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Bonnies Celebrate Senior Day With 60-48 Victory Over Duquesne

Box Score (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – In a season to remember, the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team Sunday gave its fans one more memory that is likely to last by finishing a perfect home slate with a thrilling victory over Atlantic 10-leading Duquesne, 60-48, on Senior Day.

In doing so, the Bonnies finished the regular season much like they started – with a win on home court, capping off a 16-0 record at the Reilly Center.

The victory moves St. Bonaventure to 23-6 overall and 12-4 in Atlantic 10 play, the second-most regular season wins in program history, as well as giving the Bonnies their second-most Atlantic 10 triumphs ever. Duquesne, meanwhile, finishes its regular season 25-4 overall and 13-3 in A-10 play.

Mariah Ruff powered the Bonnies with her first double-double, notching a game-high 18 points along with a career-high 13 rebounds, also handing our four assists while draining five three-pointers.

Katie Healy played her final regular season game at home, recording 16 points with seven rebounds. Gabby Richmond and Miranda Drummond each posted eight points apiece off the bench.

St. Bonaventure opened a 20-point lead during the first half, but had to fend off a rally from the Dukes to hold on for the victory.

"Duquesne has a great will to succeed. We saw some of that come out today," Bonnies head coach Jim Crowley said. "We were really disciplined and had great energy defensively. We knew we had to play a really high level game and fortunately we did that."

After honoring seniors Healy, Emily Michael, Nyla Rueter and Kelcie Rombach prior to the game, the Bonnies seized all the momentum early by putting the Atlantic 10's leading scoring offense on ice.

Duquesne, which entered the day atop the A-10 standings, hit just one of its first 11 attempts from the floor and went 2-of-16 during the first quarter, including 0-for-6 from long range. In all, the Dukes mustered just four points against the Bonnies defense during the opening 10 minutes as St. Bonaventure led, 12-4. For the season, the Dukes average over 73 points per game.

Conor Richardson started the second with a three for a 12-7 score, but from there the Bonnies took control.

The Bonnies erupted for a 16-2 run, running out to a 30-10 lead at the 1:35 mark of the half following a layup from Healy.

Duquesne scored the final four points of the half, sending the teams to intermission with a 30-14 tally, but the Bonnies limited the Dukes to 6-of-30 from the floor (20 percent) during the half.

Ruff, meanwhile, drained four three-pointers during the first half and surpassed her career high in rebounds with eight in the first 20 minutes alone.

Bona's sophomore guard started the second half by finding Healy underneath for a lay-in and a 32-14 score and a trey from Drummond pushed the lead to 35-14 with 7:34 remaining in the third.

From there, though, some Bona foul trouble and a run from the Dukes made things interesting. Healy was forced to sit with her third foul at the 5:31 mark of the third which was followed by an 8-0 Duquesne run to bring the score to 35-24 with 3:40 remaining in the period.

Matea Britvar ended the Dukes run with a jumper from the high post, and Drummond followed with a three from the left wing to push the lead back to 16.

Duquesne then grabbed some of the momentum back, ending the third on a banked-in three from Kadri-Ann Lass and then April Robinson began the fourth with a three of her own to bring the score to 40-35.

Britvar again gave the Bonnies another pick-me-up, sinking a jumper following an assist from Ruff. Healy followed with a layup on the other end following a stop to push the lead back to 44-35.

Duquesne would not go away, again cutting the score to 46-41 following a layup from Lass with 5:45 remaining.

The teams went without scoring for over the next three minutes, but Ruff brought the drought to an end on an in-bounds play that found her on the far corner where she hit nothing but net for a 49-41 advantage with 2:03 to go.

A Dukes turnover gave the ball back to the Bonnies, then Duquesne head coach Dan Burt was whistled for a technical foul following a foul called on Robinson.

Nyla Rueter sank one of two at the foul line on the technical shots, and the Bonnies retained possession where Healy sank a one-hander in the lane for a 52-41 lead and just 1:45 to go.

From there, the Bonnies' lead never dropped under double digits in front of the crowd of 1,370.

"We had a lot to play for," Crowley said. "Our players truly appreciate all the support we get and it means something to give back to our fans."

St. Bonaventure will be the No. 4 seed in next week's Atlantic 10 Tournament, having already been locked into its seeding prior to the start of Sunday's competition. The Bonnies will play in Richmond on Friday, March 4 at 2 p.m.  The Bonnies will face the winner of fifth-seeded VCU and the winner of Davidson and Richmond in game one of the championship.

GAME NOTES: Sunday's win avenges a 74-62 setback at Duquesne on Jan. 23 ... Duquesne, which had the opportunity to win the Atlantic 10 regular season title with a win Sunday, entered the day ranked No. 24 in the national RPI. The Dukes received 27 votes in this week's USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll, receiving the most votes of any team outside the Top 25 ... St. Bonaventure began Sunday ranked No. 38 in the RPI and now has six wins against the Top 100 and three against the Top 50 ... St. Bonaventure has won more games in a season just twice, going 31-4 in 2011-12 and 24-11 in 2013-14, but the Bonnies recorded their 24th win that year in the WNIT ... the Bonnies have scored wins over each of the top three seeds in the A-10 Tournament - George Washington, Duquesne and Saint Louis ... Duquesne's 48 points represent a season low, and the first time the Dukes have been held below 50 points since a 60-39 loss at West Virginia in last season's WNIT.