ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure erased a 14-point deficit to charge ahead in the late going, but a layup from the Blue Hens with 23 seconds to play sent visiting Delaware to a 53-52 victory and the Bonnies to heartbreak Wednesday night at the Reilly Center.
The Bonnies are now 4-4 on the season while Delaware stands at 4-3.
In the first half, the Blue Hens had control thanks to a 14-0 run to race ahead, 25-11, at the 6:24 mark of the second quarter.
Back-to-break three-point buckets from Ruff and Migliore helped turn the tide, however, as the Bonnies cut to a 30-22 score at intermission.
Like in their previous home games this season, the third quarter belonged to the Bonnies. St. Bonaventure won the quarter by a 16-9 margin, closing within a point heading for the final 10 minutes after limiting Delaware to 3-of-14 from the floor during the period.
With just over six minutes to play, the Bonnies pushed ahead. Arielle Harvey found Jalisha Terry on a beautiful pass through traffic under the basket to a waiting Terry on the wing where she drained her three attempt for a 45-43 score.
After a Migliore free throw on the next possession, the Bonnies got another defensive stop before Migliore took a feed from Rhianna Council for another three and a 47-45 lead with 4:34 to play, the first advantage for Bona since late in the first quarter.
Delaware answered a minute later on a trey by Bailey Kargo to edge ahead, 48-47, but on the ensuing possession Mckenna Maycock used the backboard from the free throw line for a 49-48 tally with 2:41 remaining.
That score held until 1:39 to go, when Delaware's Nicole Enabosi hit one of two at the line for the tie. The momentum pendulum swung back in favor of the Bonnies on the next trip down the floor, though, as Ruff delivered a three from the right wing off a pump fake to freeze her defender for a 52-49 score with 1:27 showing on the scoreboard.
Unfortunately for the Bonnies, a foul on the next defensive possession sent Kargo to the line where she cut the Blue Hens to within 52-51 with two free throws. A missed jumper from the Bonnies sent the ball back to Delaware where Samone DeFreese tallied the game-winning layup with 23 seconds remaining.
"We have to keep growing and keep learning. Hopefully we can learn a lot from this game," Bonnies head coach Jesse Fleming said. "We did an OK job defensively, we flew around and competed on the boards. We were plus-12 on the boards against a team with two true bigs. It's never an issue of competing with this group, but we need to just do our jobs late in the game."
St. Bonaventure won the battle of the boards 48-36, but neither side could find much rhythm shooting as the Bonnies shot 32 percent (16-for-50) and Delaware shot at a 33 percent clip (20-59).
Enabosi, a two-time Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week this season, posted 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The Bonnies have three more games in a row at home as part of their homestand, next hosting Toledo Monday night at 7 p.m.
GAME NOTES: Prior to the game, Ruff was honored for becoming the 22nd member of the Bonnies 1,000-point club last weekend. Her 17 points Wednesday give her 1,026 for her career, just three away from breaking into the program's all-time top 20 … Arielle Harvey had eight points and three blocks off the bench … Terry finished with seven points and five rebounds ... Council added four rebounds in a season-high 24 minutes … foul trouble haunted the Bonnies late as Migliore and Harvey both fouled out … Mckenna Maycock and Emily Calabrese each delivered eight rebounds …. St. Bonaventure went 9-of-22 from distance … Delaware had 30 points in the paint … the Bonnies had 15 bench points and 16 points off turnovers.
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