ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The women's basketball team opened its 2010-11 season scoring just 19 first-half points before settling in and nearly reaching that figure in the overtime session alone in a 62-59 overtime win over visiting Binghamton Friday night.
A slashing Jessica Jenkins converted a lay-up with just over two minutes remaining in overtime to give the Bonnies (1-0) a 55-53 lead that they would not again relinquish to the Bearcats (0-1). St. Bonaventure built the lead to as much as five with just over a minute to play, but two back-to-back 3-pointers by Binghamton's Andrea Holmes saw that lead shrink to just one with 16 seconds to play before Jenkins converted two free throws to clinch the final margin.
"I've got to give Binghamton a lot of credit," head coach Jim Crowley said. "They battled hard; I mean they had three (players) who never came out of the game. They never let us get away from them; they really made some tough shots, especially late to keep themselves going."
The Bonnies were able to keep themselves going behind a game-high 22 points from Jenkins, including nine in overtime alone. The junior found the bottom of the net from 3 to open the overtime scoring and set the tone for the Bonnies as they never trailed in the five-minute session.
"My shot didn't feel that great tonight," Jenkins said after her 6-for-12 night. "So I (drove a little bit more) to get something going and get in the paint to give myself a shorter, easier jump shot."
Not many jump shots for the Bonnies were easy on this night as they shot 21-for-56 (37.5 percent) from the field; however, they were able to hold their counterparts to the same exact total and made shots when they mattered most. After scoring just 19 points in the first half, St. Bonaventure tallied 17 in the overtime portion alone.
Senior Cara Gustafson tied a career high with three 3-pointers before leaving with an injury on the last play of regulation. The Omaha, Neb. native still finished with 11 points, good for second on the team.
After scoring four points through the game's first 40 minutes, junior Megan Van Tatenhove scored five in the overtime session to finish with nine on the night to go along with three boards.
Binghamton played just six players, including five that played at least 41 minutes. This is the third consecutive year the Bonnies and Bearcats have met to start a season, and St. Bonaventure stretches its undefeated streak against the Bearcats to 5-0. This is also the sixth consecutive season-opening win for the Bonnies.
The team will have a quick turnaround as it heads to Bloomington, Ind. on Sunday for a Monday evening affair with the Indiana Hoosiers in Assembly Hall. Tip-off it slated for 7 p.m., and it will be the middle game of a three-game-in-six-day span for the team.
Game Notes: The team unveiled its 2010 Women's National Invitational Tournament banner prior to the start of the game ... redshirt junior Armelia Horton led the Bonnies with five rebounds … Binghamton's Jasbriell Swain recorded a double-double with 18 points and 11 boards, while teammate Kara Elofson just missed out on one as well with an 11-point, nine-rebound performance … sophomore Chelsea Bowker hit her head hard after fighting for a loose ball in the second half and did not return to the game … the Bearcats out-rebounded the Bonnies, 39-31.