ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure claimed a crucial victory on Wednesday night, defeating George Washington, 74-64 in a battle for second place in the A-10. The Bonnies improve to 11-4 in the A-10 and GW falls to 10-5, each with one regular season game remaining. Nyla Rueter scored a game-high 22 points, including 10-10 from the free throw line. Katie Healy finished with 18 points and Chelsea Bowker added 15 for the Brown and White.
Final Score: St. Bonaventure 74, George Washington 64
Location: Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center
Records: SBU: 22-8 (11-4 A-10) | GW: 19-9 (10-5 A-10)
Starters for the Bonnies: Rueter, Michael, Bowker, Healy, Little
How It Happened:
With just one more game remaining on St. Bonaventure and George Washington's schedules after tonight and both teams entering the contest tied for second place, to say tonight's game was a critical one in the A-10 standings is an understatement. The win tonight secures a first round bye for the Bonnies in the Atlantic 10 tournament next week.
St. Bonaventure led by as many as 12 points in the first half, but carried a six-point lead into halftime, led by Nyla Rueter who led all players with 11 points, followed by Katie Healy with 10 points. Rueter scored 11 of the first 23 points for SBU. Both teams shot below 40% in the first half as the Bonnies shot 9-23 (39.1%) from the field while GW was 10-29 (34.5%). SBU also drained 4-8 from long range which was a key in the first half. The final time the Colonials would hold the lead for the duration of the game was at the 13:38 mark of the first half.
The Brown and White quickly extended its lead to 11 points just over a minute into the second stanza, but the Colonials cut the lead to six points a minute later. The Bonnies built their lead back up to 11 points and kept George Washington at a distance, as they cut back into SBU's lead and trailed by four points with 12:41 remaining. That is however the closest GW would get, as a Chelsea Bowker three followed by an Imani Outlaw steal and put back put Bona back up by nine points before the under 12 media timeout. The Brown and White extended its lead to 11 points nine more times in the final 10 minutes. Rueter finished with a game-high of 22 points, including 10-10 from the FT line (9-9 in the second half).
Beyond The Box Score
The Bonnies finish the regular season with a 12-1 record on home court, including a perfect 8-0 conference home record. SBU, who was predicted to finish ninth in the A-10 preseason coaches' poll, has defeated six out of the eight teams picked ahead of them this season.
Chelsea Bowker moved up to sixth all-time in three pointers made in a single season as she notched her 79th of the season, surpassing Stefanie Collins '05. The Bonnies also improved to 9-0 this season when Bowker scores 15 or more points, and 10-0 in games where she hits four or more three's.
Katie Healy's 18 points tonight marked the 10th time in the Bonnies' 15 conference games played where she has scored 15+ points. Healy has scored in double figures in every conference game this season.
When Bowker and Healy each have 15 or more points in a game this season, the team is 5-0. St. Bonaventure is 12-4 this season in games where Healy registers 15+ points.
Nyla Rueter's 22 points tonight marked the fourth time this season she has recorded 20 or more points in a game. Rueter's 10 free throws made is a new career-high (10-10). SBU is also now 7-3 this season in game where Rueter records three or more assists.
The Bonnies' 10 steals tonight (seven in the first half) was the most for the team in conference play and just the third time this season they have had 10 or more steals in a game this season.
Hannah Little had a team-high seven rebounds, as she also finished with eight points, two steals, two blocked shots and one assist in her ninth start of the season.
28 free throws made for SBU tonight ties a single-game high this season, as they also knocked down 28 from the line against Colgate on Nov. 10, 2013.
The Brown and White surrendered 20 offensive rebounds, their second most all season, resulting in 26 second chance points for George Washington. SBU registered just two offensive rebounds the entire game, their lowest of the season.
GW's Caira Washington entered tonights contest with the second highest field goal PCT in the A-10 and was averaging 11.9 points per game and 9.1 boards (A-10 games only), was limited to just one point and five boards.
Bowker knocked down both of her free throws with 23 seconds remaining in the contest, bringing her game total to 15 points as she left the court to a standing ovation in her final regular season home game at the Reilly Center.
St. Bonaventure will play its regular season finale at La Salle on Saturday, March 1st before heading to Richmond for the Atlantic 10 tournament being held March 5-9 at the Richmond Coliseum.Video