ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Junior Megan Van Tatenhove finished with a game-high 20 points, a career-high-tying 13 rebounds, a career-high-tying six steals and a career-high three blocks in leading St. Bonaventure (15-7, 5-2 Atlantic 10) to a 62-51 win over Massachusetts (6-16, 2-5 A-10) Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center.
After sophomore Alaina Walker hit a jumper to put the Bonnies up 12 at 33-21 not even a minute into the second half, the Minutewomen started to make a run. UMass went on a quick 8-0 spurt to pull within four at 33-29 with 16:06 left, and once Cerie Mosgrove hit a 3 with 12:04 remaining, the Minutewomen had erased their deficit and tied the game for the first time since the second minute, 40-40.
A few minutes later, Mosgrove converted a lay-in to give UMass its first lead of the game since it led 3-2. However, on the ensuing Bona possession, freshman CeCe Dixon drilled a 3 from the left wing just in front of the St. Bonaventure bench. Head coach Jim Crowley immediately called a timeout with 9:29 left, and after the Bona defense forced a UMass turnover, Dixon hit another 3 from the same exact spot to put her team back up four at 50-46.
A Megan Zullo 3-pointer pulled UMass back within one at 50-49 with 7:19 remaining, but as it usually does, the Bonaventure defense clamped down the rest of the night, simultaneously fueling its offense. The Bonnies closed the game on a 12-2 run, allowing the Minutewomen to make just one field goal over the game's final seven minutes.
"This game absolutely terrified me," Crowley admitted after. "But I was really pleased with our effort down the stretch. We did a good job of winning a lot of offensive rebounds and loose balls, and that's just who we are. Our best skill is our effort, and when we needed it today it came through."
Van Tatenhove came through with those hustle plays creating second-chance opportunities as she grabbed a game- and season-high seven offensive rebounds. Another Bonnie who had a career day grabbing caroms was Cara Gustafson as she pulled down a career-high-tying seven. The senior also netted 12 points, all of which came in the first half, in playing a career-high 37 minutes off the bench.
The 20 combined boards from Van Tatenhove and Gustafson were vital in Bonaventure's 38-35 rebounding edge – a stat made even more pronounced when considering UMass entered the game 0-13 on the year when it failed to out-rebound its opponent. On the flip side, the Bonnies are now 11-2 when they out-rebound their opponent.
After holding the Minutewomen to just 19.2 percent (5-26) shooting in the first half – including 3-10 from the 3-point line – they turned around to shoot 50 percent (12-24) in the second frame. Mosgrove led the way as she scored 11 of her team-high 18 points in the last 20 minutes, and also pulled down 11 rebounds to give her a fifth double-double on the year, and fourth in A-10 games. Jasmine Watson and Emilie Teuscher both also finished in double-figure points with 10 each, while Watson collected eight boards.
Walker, known more for her defensive play than her offensive output, put her scoring skills on display against the Minutewomen as she finished with a season-high-tying 11 points. That total represents her first conference game in double-figure scoring, and the Pomona, N.Y., native also pulled down six rebounds.
The Bonnies will remain at home next Wednesday to complete their first back-to-back home contests of the A-10 season. The Dayton Flyers, who are tied with the Bonnies at 5-2 in the A-10, visit the Reilly Center for a 7 p.m. tip. That game will mark a stretch of four straight games for the Bonnies in which they face teams that are either tied with, or higher, than them in the A-10 standings.
Game Notes: Junior Jessica Jenkins had a string of five straight, and nine of the last 10, games in double-figure scoring snapped as she finished with eight … Dixon ended the afternoon with seven points … freshman Doris Ortega rounded out the Bona scoring with four … the Bonaventure bench out-scored the Minutewomen's, 23-4 … St. Bonaventure had 11 turnovers to Massachusetts' 17, now making the Bonnies 11-2 when they have fewer turnovers than their opponent … freshman Ashley Zahn saw her first career first-half action by logging three minutes … the Bonnies are now 5-2 in A-10 play for the second time in three years … junior Jennie Ashton played three minutes and has now played 150 minutes this year after logging just 21 all of last year.