ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – With the game tied 38-38 with 8:36 left, No. 22/24 St. John's went on a 15-2 run to break away from a scrappy St. Bonaventure team on Monday evening at the Reilly Center, on its way to a fifth consecutive win, 55-44.
The Red Storm (6-1) raced out to leads of 8-0 and 16-3, but the Bonnies (3-3) fought back and on a 3-pointer from sophomore Chelsea Bowker tied the game at 36-36 for the first time since the opening tip. However, that's as close as the Brown and White could get as St. John's never trailed and held the Bonnies to just 34.7 percent shooting and a season-low-tying four 3-pointers.
"We weren't ready at the start; we dug ourselves a big hole," head coach Jim Crowley stated as one of the two lessons he hoped his team could take away from this game. "The other time was when the game was tied in the second half and they had a relentless pursuit to the ball. We had three stops and we didn't win any of those rebounds."
Heading into the game, the Bonnies knew they had to keep St. John's off the glass to give themselves a chance for the upset, and they did – for the first 20 minutes. The Red Storm came into the game out-rebounding their opponents by an average of 17 a game, and St. Bonaventure held a 17-14 advantage in that category at the half.
However, the second half, particularly the five minutes during the 15-2 run, was a different story. St. John's out-rebounded the Bonnies 9-3 during the run, including a back-breaking six offensive boards which the Big East school converted into six points.
Megan Van Tatenhove led a balanced St. Bonaventure scoring attack as she finished as the lone Bonnie in double figures with 12, to go along with seven rebounds. From there, the points were distributed among Doris Ortega (7), Bowker (6), Jessica Jenkins (6), Alaina Walker (4), Armelia Horton (4), Cara Gustafson (3) and CeCe Dixon (2).
Da'Shena Stevens led four double-figure St. John's scorers with 17 points on her way to the fourth double-double performance of her 2010-11 campaign as she also grabbed 11 caroms. Centhya "Coco" Hart finished with 12 points – a total also equaled by Shenneika Smith – and Eugeneia McPherson closed out the double-figure scoring for the Red Storm with 10.
The Bonnies will have a quick turnaround to try and recover as they play host to the Lafayette Leopards on Wednesday evening. Tip-off is set for 7 from the Reilly Center.
Game Notes: The 44 points for St. Bonaventure ties a season-low, equaled in a 50-44 setback to Indiana on Nov. 15 … Ortega played a career-high 27 minutes … St. Bonaventure turned the ball over 17 times, compared with 13 for St. John's … the Red Storm committed 11 personal fouls, while the Bonnies were whistled 19 times … this was the first home loss of the season for the Bonnies (2-1) … St. Bonaventure has now lost four straight games to ranked opponents, dating back to a 63-52 win over No. 21/24 Michigan State on Dec. 7, 2008.