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ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. -- N.C. State (8-5) handed the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team (7-7) its first home loss in five games this season with a 70-66 victory on Sunday afternoon at the Reilly Center.
N.C. State started out hot jumping ahead to 6-0 lead. The Bonnies would answer the call however and began trading baskets with the Wolfpack until CeCe Dixon stuck a three from the corner to tie the score, 18-18, with 9:38 to play in the half.
From there however the Bonnies did not have an answer for the size of N.C. State. The Wolfpack commenced on a 21-6 run to close the half and hold a 39-24 advantage.
The Bonnies would be forced to try and come back in the second half without senior guard Alaina Walker who sustained an injury to her chin that would require stitches and keep her
The N.C. State lead ballooned to 18, 50-32, with 15:09 to play in the game. That lead would hover between 13 and 18 until the 3:46 mark. Coming out of the final media timeout of the game, Dixon knocked down a pair of free throws to bring the Wolfpack lead down to 11.
N.C. State answered like they had answered every Bona run prior. This time they did it with a three ball off of an inbounds play to reclaim a 68-54 advantage with 3:29 to play.
Doris Ortega answered on the next Bonnies possession with a lay-up. Following a strong defensive possession for the Brown and White, Katie Healy tossed in a short jumper off the backboard for her first points of the night, cutting the Wolfpack lead to just ten, 68-58.
With 1:54 to play, Katie Healy made an outstanding play to deflect a pass and while falling out of bounds serve the ball out to Dixon who drove coast-to-coast and drew a foul. She made both free throws. The lead was now eight, 68-60.
Following an exchange of turnovers by both teams, it was Healy again coming up with a steal that led to Nyla Rueter getting free in transition and finding an open spot on the perimeter. The Hagerstown Ind. native drilled the wing three to bring the Bonnies even closer with 49 seconds remaining.
N.C. State lost the ball out of bounds two possessions later giving the Bonnies a chance to potentially make it a one possession game. The Bonnies worked the ball quickly around the Wolfpack zone until they found Ashley Zahn open at the top who drained her fourth triple of the day sending the Reilly Center into a frenzy and cutting the N.C. State lead to just two, 68-66 with 18 seconds left in regulation.
Rueter committed a foul to stop the clock sending Krystal Barrett to the free throw line for N.C. State. Barrett missed the front end of the one-and-one but leading scorer Kody Burke collected the offensive rebound and converted a lay-in to put the finishing touches on her team-high 20 points. The magic ran out on the Bonnies and N.C. State held on for the 70-66 victory.
N.C. State used their significant size advantage to outscore the Bonnies 50-24 in the paint. The Bonnies shot 42.6 percent from the floor but allowed the Wolfpack to shoot 53.6 percent, the highest percentage of any Bona opponent this season.
CeCe Dixon led all scorers with 23 points, including 7-7 from the free throw line. Ashley Zahn scored her 14 points on 4-9 from long range. Doris Ortega pitched in 12 points on 5-14 shooting. Finally Nyla Rueter scored her seven points for the Bonnies, who were denied their third consecutive victory, on 3-5 shooting in just 14 minutes of action.
NEXT: The Bonnies will head to Wisconsin where they will face off with the Green Bay Phoenix on Saturday (Jan. 5) at 3:00 p.m.