Rueter Powers St. Bonaventure To Begin Atlantic 10 Play With 69-56 Win at Rhode Island

Rueter Powers St. Bonaventure To Begin Atlantic 10 Play With 69-56 Win at Rhode Island

Box Score (PDF)

KINGSTON, R.I. – A dominant fourth quarter and red-hot shooting performance from senior Nyla Rueter propelled the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team to open Atlantic 10 play with a 69-56 victory at Rhode Island on Sunday afternoon inside the Ryan Center.

Rueter poured in a game-high 25 points, including 6-of-9 from beyond the arc, also adding five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

The Bonnies push their winning streak to 11 with Sunday's outing, moving to 12-2 overall on the year and 1-0 in A-10 competition. Rhode Island falls to 6-7, 0-1.

Miranda Drummond finished with 16 points while Mariah Ruff posted 10 points, six assists and five rebounds. Limited by foul trouble, Katie Healy turned in eight points, six rebounds and three assists.

St. Bonaventure led by five at the half, but the Rams took a 45-44 edge into the fourth quarter.

That's when the Bonnies came alive, outscoring Rhode Island by a 25-11 margin during the final period to pull away in the waning minutes.

Rueter and Rhode Island's Tarya Melendez exchanged three-pointers to begin the fourth, but consecutive buckets from Drummond and Healy pushed the Bonnies ahead, 51-48, with 6:49 remaining.

The Bonnies would never trail again. Rueter drained three of her shots from long range during the final quarter, partnering with Drummond for back-to-back treys and a 57-49 advantage at the 5:29 mark.

Dominique Ward connected on a three to cut the lead to five, but Ruff registered buckets on the next two trips down the floor, sandwiching a defensive stop and rebound from Rueter. When Ruff drained her three with 4:04 to go, St. Bonaventure had its largest lead of the day at 62-52 and did not relinquish control the rest of the way.

The teams shared four ties and exchanged the lead another four times during the first half. St. Bonaventure won the opening tip and Drummond followed with a three-pointer for the early 3-0 lead.

St. Bonaventure would miss its next eight shot attempts, however, as Rhode Island took a 6-4 edge halfway through the opening period.

Three quick baskets underneath by the Bonnies – two from Gabby Richmond and one from Healy – gave the visitors a 10-6 advantage as the Bona defense held an opponent to single digits in a quarter for the 12th time this year.

The Rams opened the second period on an 8-0 break for a 14-10 score in the first 1:56 of the quarter. Rueter ended the Bonnies' drought by going coast-to-coast to spark a 10-0 run and a 20-14 advantage.

Foul trouble would hamper the Brown and White late in the half as both Healy and Richmond were forced to the bench with two fouls apiece. Sophomore Matea Britvar took over inside and gave the Bonnies solid minutes, finishing off the glass for a 28-21 advantage.

Rhode Island's Charise Wilson was red hot during the second, hitting a three-pointer with less than 10 seconds left before the half to give her 12 points during the quarter, but Rueter answered on the other end with a trey of her own for a 31-26 lead at intermission.

The Rams controlled the third, taking advantage as Healy picked up her fourth foul, but never led by more than four throughout the afternoon.

Wilson finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to pace Rhode Island while Melendez added 11 points.

Britvar contributed a very productive 22 minutes off the bench, recording six points, four rebounds and a career-best four blocks.

St. Bonaventure hosts Fordham on Thursday in the Atlantic 10 home opener.

GAME NOTES: Rhode Island shot 38.2 percent from the floor (21-for-55) while the Bonnies shot at a 44.6 percent clip (25-56). The Rams become the first SBU opponent in the last eight games to shoot better than 35.5 percent from the field … St. Bonaventure has had a longer winning streak just once in program history – an 18-game stretch during the 2011-12 Sweet 16. The 2009-10 Bonnies opened the season on an 11-game winning streak … Rueter has scored more points in a game just once, netting 27 at UMass on Feb. 8, 2014. Her six three-pointers matched her previous best set last year vs. Georgetown. Following Sunday's performance, she now has 978 points for her Bonaventure career … the Bonnies were picked ninth in the Atlantic 10 preseason coaches' poll while URI was eighth … St. Bonaventure has won eight in a row over Rhode Island and leads the all-time series, 27-23.