the rebound and if I don't box out, Audrey or Erica can't get the rebound. It's teamwork and we know we have to get after it.

"[The key is] less possessions. . .. As long as you box out and trust your teammates you'll get rebounds. We couldn't let them get extra possessions. They have great shooters."

Canisius' Megan Lyte was the lone offensive bright spot, scoring 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting but she made just 2 of 9 from the free-throw line.

Canisius has lost its last three and finished a five-game homestand just 2-3. The Griffs travel to Syracuse for a noon game on Friday.

Meanwhile the Bonnies, who kicked off a stretch of seven straight road games with the win, will head to Fairleigh Dickinson for a 7 p.m. game on Monday.

e-mail: amoritz@buffnews.com

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