Saturday, January 7, 2012

Gritty Bonnies Open Conference Slate With Win Over Duquesne

St. Bonaventure University Athletic News
January 7, 2012
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Megan Van Tatenhove recorded her sixth career double-double, Jessica Jenkins tallied 16 points and Alaina Walker added 11 as St. Bonaventure (14-2, 1-0 Atlantic 10) opened conference play with a 61-53 win over visiting Duquesne (12-4, 0-1 A-10) Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center.

Trailing 18-17 with six minutes left in the opening half, the Bonnies closed the stanza on a 10-0 run and led by no fewer than six the rest of the afternoon, extending the cushion to as large as 13 at one point.

Van Tatenhove finished with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. In the process, the Wisconsin native became the ninth member of the school's 1,000 Point & 500 Rebound Club with a board in the opening minutes.

Jenkins tallied 12 of her game-high point total in the opening half, and knocked down all seven of her career-high-tying free throws. Walker – for the first time this season and just the second in her career – tallied double-digit points in consecutive games.

The Bona defense held Duquesne to its third-lowest point total of the year, including just 18 in the first half. The Dukes entered the game statistically the best offense in the A-10 (72.2 per game), while Bonaventure came in as the league's second-best defensive team (51.4 per game).

The aggressive Bonnies forced Duquesne into 20 fouls, and the nation's 15th-best free-throw shooting team put that on display against the Dukes, knocking down 18-20 for a 90-percent clip.

Four of those fouls were committed by leading scorer and rebounder Wumi Agunbiade, who netted just eight and pulled down three boards in a season-low 17 minutes. The Bonnies snapped Agunbiade's streak of 14 straight games in double-figure scoring, holding her eight below her scoring average and four off her rebounding pace.

Alex Gensler tallied 15 and Orsi Szecsi netted 11 to pace the Dukes' offensive attack, which shot 42.3 percent (22-52) from the floor, but just 14.3 percent (2-14) from 3-point range.

The win gives the Brown and White its conference-leading 14th victory of the season, and continues the best-ever start in program history.

St. Bonaventure returns to action next Wednesday, Jan. 11, at Temple. The Owls, along with Dayton, were picked to win the A-10 as the two clubs split the 14 first-place votes. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from Philadelphia.

Game Notes: Van Tatenhove's other double-double this year came off an 18-point, 10-rebound performance against Indiana … Walker's only other consecutive double-digit scoring games came last season against Massachusetts (Jan. 29 – 11 points) and Dayton (Feb. 2 – 10 points) … junior Chelsea Bowker scored seven points, redshirt senior Armelia Horton added six and Doris Ortega and CeCe Dixon each contributed four … Dixon and Ortega did not play in the first half … Duquesne now leads the all-time series, 29-16 … Jenkins hit three 3's … Horton dished out a season-high-tying four helpers, which she set last time out against Sacred Heart … junior Jordan McGee played 12 minutes and pulled down two boards, while senior Jennie Ashton logged eight minutes.

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