BY BRYCE KELLY, SPORTS STAFFER
Asianae Johnson finished with her eighth-straight 20+ point game as the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team rallied back from an early deficit to beat Richmond 74-66. Maddie Dziezgowski tied a career-high of 20 points as Johnson finished with 28 to lead the Bonnies. With the win the Bonnies improved to 12-9 and 4-6 in Atlantic-10 play. Richmond fell to 13-10 and 4-6 in Atlantic-10 play.
The Bonnies rode the hot outside shooting of Dziezgowski as she shot 5-8 from the field, 4-7 from three-point range and 6-7 from the free-throw line.
“Maddie works,” said head coach Jessie Fleming. “Maddy is a ready shooter. She just competed. I thought she made a couple of huge hustle plays where there’s a loose ball and she drew the foul. I thought she played a complete game as she can play.”
The Bonnies got in a hole in the first quarter as Johnson, the Bonnies’ leading scorer for the year, struggled. Johnson was held to two points in the first quarter and the Bonnies turned the ball over seven times in the first quarter. The Bonnies finished the period down 23-9.
“They denied a lot so [Johnson] wasn’t getting the ball as much,” Fleming said. “We put her at the one so she could start and initiate the offense. They did a good job of loading up on her.”
The Bonnies ended the first half shooting 50% from three. They finished the game 44% from 3, a great improvement versus their average of 27% from three. Other than Dziezgowski, Tori Harris made two big threes in the fourth quarter and Nikki Oppenheimer added two 3’s off the bench.
“They went zone and we made some shots against the zone,” Fleming said. Tori made two big ones. I thought people were ready shooters.”
The Bonnies were playing a Richmond frontline with good size and shot blocking capabilities. Richmond forward Addie Butnik was averaging 2.9 blocks per game coming into the contest. She finished with two blocks versus the Bonnies.
“You’re not going to score on her a lot, she’s got excellent timing,” Fleming said about Butnik. “We play our bigs a little farther away from the basket. I think it’s a better matchup for us because she isn’t effecting the game as much.”
In the second half Johnson took over and was scoring efficiently by getting to the basket and hitting mid-range jump shots. She finished 10-16 from the field and 8-9 from the free-throw line.
“She’s really tough to guard,” Fleming said. “Your whole thing is to keep her in front but she can pull up over the top of you. She can get to her spots.”
The Bonnies finish their three-game homestand against Massachusetts on February 9.