OLEAN – Richmond’s women’s basketball team made its first five shots Sunday afternoon at the Reilly Center.
Then St. Bonaventure applied the defensive clamps. Richmond made just 2 of its next 28.
Bona showed why it’s one of the top defensive teams in the nation in routing the Spiders, 66-43.
The mismatch played out as expected. Bona entered the game ranked 18th in the nation in points allowed (53.8) and 15th in shooting percentage allowed (34.1). Richmond, ranked second-last in the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring, shot just 28.3 percent for the game.
“I really liked how we defended for three quarters,” said Bona coach Jim Crowley. “They came out and shot the ball really well. They had a 12-10 lead, and we really locked down after that.”
“They do a really good job of help,” said Richmond coach Michael Shafer. “They understand what people are trying to do to them. They do a really good job of trying to keep the ball out of the paint and not fouling. They’re forcing you to make contested outside shots.”
Records: Bona improved to 19-3 overall and 8-1 in the A-10. The Bonnies stand second in the 14-team A-10, one game behind George Washington (9-0) and a half game ahead of Duquesne (7-1). Richmond fell to 9-12 and 2-6.
Top 30: Bona ranks 30th in the nation in the latest Ratings Percentage Index. The Atlantic 10 has four teams in the top 50. The others are Duquesne (26), George Washington (37) and Dayton (45).
Top stopper: Bona got a stellar game from sophomore guard Mariah Ruff, who guarded Janelle Hubbard, Richmond’s top scorer. Hubbard made her first three shots in the first two minutes but then went 0 for 7 over the next 27 minutes. At that point, Bona held a 54-25 lead.
“She’s a great player,” Ruff said of Hubbard. “She had a really good pull. It’s like the quickest I’ve ever seen, just one step and it’s up there. My teammates helped me out. … They were in gaps. I feel we team-defended really well.”
Ruff was Miss New York Basketball in 2014 for Oneonta High School, near Binghamton.
She’s one of three small-school, first-team all-New York State players Crowley has recruited in the last three seasons. She scored 1,932 points in a six-year varsity high school career. She also was first-team all-state in soccer in helping Oneonta win a state title in 2013.
“Mar just went to work,” Crowley said. “The kid had to be exhausted. I bet Mar is too. It was a whole lot of effort. She has to have the athletic ability to keep up with her, but it was just the determination that if you’re going to get ‘em, you’re going to have to really earn ‘em.”
Hubbard finished with 13 points, three under her average.
High scorers: Bona got 13 points from senior forward Katie Healy, 12 from Ruff and 10 apiece from junior forward Gabby Richmond and sophomore forward Matea Britvar.
Home rule: Bona won its 13th straight game at the Reilly Center. The school record is 16 straight home wins, set between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.
Injured: Sophomore forward Miranda Drummond, Bona’s second-leading scorer, sat out with a left ankle injury. She may miss the next game.
In the house: Attendance was 2,011.
Up next: The Bonnies play at Virginia Commonwealth Wednesday then have a week off before facing Saint Louis at home on Feb. 10.