BY ANDREW HALE, SPORTS STAFFER
After giving up 92 and 65 points in its last two games respectively, St. Bonaventure’s defensive struggles continued Wednesday night as the Bonnies fell to the Fordham Rams, 85-51, in the Reilly Center.
The two Atlantic 10 foes struggled offensively to begin the game. Rams’ senior guard Anna DeWolfe scored the first points of the contest with 7:30 remaining in the opening quarter.
Fordham proceeded to go on a 10-0 run to take control. An I’yanna Lops 3-pointer cut the lead to eight but that’s the closest the Bonnies got. Fordham led 21-12 to end the first quarter.
The Rams shot 50% from the field in the first and forced five Bonnies turnovers. Forced turnovers turned out to be key for Fordham as the Rams scored 22 of its 85 points off turnovers.
“Fordham has some really good guards who are versatile,” interim head coach Erica Morrow said. “It was hard for us to focus on one thing and that’s what you saw… our girls have to do a better job at being able to defend those actions and getting some more weak-side help.”
The Bonnies’ lack of offensive production carried over to the second quarter as junior guard Nadechka Laccen scored the team’s first points of the segment with 4:50 remaining.
Bonaventure’s defense began to get exposed late in the second as Fordham cutters led to open baskets in the paint. Senior Sarah Karpell scored the Rams’ final points of the half with seconds remaining to go up 40-17.
During halftime, all of Bonaventure’s women’s sports teams were celebrated as the school honored the 50th anniversary of Title IX.
Fordham began the third quarter with a nifty touch pass from forward Kaitlyn Downey to a wide-open Jada Dapaa for an easy layup.
Laccen and Lops led the offense for the Bonnies in the third, scoring five points each. However, this would not be enough as the Rams went on a 23-6 run to take a 63-30 lead entering the final quarter.
Lops’ strong third quarter propelled her to finish the contest with a double-double – 12 points, 10 rebounds and three steals. Laccen finished the game with a team-high 14 points.
“Nadechka’s still learning,” Morrow said. “She’s coming from a really good junior college program and with her dealing with all of these changes, I think she’s doing a good job adapting. She’s eager to learn, she has a positive attitude every day so as long as she does that, I’m happy with her and she’ll keep learning.”
Freshman Breauna Ware, who has started the last three games, got the Bonnies on the board first in the fourth quarter.
Fordham responded with a two of their own and would keep their foot on the gas for the remainder of the fourth. Bonaventure emptied its bench with 1:12 remaining, signifying yet another lopsided defeat.
Rams’ redshirt freshman Sophia Sabino found herself open on an inbound play to score the game’s final points, giving Fordham the 85-51 victory.
“It was definitely a tough one tonight,” Morrow said. “I’m not proud of the outcome but all credit to Fordham. I’m not really proud of our effort and it’s something we address as a team… but it’s on to the next and back to the drawing board.”
Bonaventure has a quick turnaround as they face the Saint Louis Billikens on Sunday. The game can be heard on WSBU 88.3 FM with the pre-game show starting at 12:45 p.m. for a 1 p.m. tip.