ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure women's basketball team overcame a half-time deficit to defeat Big 4 rival Buffalo by a score of 76-71 in overtime on Tuesday night. Chelsea Bowker led the Bonnies with a career-high 24 points and nine rebounds. The win gives the Brown and White 21 consecutive victories over Big 4 opponents.
Final Score: St. Bonaventure, 76 | Buffalo, 71
Location: Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center
Records: SBU: 9-4 | Buffalo: 5-4
How It Happened
It was a wild one at the Reilly Center on Tuesday night, and at times, not the prettiest game to watch. In a game that featured four lead changes and three ties, the Bonnies got on the board first and took an early lead, only to quickly find themselves falling behind to an opportunistic Buffalo team that forced St. Bonaventure into some uncharacteristic plays and capitalized on their opportunities. After scoring the first five points of the contest and eventually building up a six point lead (8-2), Buffalo answered the bell and the two team's exchanged baskets and a couple of lead changes before the Bulls regained the lead with 5:05 remaining in the first half and eventually took a six point lead into halftime; 33-27.
A chess match would ensue in the second half, as the Bonnies refused to let the Bulls get away with this one. SBU would strike first in the second half, but the Bulls continued to stay ahead of the Bonnies and eventually built up their second 10 point lead of the night with 6:46 left in the game. The Brown and White, who let a similar lead slip away from them in their previous game vs. Toledo, were determined to overcome the deficit. In the second half and overtime, Katie Healy registered 19 of her 21 points, Hannah Little had 12 points and eight rebounds as she would finish with her third double-double of the season (17 points, 12 rebounds) and Chelsea Bowker tallied two more three pointers to bring her game total to six, a new career-high. Bowker went on to finish the game with a career and game-high 24 points.
From the 6:46 mark on, the Bonnies outscored the Bulls 14-4 to tie the game up at 61 apiece with 45 seconds remaining in the second half. Bona had a chance to close out the game coming out of a timeout with 6 seconds left, but failed to convert as the Buffalo defenders swarmed in on Healy beneath the basket and her layup would not go. The ball would end up out of bounds on the baseline as the Bulls would have one last chance off an inbound play with .8 seconds left, where they managed to get the ball over half court for a game-winning shot at the buzzer that also missed.
In the overtime period, St. Bonaventure carried their momentum and scored the first bucket of OT 58 seconds in, as they went on to lead the entire extra session. Katie Healy scored the first four points of OT before the Bulls registered their first points two minutes and eight seconds into the period. A Bowker three-pointer, her sixth of the game (new career-high), put the Bonnies up by five points. The Bonnies would lead by no more than six points in the overtime, and five different times they built up five point leads. The team's would exchange trips to the charity stripe for much of the extra frame, but the Bonnies outlasted the Bulls in this one. The Brown and White improved to 9-4 overall and 4-1 on home court as they claimed the 76-71 victory in what was a very spirited affair at the Reilly Center.
Beyond The Box Score
Tonight was the first overtime game of the season for the Bonnies.
Chelsea Bowker recorded career-highs in points (24), free throw attempts (8) and 3-pt field goals made (6). She tied her career-highs in field goals made (7, also a season-high) and 3-pt field goal attempts (11, also a season high). She also registered season-highs in rebounds (9) and field goals attempted (13).
Chelsea Bowker (40 min), Emily Michael (38 min), Nyla Rueter (36 min) all set career-highs in minutes played tonight.
Bowker, Healy, and Little combined for 62 of St. Bonaventure's 76 points and 30 of the team's 49 rebounds.
The Bonnies finished the game shooting 45.5% from the field (25-55) compared to 32.9% (26-79) from Buffalo. The Brown and White shot just 19-37 from the free throw line, while the Bulls were 15-22.
Crowley vs. Big 4
Last loss: 11/19/06 vs. Buffalo; 67-59
Tonight's game was the last home game prior to A-10 Conference play when the Bonnies host Richmond on January 8, 2014. St. Bonaventure will wrap up its final two non-conference games on the road, as the team will travel to play at Kent State on Friday (Dec. 20) before heading to UNC Greensboro on Sunday (Dec. 22).