Thursday, December 22, 2011

Defense Locks Down In 2nd Half, Bona Wins 7th Straight

HAMILTON, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure women's basketball team (11-1) held Colgate (2-11) to just 10 points over the final 13 minutes as the Bonnies put five players in double-figure scoring en route to their seventh straight win Thursday afternoon, 68-49.

The win moved Bona's record to 11-1, tying it with the 2009-10 club for the best start to a campaign in program history. The victory also gave the Bonnies their sixth road victory of the season to become the only team in the nation with a 6-0 road mark.

Redshirt senior Armelia Horton and junior Chelsea Bowker paced the Bona offense with 15 points each. Senior Jessica Jenkins and junior Alaina Walker both contributed 11 points, and sophomore CeCe Dixon added 10 as the Bonnies had a quintet of double-figure scorers for the first time since Jan. 2, 2009 against Bryant.

Up just one point, 40-39, with 13 minutes left, the Brown and White went on a 12-2 run to open up a 52-41 lead with 7:14 remaining. Horton served as the main catalyst during that stretch, tallying seven of her season-best 15 points in a span of three minutes.

Bonaventure – Receiving Votes in this week's Associated Press Poll – jumped out to a 17-2 start following a Jenkins' steal and transition pull-up 3 from the top of the arc. However, it was all Colgate the rest of the half as the Raiders closed on an extended 26-10 run to take a 28-27 lead into the halftime break.

Trailing at the half on the road for just the second time this year, the Bonnies got even further behind at the start of second frame, 35-30, but gradually fought back and on a Walker layup took a 38-37 lead they wouldn't relinquish.

For the second time in its last three games, St. Bonaventure was without preseason Atlantic 10 Conference First Team pick Megan Van Tatenhove due to concussion-related symptoms.

Missy Repoli and Mariah Jones each scored 11 to pace the Raider offensive attack. The 21 second-half points by Colgate are tied for the fewest allowed in the second frame by SBU all year.

Horton pulled down a season-high-tying eight rebounds as part of a 35-32 Bona advantage on the glass. Bowker, who went 4-6 from 3-point range, now has nine 3's in the last two games (9-12; 75 percent). Jenkins hit three 3's, finished with a season-best four assists against no turnovers and a game-high three steals.

Bona finished 19-22 (86.4 percent) from the free throw line, including a 15-17 (88.2 percent) effort in the second half. SBU entered the game ranked second in the A-10 in free throw percentage (77.7 percent), and 14th nationally.

St. Bonaventure will have a week between games as it next takes to the court against Villanova on Dec. 29 at the Monmouth University Hawks Holiday Classic. The Wildcats, 8-2, are Receiving Votes in this week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, and have a ranking of 14 in the RPI. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m., and the Bonnies will face either Norfolk State or host Monmouth on the tournament's final day, Dec. 30.

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