Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ortega’s Career Night Carries Bonnies Past Saint Joe’s

St. Bonaventure University Athletic News
January 25, 2012
Watch The Complete Game

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Sophomore Doris Ortega scored a career-high 20 points as St. Bonaventure (19-2, 6-0 Atlantic 10) erased an uncharacteristically slow first half to remain the only unbeaten in conference play with a 68-61 win over Saint Joseph's (13-6, 3-2 A-10) Wednesday night at the Reilly Center.

Trailing 52-50 with under 10 minutes to play, the Bonnies reverted back to the form which paced them to their program-record start, led by their core of seniors and an influx of youthful exuberance. 

Senior Megan Van Tatenhove started a 6-0 spurt with a jumper, followed by a pair of free throws from redshirt senior Armelia Horton and then a layup from sophomore CeCe Dixon. After a Saint Joe's bucket, it was Dixon with four straight as she sliced her way through the Hawks' defense on one trip and beat it down the court the next. That score gave SBU a 62-54 lead with under two minutes to play and it held on for its first home win over SJU since 2004.

Ortega stepped up huge for the Brown and White on a night when leading scorer Jessica Jenkins could only muster six points, including none in the final 32 minutes. The Harlem native broke her previous scoring high with more than 13 minutes to play and she finished a perfect 8-8 from the line – also a career best.

Three other Bonaventure players reached double-figure scoring as Horton tallied 11 and pulled down nine rebounds, while Van Tatenhove and Dixon each contributed 10. Eight of Dixon's points came in the second half, including six over a span of just three minutes late in the game where the Bonnies took the game over.

Junior Alaina Walker grabbed a season-high-tying 11 rebounds and finished just shy of a double-double with eight points. Following an 11-board performance at Charlotte on Saturday, it's the first time in her career that Walker has had back-to-back double-digit rebounding games.

The Hawks tried to pull away with the early in the second half as they went on a 7-0 run to create a 45-38 lead. But the Bonnies stopped that right away with a 7-0 response in just more than one minute, including a momentum-shifting 3-pointer from junior Chelsea Bowker. The 3 represented the first points in Bowker's career against Saint Joe's in three meetings.

Erin Shields led SJU with 14 points, while Michelle Baker added 12 for the Hawks, who dropped their fourth decision in the last five meetings to Bonaventure after winning 35 of the first 41 contests.

The victory was the 86th for the senior class of Jenkins, Horton, Van Tatenhove and Jennie Ashton, breaking the 2011 class for the most victories over a four-year span. The triumph was also the 19th of the campaign, already the fourth-most wins in a single season in program history, bested only by the previous three years (2010-11: 21 wins; 2009-10: 23 wins; 2008-09: 23 wins).

The win also represented the fourth victory of the season already over a team that was picked ahead of SBU in the preseason rankings, as the Bonnies were picked 6th and the Hawks were tabbed for a 5th-place finish.

St. Bonaventure returns to action as it battles its second Philadelphia-based school of the week when it heads to La Salle on Saturday. Tipoff against the Explorers is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be shown nationally on CBS Sports Network.

Game Notes: Bonaventure previously defeated preseason 3rd-place Duquesne, preseason 1st-place Temple and preseason 4th-place Charlotte … SBU shot 19-23 (82.6 percent) from the free-throw line, compared with just 5-8 (62.5 percent) for SJU … Bowker is now just 1-15 from the floor all-time against Saint Joseph's … Van Tatenhove pulled down six rebounds, while Dixon established a season high with five boards.

No comments:

Post a Comment