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@BonniesWBB Finishes Non-Conference Play With Setback at Buffalo

Box Score (PDF)

BUFFALO – Too many second chance points allowed host Buffalo to take an early lead and pull away through the second half on the way to a 68-47 victory over the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team Wednesday afternoon at Alumni Arena.

Buffalo, the reigning Mid-American Conference (MAC) champions, moved to 9-0 for the first time in program history with the win. St. Bonaventure, meanwhile, finishes non-conference play at 5-7.

Mariah Ruff and Gabby Richmond each tallied 12 points apiece for the Bonnies with Matea Britvar adding eight.

"Buffalo is going to be one of the toughest teams we will play, but I thought we battled," head coach Jesse Fleming said. "There was a time during that second quarter where we could have folded, but we battled back and competed."

Though the Bonnies kept it close early, a 19-0 difference in second chance scoring helped Buffalo sail to its ninth straight win.

It was just a nine-point game at halftime, but the Bulls used a 15-0 run during the third quarter to put the game away.

"They had that run during the third quarter where we couldn't make a shot and that put the game away," Fleming said. "I wasn't displeased with what I saw, but our freshmen are going to be up and down and they had a tough game today."

Buffalo seized control early after a 4-4 tie in the opening two minutes, then the Bulls launched a 9-0 run to race ahead, 13-4, at the 4:44 mark of the first quarter.

The Bonnies picked up a spark off the bench from freshman Rhianna Council to pull closer. Council recorded a career high in scoring with four points during the first quarter as Bona pulled within 20-12 at the end of 10 minutes.

The Bulls used another 7-0 break to push their lead back to 30-16 with 4:03 left in the half before Ruff ended the drought with a three. Just before the halftime buzzer, Richmond found the bucket with a spin move in the lane to cut the deficit to 36-27 at intermission.

"I thought Gabby was the one that brought our energy today," Fleming said. "She kept us in the game during the second quarter and played very well despite battling foul trouble."

Bona shot over 42 percent during the first half, but connected on just 7-of-26 field goal attempts during the second half as the Bulls pulled away.

Three Buffalo players reached double figure scoring, led by 12 points from Cassie Oursler. JoAnna Smith delivered 10 points while Stephanie Reid registered 10 points and handed out eight assists.

St. Bonaventure opens Atlantic 10 play at home on Wednesday, Dec. 28 vs. Rhode Island at the Reilly Center. Next Wednesday's game will support Coaching For Literacy as the Bonnies coaching staff will wear green to raise awareness for the importance of literacy and its impact on social issues. Wednesday's game is also Kids Day at The RC with all kids 12 and under getting in free with a paid adult. 

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.