NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – For the second time in as many games, the women's basketball team (3-2) got three double-figure scorers and used a 15-0 first-half run against Niagara (0-4) to dispatch of their Little 3 rivals Wednesday afternoon at the Gallagher Center, 68-47.
The run for the Bonnies was frantic, and changed the contest in just over three minutes. With Niagara leading 18-13 with 6:55 remaining in the half, sophomore Alaina Walker connected on two free throw attempts to start to stretch.
The Bonnies then racketed up the pressure on the defensive end as they turned the Purple Eagles over four times – including two offensive fouls – and got eight points from junior Jessica Jenkins during the run to give themselves a 28-18 lead with 3:17 left.
From there, the Brown and White didn't allow Niagara to get any closer than seven points as they shot a blistering 60.9 percent (14-23) in the second half, while holding Niagara to just 20.8 percent (5-24) in the second half and 28.8 percent (15-52) in the game.
"We challenged some individuals as a team to fix some things and we did that, and we needed to have some people make some plays and that happened," head coach Jim Crowley said of what he thought was his team's best performance to date. "Certainly there's always going to be things we can improve on, but I think for the most part we played better than we did last game, and hopefully we can continue that."
Jenkins finished with a game-high 21 points on a season-high-tying five 3-pointers. Classmate Megan Van Tatenhove wasn't far behind with her own 18-point, six-rebound performance, and redshirt junior Armelia Horton reached double figures for the first time this year as she finished with 11 to go along with a career-high five assists.
One player who didn't reach double figures but still had a career afternoon was freshman Doris Ortega. After being held scoreless in the first half, the Harlem, N.Y. native scored nine in the game's second 20 minutes and grabbed five boards, setting career highs in both categories.
Freshman Katie Gattuso led the Purple Eagles with 15 points, while Meghan Waterman was the lone other Niagara player to get into double figures as she finished with 11.
While offense was the tune the Bonnies won by on this afternoon, defense and ball control were still deciding factors as the Brown and White turned the ball over just 12 times, tying a season low, and holding the Purple Eagles under 30-percent shooting – something that only happened once last year when it finished as the 9th toughest scoring defense in the entire country.
The Bonnies will have a few days off for Thanksgiving before returning to campus to prepare for their toughest game yet on Monday evening when they host St. John's. The Red Storm are currently 4-1 and ranked No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Tip-off is slated 7 p.m. from Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center.
Game Notes: Walker finished with a season-high eight points while collecting six caroms … Jennie Ashton played a career-high seven minutes, and has now played 27 minutes this year in five games after logging a total of 21 all of last year ... Niagara's Liz Flooks scored just two points and is now just 69 points away from becoming the 21st member of Niagara's 1,000-point club … every single member of the Bonnies who dressed saw at least two minutes of game action.