FAIRFIELD, CONN. - The St. Bonaventure women's basketball team battled from behind for the entire game. Trailing Fairfield by as many as 12 points, SBU cut the lead to one several times late only to fall short 52-49.
The Bonnies allowed Fairfield to get hot early and fell behind 19-9 with 6:40 to play in the first half. Alaina Walker, who along with Doris Ortega, carried the minimal offense that SBU could mount in the first half, combining for 11 of the 17 halftime points for the Brown and White.
As a team, the Bonnies shot 28 percent (7-25) from the floor in the first frame, continuing their trend of poor shooting to start games. They were also 0-1 from long range. The silver lining at halftime was that the Bonnies were out-rebounding the bigger Stags 17-16.
SBU came storming out of the locker room as Walker scored twice quickly to cut the lead to four, 25-21. Fairfield however quickly boosted the lead back to nine with a lay-up and a three.
The lead would balloon back to ten, 34-24 following a Brittany Obi-Tabot lay-up. A back-and-forth ensued and the Bonnies could not get the lead inside of eight points over the next five minutes.
Finally with 7:14 to play, the Bonnies started their run. Ortega converted a lay-up, drew the foul and made the free throw. Katie Healy added a pair of free throws after a couple stops. Then it was Dixon from the free throw line sinking a pair to bring the Bonnies within three.
Walker would cut the lead to one with a fade-away jumper in the lane with 2:39 to play. Fairfield's Kate Cizynski knocked down a jumper and Alexis Vasquez stuck a very deep three to bring the lead back up to five with just 23 seconds remaining.
Alaina Walker drove straight to the basket off the inbounds and converted the lay-up. The Bonnies forced Fairfield into a turnover with 16 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, CeCe Dixon drove hard to the lane trying to draw and foul and did just that. She would make both tries from the stripe to cut the lead to one, 50-49.
The Bonnies were forced to foul and the Stags leading scorer Katelyn Linney made one of two shots. Walker took the inbounds pass and drove straight to rim but missed the lay-in that would have tied the game.
After fouling one more time, Cizynski went one of two and Dixon let loose a half court heave that would come up well short. Fairfield secured the 52-49 victory.
Walker finished with a double-double (18 pts, 10 reb) while Ortega scored 17 and grabbed 8 boards to follow up her back-to-back double-doubles. Katie Healy added seven points off the bench. Walker and Ortega accounted for 71.4 percent of the St. Bonaventure points and 47.3 percent of the rebounds.
SBU will stay on the road and head to Albuquerque, N.M. to face off with No. 8/9 Georgia on Friday (Nov. 23). The winner of that game will face the winner of New Mexico/North Texas on Saturday evening.
GAME NOTES: The Bonnies had won 14 consecutive true road games prior to Tuesday's loss. SBU went 0-6 from three-point range and handed out zero assists. They shot just 31.6 percent while Fairfield shot 46.7 percent. SBU committed just nine turnovers and forced the Stags into 14.