Ruff Fuels Bonnies' 66-41 Triumph Over UMass

Box Score (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Senior Katie Healy continued her climb up the St. Bonaventure record books, moving to sixth all-time in scoring, but it was the performance of sophomore Mariah Ruff that stole the show as the Bonnies dominated UMass, 66-41, at the Reilly Center on Sunday evening.

Ruff netted a season-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting including 3-of-4 from long range. The sophomore guard added five rebounds and four assists in her 28 minutes of action.

Fellow sophomore Miranda Drummond recorded 18 points, five rebounds and three steals while Healy finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists. With her showing Sunday, Healy moved past Megan Van Tatenhove for sixth on the Bonnies' scoring chart as she ended the day with 1,457 career points.

The Bonnies (14-2, 3-0 Atlantic 10) never trailed and led for over 39 minutes of game time, shooting 43.1 percent from the floor (25-58) while limiting the Minutewomen to just 27.5 percent (14-51). Now winners of 13 in a row, St. Bonaventure opens conference play at 3-0 for just the second time in program history.

St. Bonaventure claimed a 13-5 advantage following the first quarter after Ruff cleaned up underneath for the final bucket of the period. UMass connected on just two of 12 shot attempts during the quarter and things would not get better for the visitors.

A fastbreak layup from Bria Stallworth brought the Minutewomen within 13-7, but the Bonnies then embarked on a 9-0 break capped by a corner three-pointer from Emily Michael for a 22-7 lead with 5:34 left in the half.

A basket inside from Rashida Timbilla only momentarily stalled the Bonnies' run as back-to-back threes from Ruff and Drummond swelled the lead to 28-11. As the half came to a close, Michael drilled another shot from long range for a 33-13 cushion at the break.

UMass (6-9, 0-3) recorded the first three points of the second half, but Ruff drove the lane for a 35-16 score. The lead hovered between 17 and 19 points for much of the third before five points from Ruff and an and-one by Matea Britvar stretched the lead to 53-28 heading to the fourth quarter.

From there the lead never dropped below 18, growing to 28 at the 2:32 mark of the fourth following a jumper by Kelcie Rombach.

Stallworth led UMass with 14 points while Timbilla posted 10 points and nine rebounds. UMass leading scorer Cierra Dillard mustered just two points on the night while being defended by Ruff, well off her season average of 13.2 points per game.

"We solidified some things and received contributions from everybody," head coach Jim Crowley said. "There are certainly areas we can get better at and we want to keep improving, but this group has played a lot together and we have a lot of good chemistry."

St. Bonaventure also led in rebounding by a 43-34 margin and forced 17 UMass turnovers. The Bonnies turned those UMass miscues into a season-high 24 points off turnovers.

Next up is a trip to Davidson on Wednesday.

"Every road trip in our league is tough," Crowley said. "It isn't about where we play, it's about how we play. We know how we need to play and that it is about executing."

GAME NOTES: Head coach Jim Crowley tied former Temple coach Dawn Staley for seventh all-time in Atlantic 10 coaching victories (99) ... St. Bonaventure stretched its program-best home winning streak to begin a season, moving to a perfect 10-0 at the Reilly Center ... by holding Dillard to two points, the Bona defense has limited opponents' leading scorers to under their season scoring average in seven out of the last eight games as well as nine times during the current 13-game winning streak ... opposing teams have shot 35 percent or worse from the floor in nine of the past 10 contests ... SBU had previously won its first three Atlantic 10 games of a season just once - the 2011-12 Sweet 16 team that ultimately finished the regular season undefeated in conference play ... Healy registered her 75th career game of double-figure scoring ... all 12 Bonnies logged time ... Britvar finished with five points and seven rebounds. 

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