Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bonnies lose to Notre Dame 77-35

Following an incredible season and methodical run to the NCAA Sweet 16, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies women's basketball team suffered a rough loss to No. 1 seed Notre Dame, 77-35, in Raleigh.

St. Bonaventure finished the year at 31-4 (14-0 Atlantic 10), but just couldn't get going in this one.

Before the game, head coach Jim Crowley told his team: "Today you will be at your best. I know you will play your tails off." The Bonnies couldn't get their offense started, as they fell behind 16-2, and eventually trailed 35-13 at the half. Notre Dame's press gave St. Bonaventure fits, and the shots weren't falling on offense, as Bonnies star Jessica Jenkins - who finished her Atlantic 10 career as the conference's best all-time three-point shooter - was held scoreless.

"They're so much better in person than they are on film," Crowley said. "They don't get enough credit for their defense.

Of St. Bonaventure's 13 first half points, seven were scored by forward Doris Ortega. Ortega finished with 11 points, and Cece Dixon added 13. Notre Dame outscored St. Bona 42-22 in the second half.

Before this game, St. Bonaventure's biggest loss this year was a 61-49 defeat at the hands of then-No. 8 in the nation Delaware. The Fightin' Blue Hens (31-2) dropped out of the tournament with an upset loss to Kansas.

This game marked the first time all year the Bonnies allowed an opponent to eclipse 70 points, and St. Bonaventure's 35 points set a record for fewest points ever in a regional game in the NCAA Women's Tournament.

"We have 2,000 students, no women's basketball history at all, and we're in the Sweet 16. That's pretty remarkable," Crowley said.

The Bonnies defeated Florida Gulf Coast and Marist to get to the round of 16.

ND moves on to play No. 2 seed Maryland in the Elite Eight. Last year's national champion, No. 3 seed Texas A&M, fell to Maryland in the Sweet 16.

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