By Amy Moritz
Charlotte 65, St. Bonaventure 57
How Charlotte Won: Senior Jennifer Hailey scored 21 points and pulled in 13 rebounds as the 49ers dominated the points in the paint statistics (40-20). They shot 40.7 percent for the game (24 of 59) and scored 22 points off 15 offensive rebounds.
Most surprising stat: That St. Bonaventure was in this game. No disrespect, but on paper, the Bonnies had little business being in this game. The 49ers were picked to finish third in the A-10 and came in with a 3-1 conference mark, 14-4 overall. They're bigger than the Bonnies. More experienced than the Bonnies. And yet, Bona was never truly out of the game, even as they spent much of the night with three freshmen on the floor.
Bona player of the game: Nyla Rueter. She netted a career-high 15 points on 4-9 shooting, hitting a three pointer and 6-8 from the free throw line. She threw in six rebounds. In the process, she reminds one of a younger Jessica Jenkins. Not that we're putting any expectations on her. It could just be her shot and ponytail.
Missing: The Bonnies were without junior guard CeCe Dixon who had not played in the last two games for "internal team reasons."
Freshmen Power: Nyla Rueter and Katie Healy combined for 29 points. Each started. Each played 30 minutes.
What It Means: Bona falls to 9-12 overall and 2-4 in the A-10. No one wants to talk about moral victories, but this was a sign of steps in the right direction.
Quote of the Game: “I’m encouraged that they’re playing hard now. They’re getting better and theyr’e getting good game experience. One of the things it came down to is they have players taking shots they’ve made for the last two or three years. We have players taking shots they’ve made for the last two or three months.” Bona coach Jim Crowley.
Next Up: Bona hits the road for its next two games playing at Xavier on Sunday and at Duquesne (receiving votes) on Thursday.www.twitter.com/amymoritz