Thursday, January 19, 2012

Balanced Scoring Attack Paces Bonaventure Past Richmond

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Senior Jessica Jenkins led a trio of St. Bonaventure double-figure scorers with an 18-point performance as the Bonnies (17-2, 4-0 Atlantic 10) continued their best-ever start to a season with a 75-59 win over Richmond (14-4, 2-2 A-10) on Wednesday evening at the Reilly Center.

Jenkins knocked down four 3-pointers, moving within five 3's of breaking the school and A-10 record of 291 in a career. Redshirt senior Armelia Horton added 14 points, while sophomore Doris Ortega netted 10 and pulled down five rebounds.

Senior Jennie Ashton led an extremely impressive Bona bench as she corralled a career-high 10 rebounds while finishing with four points – two off tying her career high.

Richmond jumped out to a five-point lead not even three minutes into the contest – the first time a team has led against the Bonnies in three games. Bona was able to fight back before the two teams started trading buckets. With the game tied for the fifth time at 24-24, SBU closed the half on a 14-4 run to create a 10-point margin at the intermission.

The lead eventually blossomed to 15 midway through the second frame, and the Bonnies didn't allow the Spiders to get closer than nine the entire final 20 minutes – and that happened on just three occasions.

Senior Megan Van Tatenhove played just 11 foul-plagued minutes en route to scoring eight points. That point total was match by junior Alaina Walker, who also corralled seven boards.

Junior Chelsea Bowker came off the bench to provide seven points, while Jordan McGee added four for her first points since Dec. 18 against Marist.

St. Bonaventure and Richmond entered as the two winningest teams in the A-10 with 16 and 14, respectively. The two clubs also entered the contest as the two highest-ranked squads in the A-10 in the official Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).

After allowing Genevieve Okoro to score 16 points in the first half, the Bonnies held the sophomore in check in the second stanza as she finished with a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds. UR's leading scorer, Abby Oliver, tallied 17 for the Spiders.

Walker – arguably Bonaventure's best defensive player – locked down on Richmond's Rachael Bilney, who just two games ago hit a school-record eight 3-pointers on her way to a career-best 32-point showing. But Walker held her to just two points and four field-goal attempts in 35 minutes of action.

The road for the Brown and White doesn't get any easier as it heads to Charlotte on Saturday in a battle of league unbeatens. The 49ers, who are the lone other club beside Bonaventure with a perfect conference mark at 4-0, were picked to finish 4th in preseason voting. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from the Queen City.

Game Notes: The Bonnies were picked 6th in the A-10 preseason voting, while the Spiders were tabbed for an 8th-place finish … the Bonnies shot 77.8 percent (14-18) from the free-throw line, while the Spiders connected at a 90-percent clip (18-20) … Bowker's three assists are the most in game versus an A-10 opponent … Jenkins is just two 3's shy of moving into solo second place on the program's all-time list.

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