Bonnies Rally Late For Thrilling Win At Dayton, 59-54

Bonnies Rally Late For Thrilling Win At Dayton, 59-54

Box Score (PDF)

DAYTON, Ohio – In recent weeks, the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team has controlled its contests, building early leads and using its stout defensive attack to finish out games.

The script was flipped Wednesday night in Dayton as the Bonnies fell behind early and faced a 10-point deficit with 4:30 left to play. From there, however, the Bonnies held the Flyers scoreless while staging a dramatic comeback, capped by Miranda Drummond's trey with 25 seconds remaining to register a thrilling 59-54 victory in front of 2,514 fans at UD Arena.

Drummond netted 23 points on the night to lead all scorers, partnering with Katie Healy (22 points, seven rebounds) for 45 of the Bonnies' 59 points. Drummond's game-winner marked her sixth three-pointer of the night.

With the win, the Bonnies improve to 17-2 overall and 6-0 in Atlantic 10 play while stretching their winning streak to 16 straight games. Dayton falls to 8-9, 1-5.

The Flyers, who reached the Elite Eight a season ago, snatched an 18-9 lead after the first quarter and established control throughout the early going. A bucket from Saitcha Grant-Allen with 6:46 left in the second pushed the Dayton cushion to 24-11.

Back-to-back layups from Matea Britvar and Drummond gave the Bonnies life, igniting a 9-0 run to get within three before Grant-Allen hit a jumper shortly before intermission to give the Flyers a 31-26 edge at the break.

Foul trouble haunted the Bonnies in the early going of the third as both Healy and Nyla Rueter picked up their third fouls – Rueter sitting at the 7:49 mark and Healy recording her third foul with 6:12 left in the quarter. With their 1,000-point scorers on the bench, the Bonnies watched as the Flyers pushed the lead to 47-40 with 3:07 left in the third – both teams went scoreless for the rest of the period.

For the opening minutes of the fourth, the Flyers maintained control. Dayton pushed the edge to double digits at 54-44 following a bucket from Jenna Burdette with 4:30 left on the UD Arena clock.

From there, it would be all Bonnies.

Drummond started what ended up to be a 15-0 run to finish the game with a three off an assist from Emily Michael, then brought the Bonnies within 54-49 after taking a feed from Michael for a fast break layup on the next trip down the floor.

Mariah Ruff made one of two at the line for a 54-50 score with 3:13 to go, but then the two teams would go silent in the scoring column for nearly two minutes.

Healy broke the drought with a jumper in the paint to bring the visitors within 54-52 and still 1:38 to go.

Dayton had two chances on its next possession – first Christy Macioce misfired on a three attempt, but an offensive rebound from Andrijana Cvitkovic gave the Flyers another chance. With the shot clock running down, Jodie Cornelie-Sigmundova missed a jumper, giving the ball back to the Bonnies when Drummond hauled in the rebound.

As the clock ticked under 30 seconds, Michael handed off to Ruff at the top of the key and the sophomore guard then dished to Drummond who worked free on the far wing. Drummond drilled her look at a three, giving the Bonnies a 55-54 lead with 25 seconds remaining – the first lead for Bona since the 8:08 mark of the first quarter.

Following a Dayton timeout, Cvitkovic missed her look at a jumper, but Grant-Allen pulled in the offensive rebound. The put-back effort from Dayton's junior center rolled off the iron, however, allowing Michael to haul down the rebound.

Dayton was then whistled for an intentional foul, and Michael, playing in front of a large hometown contingent of fans, calmly knocked down both free throws with 5.8 seconds to go. Bonaventure retained possession, and another Dayton foul sent Healy to the line where the senior hit both of her free throws to put the game out of reach.

The Flyers shot just 18.8 percent (6-for-32) during the second half after hitting 12-of-24 attempts during the first half.

Cvitkovic led the hosts with 14 points while Burdette had seven points and 10 rebounds.

St. Bonaventure remains in the first place tie atop the Atlantic 10 standings with George Washington and will travel to Pittsburgh for a date with Duquesne on Saturday.

GAME NOTES: The 13-point deficit erased by the Bonnies becomes the largest overcome in a victory this season … Healy surpassed 1,500 career points, finishing the night with 1,507 … Michael and Gabby Richmond each had eight rebounds apiece. Michael hails from nearby Clayton, Ohio … just two teams in the country have longer active winning streaks – Uconn (54) and South Carolina (17) … Drummond's six three-pointers tie her career-best, previously established vs. Niagara on Dec. 23 … the Bonnies snapped a four-game losing skid vs. Dayton, winning at UD Arena for the first time since Feb. 11, 2012 … Dayton entered the week at No. 40 in the RPI rankings … Wednesday marked just the fourth win for St. Bonaventure at Dayton in 12 contests all-time.

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