BRONX, N.Y. – In a game billed as a defensive struggle between the league's top two defenses, it was Fordham that broke through for a 77-68 victory at Rose Hill Gym over the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team on Wednesday night.
The 77 points scored by Fordham tie a season-high by any Bona opponent, and the most since nationally ranked DePaul scored 77 in just the third game of the season.
Fordham's Samantha Clark was too much for the Bonnies to overcome, though, with a double-double effort of 20 points and 17 rebounds. Five Rams finished in double-figure scoring, including Asnate Fomina who chipped in with 15 points off the bench.
The Bonnies slip to 22-6 overall and 11-4 in Atlantic 10 play while Fordham improves to 13-15, 8-7 with 11 of its wins coming at home.
Fordham started hot, seizing a 10-4 lead following a pair of three-pointers from Hannah Missry.
The Bonnies quickly responded, though, embarking on a 12-0 run while hitting seven of their first nine shots for a 16-10 lead at the first media timeout.
Drummond sizzled from beyond the arc , sinking her first four shots from long range and the Bonnies matched their highest-scoring first quarter of the season for a 26-19 lead after an opening 10 minutes that saw the Bonnies shoot nearly 67 percent.
Mariah Ruff then pushed the Bonnies lead to double digits, sinking threes from both wings for a 32-19 advantage at the 9:10 mark of the second quarter.
After Fordham sliced to within single digits, Nyla Rueter's jumper gave the visitors a 41-29 advantage and the Bonnies appeared to have no letup in sight offensively.
Fordham then flexed its defensive muscle and the Bonnies went silent, going the final 5:24 of the first half without a point as the Rams finished the half on a 7-0 break for a 41-36 score at intermission.
Things remained quiet for the Bonnies for over three minutes of the third while the Rams continued to chip away. Fordham finally pushed ahead, 42-41, on a four-point play from Missry
The four-point play suddenly became common inside Rose Hill Gym as on the next trip down the floor, Ruff sank a trey from in front of her own bench as she was fouled. Ruff completed her own four-point play at the 6:19 mark of the third for a 45-42 advantage.
A bucket inside from Healy would make the score 47-42, but the Bonnies' lead would be short-lived. The Rams ran off the next seven points, capped on a three from Samantha Clark for a 49-47 edge.
Ruff found Imani Outlaw on a fast break for a layup and a 49-49 tie heading for the fourth.
Fordham kept its momentum rolling to start the fourth, quickly jumping to a 58-52 lead.
Rueter gave the Bonnies some life, sinking a three for a 58-55 score at the 6:53 mark.
With Fordham again leading by four, 63-59, Healy drained a long corner two at the shot clock buzzer to pull within one possession.
The Rams would keep the Bonnies at an arm's length the rest of the way, however. St. Bonaventure closed to within 66-63 following a jumper from Ruff with 1:55 left. A layup from Danielle Burns on the other end made it a 68-63 score, though, and from there the Rams did what they needed at the foul line. Fordham went 17-of-18 at the line to ice the game in the waning moments.
St. Bonaventure completes the regular season by hosting Senior Day on Sunday against league-leading Duquesne.
GAME NOTES: Emily Michael missed the game due to injury, snapping a streak of 42 straight starts ... Fordham shot 47.2 percent from the floor, the highest percentage by any Bona opponent this year. The previous best was 43.9 percent by UMass ... St. Bonaventure remains locked into a top-four seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament next week ... Drummond finished 4-for-4 from beyond the arc.