ALBANY — Siena women’s basketball head coach Jim Jabir knew heading into this season that, with a roster that includes nine freshmen, some growing pains were likely in store.
That did little to chasten his frustrations Wednesday night as the Saints let a number of mistakes cost them dearly in a 69-63 loss to St. Bonaventure at MVP Arena.
“My apologies to anyone who had to watch that performance,” Jabir said in his postgame press conference. “Really, really disappointed in every aspect of our game. I’m really tired of talking about our youth and how we’re going to be really good someday and just have to learn, because we’re not doing the little things that even young teams should do. I’m really disappointed.”
Siena (1-2 overall) suffered its second straight loss as the Saints were unable to take advantage of forcing 22 St. Bonaventure turnovers. Siena struggled badly shooting the ball, finishing 28 of 83 from the field and just 3 of 25 from 3-point range, and gave up a huge disparity at the free throw line, where St. Bonaventure was 20 of 27 and Siena was just 4 of 8.
“That game, like coach said, was all on us,” said Siena sophomore forward Anajah Brown, who scored a team-high 13 points. “The common theme is just lack of discipline.”
Siena briefly led 26-23 after a Teresa Seppala 3-pointer 54 seconds into the second quarter, but St. Bonaventure responded with a 12-0 run that put the Bonnies in front for good.
Siena trailed 44-37 at halftime, and made it a two-possession game on multiple occasions in the second half, but couldn’t get any closer than five points.
After a Jackson layup got Siena within 59-54 with 6:42 left in the fourth, back-to-back 3-pointers by St. Bonaventure’s Maddie Dizezgowski pushed the lead back to double digits, and the Saints never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
“We knew who [Dziezgowski] was coming in, we prepared and we just lose our minds,” Jabir said. “We don’t know where she is, and it’s late and people are out of position. So then, even if you know where she is, you can’t get there because you’re not in the right spot.”
Dziezgowski scored 16 points for the Bonnies (1-2 overall), while Tianna Johnson led the way with 17 points and 13 rebounds. I’yanna Lops added 11 points and Taylor Napper scored 10.
In addition to Brown’s team-high 13 points, Siena got 10 points and nine rebounds from Teresa Seppala, nine points each from Ahniysha Jackson and London Gamble, and six points and seven assists from Angel Jones.
“I’m not doing a really great job as a head coach,” Jabir said, “and we’ve got to figure out how to turn this thing around, because I’m really, really frustrated and disappointed in my coaching and where we are right now as a team.”
The Saints will look to turn things around Saturday, when they’ll be back on their on-campus home at UHY Center for a 2 p.m. game against Lafayette.