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Bona Comeback Falls Short in A-10 Championship

Bona Comeback Falls Short in A-10 Championship

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PHILADELPHIA - No. 16 St. Bonaventure (29-3) climbed out of a 22-point hole to take a one-point lead with 2:16 to go, but Dayton (23-6) sank free throws a minute later and hung on for a 56-53 win in the finals of the 2012 Buick Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Championship.

The Bonnies started the game a paltry 1-for-7 from the field, enduring a seven-minute stretch without a field goal, while turning the ball over 10 times in the first 12 minutes. The Flyers capitalized, building a 27-5 lead with 7:20 left in the half. The margin was the largest by any Bona opponent this season, but SBU mounted a 16-0 scoring rally that eventually came up just short.

Sophomore Doris Ortega booked game highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds to power the rally and SBU clamped down - holding UD scoreless for an 11:14 span that bridged the halftime gap - to fight back into the game.

SBU kept it within 10 for much of the second half, finally breaking through after Jessica Jenkins' 3-pointer with 4:57 to play. Jenkins' 103 triples this season broke the program record, a mark the Marion, Ohio native set herself least season.

Trailing by eight, 50-42, with 4:57 to play, Jenkins' final trifecta of the night sparked a frenetic 9-0 run. Ortega knocked down a pair from the charity stripe and Megan Van Tatenhove a jumper, all before Alaina Walker was fouled and hit both free throw attempts to give Bona its first lead of the game at 51-50.

Dayton's Patrice Lalor drew a foul in the lane with just 73 seconds to play and stepped to the line, where she converted for two of her 11 points, giving UD a lead that was just enough to end the Bonnies' 18-game win streak.

Dayton's Justine Raterman led the Flyers to their first A-10 title with 13 points and eight rebounds.

St. Bonaventure, which moved up to No. 16 in the most recent AP poll, will learn Monday if it will recieve at at-large berth into its first-ever NCAA Championship. The NCAA Tournament Slelection show airs at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

NOTES: Van Tatenhove was named to the All-Championship Team The contest was carried nationally on ESPN2 … the Bonnies reached their season average 12 turnovers at the 5:24 mark of the first half and did not score their second basket until almost nine minutes in … 19 turnovers for Bona are the second-most this season ... Ortega was the only SBU player in double figures and tallied her first career double-double ... Van Tatenhove and Jenkins finished with nine points apiece.