Saturday, March 3, 2012

SBU: Huge Second Half Lifts Top-Seeded Bonaventure Into Semis

St. Bonaventure University Athletic News
March 3, 2012

Highlights & Postgame Coming Soon

Social Media Recap Coming Soon

No. 1 seed St. Bonaventure (28-2) turned a two-point halftime lead into a 15-point win, 68-53, over eighth-seeded La Salle (14-17) in the Quarterfinal Round of the 2012 Buick Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Championship on Saturday afternoon from Saint Joseph's Hagan Arena.

With the win, the Bonnies advance to Sunday's semifinals for the first time in program history where they will face the winner of fourth-seeded Richmond and fifth-seeded Saint Joseph's. The game will start at Noon and be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.

Holding just a 27-25 halftime lead, Bonaventure opened the second half on an 8-0 run and held La Salle to just four points over nearly the first 12 minutes of the half to create what at one point was a 26-point differential, 60-34.

A balanced Bona offensive attack saw five players reach double-figure scoring, led by 13 from senior Megan Van Tatenhove. The Wisconsin native also finished just one rebound shy of the double-double as she corralled nine.

Senior Jessica Jenkins finished with 11 – eight coming in the second half – while redshirt senior Armelia Horton also added eight of her 11 in the game's second half. Closing out the quintet of double-figure scorers for the Brown and White was the junior Chelsea Bowker and sophomore CeCe Dixon as they each tallied 10. Bowker pulled down a season-high eight rebounds as part of SBU's slim 40-38 edge on the glass.

St. Bonaventure raced out to a 16-2 start not even six minutes into the game following a Van Tatenhove jumper. After a Bowker 3-pointer from the wing at the 9:48 mark, seven different Bonnies had scored and SBU maintained a 21-12 lead. However, the Explorers ended the half on an extended 13-6 stretch, including a 6-0 run in stanza's final two minutes.

Walker – named to the A-10's All-Defensive Team earlier in the week – played just three minutes in the opening half due to foul trouble, and La Salle's Brittany Wilson took advantage of her absence as she led the Explorer offensive attack in the first half with 17 points.

However, the second half was a different story as Wilson missed all but one of her seven shots, tallying just two points in the game's final 20 minutes. As a team, Bona's locked down on the Explorers in the second stanza, holding them to just 17-percent shooting (6-35) in the half and 24.8 percent for the game. That percentage ranks as the second-lowest an opponent has shot against SBU this season, and each has come in the last two games (20.8 percent by Rhode Island).

Junior Jordan McGee provided a huge spark off the Bona bench in lieu of Walker – who played just seven minutes – as she scored five points, pulled down three rebounds and blocked three shots in 19 minutes of action. Bowker and Jenkins each hit a trio of 3-pointers, while Dixon added another, as Bonaventure moved into sole possession of second place on the program's single-season record for 3-pointers made with 193.

The Bonnies committed 17 turnovers … La Salle chased down 16 offensive rebounds … SBU shot 44 percent on the day (21-48) … Jenkins scored five straight for the Bonnies early in the second half to open up a 35-25 advantage … SBU defeated La Salle, 75-57, in the regular season … Jenkins – who did not make a 3 in the regular-season finale against Rhode Island – has now hit at least three 3's in games following being blanked seven of eight times over the last three years … nine different Bonnies scored, including four from sophomore Doris Ortega, and two each from Walker and senior Jennie Ashton.

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