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Bowker, Jenkins Help Bonnies Stave Off Fordham Comeback

Bowker, Jenkins Help Bonnies Stave Off Fordham Comeback

BRONX, N.Y. – Sophomore Chelsea Bowker tied a career high by hitting five 3-pointers, and junior Jessica Jenkins finished with 13 points to help the women's basketball team (17-10, 7-5 Atlantic 10) extend its longest winning streak over an A-10 team, defeating Fordham (11-17, 3-9 A-10) Saturday afternoon, 62-52.

Jenkins hit three free throws to open the game's scoring, and the Bonnies never trailed en route to their fifth straight win over the Rams. Jenkins, coming off a career-high eight 3's in the Bonnies last game against Duquesne, was fouled while attempting her first 3 from the left wing just 1:45 into the game. Bonaventure followed Jenkins' three free throws up with a Megan Van Tatenhove baseline jumper and a Cara Gustafson 3 from the top of the arc to start the day with an 8-0 run.

The Bonnies just extended it from there as they led by as much as 18 in the opening half, hitting seven first-half 3-pointers to take a 36-22 lead to the halftime break.

St. Bonaventure opened up another 18-point advantage early in the second half before Fordham started to make a run. Following a 3-pointer by Kyara Weekes to cut the Rams' deficit to single digits, Bowker responded with a 3 to stop a 7-1 Fordham run and put her team back up double digits, 47-36.

The Salem, Ohio native hit another crucial 3 a few minutes later. After Fordham had once again cut its deficit to single digits, she hit her fifth – and final – 3 from the top of arc to give the Bonnies a 52-40 advantage with 8:56 left.

Fordham was able to get the deficit all the way down to six with 1:20 remaining, but a 3-point attempt by Abigail Corning went around and out, the Rams went into foul mode and St. Bonaventure converted from the free throw line the rest of the game.

The Bonnies were able to hold on to their advantage despite Fordham taking more than twice as many field goal attempts in the second half (33 to 16) than them. Bonaventure held the Rams to just 31-percent shooting on 18-58 for the game, just missing holding its fifth opponent of the year below 30-percent shooting.

Bowker did not start – the first time that has happened since the second game of the year – but responded with her best scoring performance since she netted 21 against Buffalo on Dec. 10.

Making her first start since the season opener against Binghamton, senior Cara Gustafson finished with eight points, a total matched by sophomore Alaina Walker.

For the third consecutive game, team leading scorer Van Tatenhove was held to single digits; however, she still finished with a balanced seven points and team-high seven rebounds.

Senior Tiffany Stokes led three double-figure scorers for Fordham with 14. Weekes added 10, as did sophomore Ariel Dale.

St. Bonaventure will continue to position itself for the upcoming  A-10 Tournament when it travels to Saint Louis next week to meet the Billikens in its final road test of the year. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday from Chaifetz Arena.

Game Notes:
For the Bonnies, junior Armelia Horton and freshmen Doris Ortega (who made her first career start) and CeCe Dixon all returned to their hometown … Horton finished with two points, Ortega finished with five points and four rebounds and Dixon tallied four points … Ortega, Gustafson, Van Tatenhove, Walker and Jenkins started … St. Bonaventure's starting lineup had been the same since the third game of the year against Morgan State on Nov. 17 … Horton had started 33 consecutive games, and 56 of her last 57 … Jenkins now has 81 3's on the year, the third-most in a single campaign in school history, and 18 behind the all-time record of 99.