The St. Francis women’s basketball team knew that it would have a challenging season after losing four out of five starters, including one of its top post players in history, Beth Swink.

However, the 0-5 start has been tough.

After losing the home opener to St. Bonaventure, 59-45 on Sunday at the Maurice Stokes Athletics Center, the team is looking for someone to step up and lead the team.

Senior point guard Amber Hein, who is the only starter back from last year, realizes that the leadership role may be hers.

“I definitely need to be more of a leader than I was last year,” Hein said. “Last year, I was on the floor with four seniors most of the time. Now, it is a much different team, and I have to step up and be a leader.”

The Red Flash trailed the Bonnies by just three points, 23-20, at halftime. After the break, the Bonnies started the second half with a 9-2 run, building a 32-22 lead after St. Bonaventure guard Priscilla Edwards picked up a Red Flash turnover and went coast to coast with 14:48 left.

Hein brought the Flash to within eight points, 46-38, when she drained a three-point shot with 6:07 left.

That was as close at St. Francis got, as the Bonnies prevented the Flash from getting into a rhythm to charge back.

“We seemed to have an answer for every big shot that they hit, and they hit some big ones,” St. Bonaventure coach Jim Crowley said. “Hein made some great shots, and (Kanisha Garrett) inside made some tough shots. We had a response each time, and I was proud of our kids for that.”

St. Francis has not experienced an 0-5 start since the 2000-01 season, the only time in the past 12 years that the Red Flash women have not had a winning season.

Coach Jill Poe, who has a 46-16 record in her two years as coach, is still optimistic that this team will improve.

“I’ve said all along that we have great talent,” Poe said. “Have we come together yet? No, we haven’t. But we had spurts, we had runs. It’s just about making our kids mature and realize what they need to do. It’s about getting the right working combinations, but we’re getting better.”

Hein led the Flash in scoring with 13 points, hitting 5-of-11 from the field, including 2-of-3 from three-point territory.

Poe did get some solid play in the post from Garrett, a 6-foot freshman, who scored 11 points and led the Flash in rebounding with seven boards, and from 6-foot-1 sophomore Emily Bollinger, who scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds.

The Bonnies were led by senior guard Stefanie Collins, who scored 16 points, hitting 4-of-7 in three-point opportunities.

St. Bonaventure, now 3-0, hit 6-of-10 three-point shots, and was 50 percent from the field (21-of-42).

The Red Flash were 20-of-48 (42 percent) from the field, and were outscored 11-2 from the free-throw line.

St. Francis will return to action Tuesday night, hosting Toledo at the Stokes Center.

Recommended for you