NO. 5 FOREVER
Dana Mitchell will forever be remembered as one of the key figures in turning the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball program into an Atlantic 10 frontrunner. Her No. 5 jersey was etched into the fabric of the Reilly Center when she became the first women’s basketball player to have her jersey retired in school history. She was honored in a ceremony on February 17, 2010 while still an active member of the Bonnies roster. Later that day, she helped the Bonnies to a victory over Richmond. She finished her career second all-time in school history with 2,011 career points.
Hilary Waltman set a statistical mark for the ages when she surpassed 2,000 career points in a game vs. Saint Joseph’s on February 12, 1999. Waltman, the program’s all-time leader in points with 2,106, became the first Bona player to reach 2,000 points with her eight-foot jumper midway through the second half. To date, only one other Bonnies player has ever reached 2,000 points – Dana Mitchell did so a decade later.
HEADLINERS IN THE RC
The Reilly Center has played host to a number of the nation’s most recognizable stars over the years in a variety of events. Several graduating classes have welcomed celebrities – perhaps none bigger than Bob Hope who was the commencement speaker in 1971. Other celebrity commencement speakers include: Charles Osgood (1976), Michael Bloomberg (2000), Tim Russert (2001), Bob Schieffer (2003) and Wolf Blitzer (2009). The RC has also seen musical artists such as Johnny Cash, Counting Crows, The Doobie Brothers, Don Maclain, Goo Goo Dolls, Greatful Dead, Kenny Rogers and “Weird Al” Yankovich perform live. The RC also has hosted many plays and musicals including Fiddler on the Roof and West Side Story.
BONNIES ROLL PAST CHARLOTTE IN WNIT
St. Bonaventure used a dominating showing to advance in the WNIT with a first round victory over Charlotte, 81-62, on March 21, 2014. After trailing 26-25 at halftime, the Bonnies outscored the 49ers 56-36 in the second half. Katie Healy led the way with a career-high 28 points along with 12 rebounds while Hannah Little added 20 points and 15 boards.
DANCE CARD PUNCHED
March 12, 2012 served as the culmination of a magical season that will not be forgotten in St. Bonaventure women’s basketball history. On that night, the Reilly Center filled with supporters from around the community to watch as the Bonnies were selected to their first-ever NCAA Tournament. The Bonnies qualified as an at-large after winning the Atlantic 10 regular season title with an undefeated regular season. After being announced as a No. 5 seed in the tournament, the Bonnies would go on to make a remarkable run and reach the Sweet 16 with victories over Florida Gulf Coast and Marist.
JENKINS FROM DOWNTOWN
Jessica Jenkins had the most prolific three-point shooting day in Bonnies women’s basketball history on February 26, 2011, hitting nine shots from beyond the arc in an 80-65 win over Charlotte at The RC. Jenkins finished her career as the SBU and Atlantic 10’s all-time leader in career three-pointers (338) and holds the program’s top five single game shooting performances from long range. In all that day vs. Charlotte, the Bonnies drained 16 3-pointers and Jenkins finished with 33 points and went 9-of-14 from distance.
St. Bonaventure completed its historic 16-0 2015-16 at the Reilly Center with perhaps the season’s most important victory, a 60-48 win over Duquesne on February 28, 2016. Entering the regular season’s final day, the Bonnies were very much on the NCAA Tournament bubble and looking for a resume-building win. Bona found just that with its win over Duquesne, which was playing for an Atlantic 10 regular season title. The Bonnies shocked the Dukes early, building a 30-10 lead, and withstood a late charge from the visitors to earn revenge from an earlier loss at Duquesne and register a win that ultimately was one of the deciding factors in reaching the NCAA Tournament and also finishing a perfect season at home.
POSTSEASON WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COMES TO THE RC
The St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team hosted its first-ever postseason game on March 21, 2009 and made it one to remember. In front of a then-record crowd of 2,123 fans, the Bonnies rallied from 14 points down to beat West Virginia, 68-63, in the second round of the WNIT. Bona held the Mountaineers to just two second half field goals to record the first postseason victory of any Big 4 women’s basketball team in the Division I era behind 18 points from Dana Mitchell. The Bonnies ultimately reached the quarterfinals of the 2009 WNIT, the first of five postseason appearances in the past seven years.
BONNIES STUN GW
The Bonnies snapped a 26-game losing streak to an Atlantic 10 rival, scored their second-ever win over a nationally-ranked opponent and set the then-record for victories in a season all in the same night with a 63-60 upset of No. 14 GW on February 16, 2008. Dana Mitchell and Katelyn Murray each scored 14 points apiece with Murray connecting on a crucial three-pointer from the top of the arc to give a the Bonnies a 60-59 lead with 2:44 to play.
The 2015-16 season will be remembered as one of the best in Bonnies basketball history – men’s or women’s – and one of the main reasons is Bona’s dominance at home. St. Bonaventure re-wrote its record books last year by going a perfect 16-0 at the Reilly Center, ultimately finishing the year 24-8 overall and reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bonnies were unstoppable on home court, recording wins over power five foes Georgetown and Penn State as well as longtime power James Madison – all in one week. Bona also knocked off A-10 powers Duquesne, Saint Louis and George Washington, with the win over GW coming in overtime after erasing a 17-point deficit.
DAILER’S THRILLER KNOCKS OFF RUTGERS
February 19, 1994 was a day to remember at the Reilly Center as Bonnies women’s basketball scored it’s first-ever victory over a nationally-ranked opponent. Bona did so in thrilling fashion as Suzie Dailer tallied the game-winning bucket on a full-court pass from Christine Powers with three seconds left to defeat Atlantic 10 rival and 17th-ranked Rutgers, 71-70 on Parent’s Day at The RC. Dailer also tipped the ensuing Rutgers pass, ensuring the win.