Bonnies Rally Past A-10 Leader George Washington For 69-67 Overtime Triumph

Box Score (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – In a season with many outstanding moments, the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team had perhaps its finest hour of the year Wednesday night at the Reilly Center, earning a 69-67 overtime victory over Atlantic 10 leader George Washington.

Senior Katie Healy was tremendous, posting a game-high 24 points along with five rebounds and three blocks while sophomore Mariah Ruff tallied 18 points - 12 in the second half and overtime. 

"I thought our kids came together. They wouldn't be denied; they just kept fighting," Bonnies head coach Jim Crowley said. "George Washington is extremely good. We had to earn it."

For much of the night, however, it seemed as though GW would remain atop the conference standings and become the first opponent to steal a win on Bob Lanier Court. That, though, was before the Bonnies rallied from 17 down to storm past the Colonials for a huge A-10 win.

The Colonials led 18-12 after the first quarter and opened the second period with back-to-back three-pointers to extend the difference to 24-12 at the 9:02 mark.

George Washington (21-5, 11-2 Atlantic 10) pushed its cushion to 17 at 37-20 with 2:14 left in the half following a layup from Lauren Chase, and went to intermission with a 37-22 advantage after a late jumper from Ruff.

The visitors shot 50 percent from the floor during the first 20 minutes (15-30) and went 6-of-8 from long range.

St. Bonaventure (21-5, 10-3) came alive after the halftime break, though.

Things changed quickly as the Bonnies began chipping away, using a 7-0 run to pull within single digits at 37-29 following a trey from Miranda Drummond less than two minutes into the third quarter.

GW extended the lead back to 13 with 3:30 left in the third after a jumper by Chase, but the Bonnies counterpunched with work in the lane from Healy and Gabby Richmond for a 51-44 score heading for the fourth.

By that point, the Reilly Center crowd came to life, fueled by impressive Bonnies defense highlighted by a pair of highlight reel blocks from Nyla Rueter.

The Bonnies forced a GW shot clock violation to begin the fourth, and Healy fought inside for a lay-in and a 51-46 score.

A pair of free throws by Ruff at the 6:20 mark cut the deficit to a one possession game at 53-50, but GW's Kellie Prange put home a runner for a 55-50 tally with 4:10 remaining.

One of two at the line from Richmond made it a 55-51 score, then Healy began to take over.

The senior took an outlet pass and raced to the basket, but her layup wouldn't go. Not to be denied, Healy seized her own rebound, putting home a put-back and then drawing the foul. She completed the traditional three-point play for a 55-54 margin and still 3:39 to go.

The teams went scoreless for the next minute-plus, but then the Bonnies would finally push ahead, taking their first lead since the 7:44 mark of the first quarter on a layup and-one from Ruff for a 57-55 score.

Brianna Cummings and Healy then exchanged layups, but a steal from Richmond allowed Healy to take center stage again. Healy drove through two GW defenders to the basket for a 59-57 Bonnies advantage with 22 seconds to play.

The Colonials weren't finished, however, as Ciara Washington's layup with 14 seconds left tied the score at 59. St. Bonaventure earned two looks at a potential game-winner in regulation, but neither dropped, giving GW one last chance. Hannah Schaible's attempt at a winner bounced off the front of the rim, sending the game to overtime.

In overtime, Rueter started the scoring with a bucket, but a layup from Cummings and a three by Schaible put GW ahead, 64-61.

Ruff evened the score with a three from the right wing following a feed from Rueter.

Rueter, who tallied two points in regulation, then pulled down a defensive rebound on the other end before she put the Bonnies ahead for good by drilling a three in front of her own bench with 1:29 left.

A floater in the lane by the senior guard made it a 69-65 score before Chase brought GW back within a bucket with 42 seconds to go.

A defensive stop gave GW one final opportunity, but a fourth block from Rueter put the ball out of bounds. With a last gasp, a jumper attempt by Washington fell short to seal the victory.

GW was limited to 31.3 percent shooting during the second half (10-32) after a torrid start, but still owned a 49-31 margin on the boards.

After shooting just 28 percent (8-28) during the first half, St. Bonaventure roared to life in the second half by connecting of 13 of 23 shot attempts (56.5 percent) and four of eight from the floor in overtime.

"We needed to get stops to get our tempo going. Once we did that we realized what we had to do and knew what we had to fix," Crowley said. 

St. Bonaventure hits the road this weekend, making the trip to La Salle on Saturday with tipoff scheduled for 1 p.m.

GAME NOTES: Healy moved into fourth place all-time in Bonnies scoring with 1,618 career points. She passed Jodi Urich's 1,611 (1989-93) ... GW entered the day ranked No. 27 in the national RPI ... The 17-point deficit erased is the largest overcome by the Bonnies this season and most since rallying from a 20-point hole in a win at Saint Louis last year ... Rueter's four blocks are a career high ... St. Bonaventure has reached 10 Atlantic 10 victories for the third time in program history, joining the 2011-12 and 2013-14 teams ... Rueter finished with nine points and six rebounds ... Drummond played a career high 43 minutes, registering nine points ... Healy went 8-of-13 from the floor and 8-of-9 at the line ... the Bonnies sank just one three-pointer during regulation, but Ruff and Rueter's treys in overtime helped seal the victory ... the Bonnies scored just their seventh win over GW all-time (GW leads, 34-7), but fifth in the last seven meetings. 

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