Jim Crowley spoke to Katie Healy on Tuesday about her willingness to accept the task of becoming St. Bonaventure’s go-to threat inside.
On Wednesday the Bonnies beat Big 4 rival Canisius College, 61-47, to improve to 7-3 and Healy apparently took her coach’s words to heart with 19 points to complement personal highs in rebounds (17) and blocks (six). The Lancaster product also registered five assists and played so well that her night was over with about four minutes remaining in the game.
“I didn’t realize the numbers were what they are,” Crowley said after his Bonnies recorded their 20th consecutive victory over a Big 4 opponent in front of 816 at the Koessler Center. “That’s a heck of a stat line.”
The night got off to an encouraging start as Healy missed a jumper but grabbed her own rebound and fed Gabrielle Richmond for an easy layup. Healy later received the ball in the high post and dropped a pass to Nyla Rueter for an open three-pointer.
Healy had 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists by halftime as the Bonnies led, 28-18. Healy finished 7 of 14 from the floor and 5 of 7 from the free-throw line as she contributed a double-double for the second time this season.
“We sort of didn’t go get her, so now she’s out on the perimeter finding people because there’s no pressure on her,” Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. “We weren’t doubling her but we weren’t on the other people either, which I think got us a little bit. We were sort of caught in between.”
But Crowley was more impressed with Healy’s defense, which helped the Bonnies hold the Golden Griffins (3-4) to 30.5 percent shooting for the game and a frigid 5 of 20 from long distance.
“I thought her defense was off the charts,” Crowley said. “I thought she really rotated well. She did it without fouling, which is new for her, so there were a lot of positives on both ends.”
Healy and Richmond, who scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half and was 8 of 11 from the floor, form quite the interior tandem. But Crowley wants the offense to flow more through Healy, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, who is averaging a team-high 13.4 points. In the four games where she’s the scoring leader, the Bonnies are 4-0.
“It’s something I’ve been told I need to be comfortable with,” Healy said about becoming the team’s primary scoring threat. “It’s not just my part, it’s my teammates’ part and they do a really good job at getting me the ball, getting me open shots and playing off me.”
Healy certainly can draw attention but her game can be uneven. She scored 16 points with five rebounds and four assists against Fairfield, then 21 points, 14 rebounds and a pair of blocks against Niagara. But in the Bonnies’ next game against Monmouth, Healy finished with just seven points and six rebounds before bouncing back against Boston University with 20 points and nine boards.
“Now the challenge is the consistency of it,” Crowley said.
Jamie Ruttle and Jen Lennox each had 10 points for Canisius.
Canisius played without sophomore forward Crystal Porter, who was out with an ankle injury suffered during the Griffs’ 68-59 loss to the University at Buffalo last week.
Hannah Little came off the bench for the Bonnies with 11 points and seven rebounds.