Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bowker, Jenkins Help SBU Hand Duquesne Its First Home Loss

St. Bonaventure University Athletic News

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An 11-0 scoring run in the second half created enough separation for RV/RV St. Bonaventure (21-2, 8-0 Atlantic 10) as the Bonnies handed Duquesne (15-7, 3-4 A-10) its first home loss of the season, 58-53, Wednesday night at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Junior Chelsea Bowker scored 13 vital bench points, and senior Jessica Jenkins added 15 as SBU extended the nation's best road record to 10-0 and remained at the top of the league standings.

Duquesne entered the contest with an 11-0 record at home – the only undefeated team at home in the A-10. The Dukes last home loss came on Feb. 16, 2011 to Saint Joseph's – a stretch of 12 straight wins.

Trailing 39-35 with 12:15 left in the game, the Bonnies held Duquesne without a point for more than seven minutes as they went on that 11-0 stretch to open up a 46-39 lead. The Dukes got as close as three, 56-53 with 23 seconds left, but despite Bona missing five straight free throws in the final 31 seconds, were able to hold on. Redshirt senior Armelia Horton knocked down a pair of free throws with six seconds remaining to ice the contest.

Sophomore Doris Ortega contributed 10 points – the fifth straight time she's been in double-figure scoring. Second-leading scorer Megan Van Tatenhove tallied just eight points, but sophomore CeCe Dixon netted seven and Horton added five to extend Bona's winning streak to 10 straight – one shy of tying the program record.

Bowker hit three 3-pointers and reached double-figure scoring for the first time since Dec. 22 at Colgate as Bona won its 21st game of the season – tying last year's win total for the third-most in a single season in program history.

Duquesne was led offensively by Alex Gensler as she tallied 14 points before fouling out. Wumi Agunbiade netted 11 and Jocelyn Floyd added 10 to close out the trio of Dukes' double-figure scorers.

St. Bonaventure entered the contest as the nation's 23rd-best free-throw shooting team at 75.9 percent – second-best in the conference.

After Bonaventure built a 30-23 lead early in the second half, Duquesne responded with an 8-0 spurt to take a 31-30 advantage. The lead quickly went back to SBU with a 5-0 push before the Dukes answered with yet another 8-0 run to take a 35-31 cushion before the clubs traded buckets to create Duquesne's 39-35 advantage.

Earlier in the contest with the game tied for the fifth time at 23-23 with 3:30 to play in the opening half, the Bonnies closed the frame on a 5-0 run behind a layup from Dixon and a 3-pointer from Bowker to take a 28-23 lead into the intermission.

3-point shooting built Bona's first-half lead as it connected on 67 percent of its attempts (6-9) – three from Jenkins, two from Bowker and one from Dixon. Furthermore, 15 of SBU's first 17 points came from long range.

St. Bonaventure will look to extend its winning streak on Saturday at home against George Washington. It is the Bonnies' "Play 4 Kay" game in support of the fight against breast cancer. Donations will be accepted at the door and pink T-shirts will be sold in support of the Kay Yow Foundation. Tipoff from the Reilly Center is set for 1 p.m.

Game Notes: The starting lineup of Jenkins, Alaina Walker, Horton, Ortega and Van Tatenhove is now 13-0 on the season … Bonaventure has now won eight of the last 11 meetings against Duquesne … for the seventh straight game Duquesne played without senior Vanessa Abel, last year's A-10's assist leader, due to an ankle injury … Bona had just five first-half turnovers: all from Van Tatenhove … Jenkins scored St. Bonaventure's first eight points and now has 306 career 3's.

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