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Bonnies Push Past Fordham; Extend Winning Streak To A Dozen

Box Score (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – On a night where the St. Bonaventure offense struggled to find rhythm, the Bonnies relied on their trademark defense to stifle visiting Fordham for a 55-41 victory Thursday night at the Reilly Center.

St. Bonaventure (13-2, 2-0 Atlantic 10) pushes its winning streak to 12, the second-longest in program history, and has won its first nine home games of the season for the first time.

Nyla Rueter and Katie Healy each scored 14 points apiece to lead the Bonnies while Miranda Drummond posted 10 rebounds. Mariah Ruff also finished with 10 points, four assists and three steals.

"Fordham did a really a good job of raising their energy level in the second quarter," Bonnies head coach Jim Crowley said. "I thought we had a really good third quarter and our defense carried us. We weren't as crisp as we needed to be offensively, but a lot of that is credit to Fordham."

The Bonnies led early, thanks to extremely cold shooting from Fordham (6-9, 1-1). The Rams went 1-of-12 from the floor during the first quarter, failing to crack onto the scoreboard until a three-pointer from Lauren Holden at the 3:48 mark. St. Bonaventure held a 12-5 lead after the opening period.

Alexia Douglas brought Fordham to life to start the second quarter, however, hitting two quick baskets on the Rams' first possessions of the period to spark a 14-0 run as the visitors pulled ahead, 17-12.

St. Bonaventure went over seven minutes without scoring during the stretch before Ruff finally ended the dry spell with a three from the left wing. On the next trip down the floor, Ruff found Rueter for another shot from long range and an 18-17 edge. The teams were never separated by more than two points the remainder of the half with Gabby Richmond giving the Bonnies a 24-22 lead at intermission with a put-back just before the buzzer.

Fordham suffered another long scoreless spell as the Bona defense held the Rams without a field goal for the opening 4:54 of the second half, but physical play from both sides limited any scoring.

Another three from Holden brought Fordham within 29-26, but the Brown and White took a 38-30 score to the fourth quarter.

The Rams clawed their way to a 38-33 margin with 7:05 remaining, but from there the Bonnies would kick into another gear.

Matea Britvar sparked a 15-3 blitz with back-to-back buckets before Rueter drained a three for the Bonnies' largest lead of the day to that point, 45-33. Fordham's Hannah Missry momentarily slowed the Bonnies' momentum with a three of her own, but a running one-hander from Emily Michael and free throws by Healy moved the lead back to 13 with 3:03 to go and the Bona lead never dropped below double digits again.

The Bonaventure defense limited Fordham to 31.1 percent shooting for the game (14-of-45). Samantha Clark and Danielle Burns each tallied 10 points apiece for the Rams. The Bonnies, meanwhile, finished at a 38.5 percent clip from the field (20-52).

St. Bonaventure returns to action Sunday at 5 p.m. inside the Reilly Center vs. UMass.

GAME NOTES: Healy passed current assistant coach Jessica Jenkins for seventh all-time in SBU scoring with 1,445 career points. Next up is Megan Van Tatenhove's 1,453 ... the Bonnies have had a longer winning streak just once in program history – an 18-game string during the 2011-12 Sweet 16 season. Thursday's win moved this year's team past the 11-game streak of the 2009-10 squad. The 13-2 start is also SBU's best since 2011-12 with its first 2-0 start to conference play since that season … only four teams nationwide had a longer active winning streak entering Thursday – UConn (49), Texas (14), South Carolina (13) and Duquesne (12) … Fordham's Hannah Missry came into Thursday's game leading the Atlantic 10 with 42 three-pointers on the year while averaging 11.8 points per game, but went just 1-of-5 from the floor, with her lone basket being from long range, for a total of three points. Fellow starter G'mrice Davis also averaged double-figure scoring for the year (10.4 ppg), but was held scoreless by the Bonaventure defense … Rueter now has 992 career points and moved into seventh all-time in program history with 156 three-pointers, passing Courtney Mattingly's 154 from 1999-2003 … Michael handed out a team-best five assists … the Bonnies led for 34:41 of game time … Fordham was selected fourth in the Atlantic 10 Preseason Poll and has posted three straight 20-win campaigns ... the five points in the first quarter by Fordham marked the 13th time this season the Bonnies defense has held an opponent to single digits during a quarter. 

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