ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. -- After trailing by as many as seven points in the early going, the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team recovered in a big way, outscoring Binghamton 51-14 over a 25-minute span en route to a convincing 61-34 season-opening victory on Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center.
Trailing 10-3 in the early going, the tide turned when freshman Katie Healy stepped back on the left side baseline and knocked down a long two-point jumper, the first points of her career. Binghamton would score on their next possession but the Bonnies held the Bearcats scoreless over the next 7:24 as part of a 28-6 run to close out the half.
The 33 first half points by the Bonnies are the most scored in the first half of any matchup between these two teams.
The second half was more of the same for the Bonnies. The comfortable lead allowed to freshmen to have their own coming out party in front of a great Reilly Center crowd. Katie Healy led the way for the rookies with 12 points and a game high seven rebounds in just 19 minutes.
Emily Michael added six points on 2-6 shooting from long range, three rebounds and three assists.
Hannah Little added four points, three steals and
two boards while Nyla Rueter scored two points, snagged two caroms and handed out three assists to round out the freshmen production.
The only new face that played and did not score was Kelcie Rombach, who collected two rebounds.
The Bonnies sealed the victory when they held Binghamton without a field goal over a 10:22 span in the second half. During that stretch the Brown and White outscored the Bearcats 16-7.
Ashley Zahn was able to get hot in the second half going 1-3 from 3-point range, 3-6 from the floor (5-11 overall) for a career best 14 points to lead all scorers. Zahn set several other career highs today including minutes (23), field goals made, field goals attempted, rebounds (4) and 3-point attempts (7)
Career highs would be the theme of the day for the Bonnies. CeCe Dixon attempted a career high six three-pointers, connecting on two and scoring 10 points this afternoon. Jordan McGee grabbed a career high six rebounds. Tatiana Wilson played the first big minutes of her career, accumulated 19 minutes, scoring a career best five points and knocking down her first 3-point bucket.
Doris Ortega and Alaina Walker, two upperclassmen expected to carry this team offensively, combined for just two points on 1-10 shooting from the field. Fortunately their production was not needed his afternoon as these freshmen showed this may be a reloading year for the Bonnies rather than a rebuilding one.
The 2011-12 Atlantic 10 Regular Season Championship and NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen banners were unveiled prior to the game honoring the accomplishments of the record breaking squad from a year ago.
Last season St. Bonaventure held Binghamton to a then program record 34 points. SBU would best that defensive performance in their regular season finale against Rhode Island, holding the Rams to just 32 points.
GAME NOTES: St. Bonaventure held Binghamton to 25.5 percent shooting in the game, 16.7 percent in the second half… SBU forced 16 turnovers and scored 22 points off of them… Bonnies shot 39 percent from the field (23-59) and 31.8 percent from distance (7-22)… Alaina Walker made her 68th consecutive start… Ashley Zahn and Jordan McGee each made their first career starts… Improve to 6-0 all-time against Binghamton…Saturday was the largest margin of victory in series history (27)…Average margin of victory in the series is now 14.1 in favor of the Bonnies… Former St. Bonaventure assistant coach Sarah Cartmill was on the bench as assistant for Binghamton.