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St. Bonaventure Holds Off Saint Joseph's, 65-51

Box Score (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Eleven members of the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team found the scoring column as the Bonnies got back on the winning track with a 65-51 victory over Saint Joseph's at the Reilly Center Wednesday night.

Nyla Rueter led the way with a game-high 16 points along with three assists and three steals while Mariah Ruff added eight points and five assists. Rueter connected on six of her eight shot attempts on the night.

St. Bonaventure improves to 18-3 overall on the season and 7-1 in Atlantic 10 play, remaining perfect at home - 12-0. Saint Joseph's falls to 9-11, 3-5.

"We didn't defend as consistantly as we needed to, but when we needed to make plays we were able to," Bonnies head coach Jim Crowley said. "Any time you can beat a team as good as Saint Joe's it is a good day. I thought we did a really good job of sticking to our basics and playing solid active defense. That created some extra opportunities for us."

Saint Joseph's held a 10-9 lead at the first media timeout with 3:11 remaining in the period thanks to six quick points from leading scorer Ciara Andrews. A pair of free throws from Miranda Drummond pushed the Bonnies back out in front.

From there, the Bonnies would never trail again.

St. Bonaventure embarked on a 15-3 run, seizing a 31-18 advantage three and a half minutes before halftime when Katie Healy beat the shot clock buzzer with a jumper. The Bonnies ultimately took a 35-21 lead to intermission after a dominating second period that saw the hosts outscore the Hawks by a 21-9 margin.

Rueter was at the heart of the Bonnies' success in the second quarter, scoring eight of her points during the frame.

In the third, Ruff came alive, tallying all of her points during the quarter. The sophomore guard faked a drive and drilled a step back three for a 47-32 advantage at the 2:45 mark as the Bonnies surged ahead.

Layups from Imani Outlaw and Drummond pushed the lead to 18 at 53-35 two minutes into the fourth and the Bonnies would not relinquish control the rest of the way, leading by as much as 20 points.

After a hot start, the Bonnies defense held Andrews in check as she scored just five points after the first 5:10 of the contest.

Drummond finished with eight points and two of St. Bonaventure's season-high 13 steals. Healy tallied seven points, four rebounds and three assists with Outlaw tallying seven points, three rebounds and three steals off the bench.

Andrews paced Saint Joseph's with 11 points with Chelsea Woods contributing a double-double effort of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bonnies shot 49 percent from the field (25-for-51) while limiting the Hawks to 35.8 percent (19-53).

Wednesday's win saw the Bonnies bounce back after having their 16-game winning streak snapped at Duquesne last Saturday.

"Saturday was what it was. We had a bad day," Crowley said. "We had 16 really good ones before it and we had a pretty good one today. We focused on this game today; we shot 49 percent today with our two leading scorers going 6-for-21. That's a great team effort."

St. Bonaventure remains at home to host Richmond in a nationally televised game Sunday afternoon inside the Reilly Center on the American Sports Network. Tipoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. in the first of a doubleheader with the men.

GAME NOTES: St. Bonaventure has won five of the last seven meetings vs. Saint Joseph's ... the Bonnies held an opponent to 59 points or less for the 15th time this season ... SBU shot over 40 percent for the 16th time in the last 18 contests ... St. Bonaventure entered the day ranked No. 29 in the RPI while Saint Joseph's was No. 83 ... the Bonnies have won 15 games this season by double digits ... the Bonnies led for 36:43 of game time on Wednesday night.

For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @Go_Bonnies and get women's basketball updates @BonniesWBB. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.