Box Score (PDF)
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure held a six-point fourth quarter lead, but a late Dayton rally handed the Bonnies a heartbreaker, 62-60, Wednesday night at the Reilly Center.
The youthful Bonnies (6-9, 1-2 Atlantic 10) gave Dayton (8-7, 2-1), picked to finish second in the preseason Atlantic 10 Coaches Poll, all it wanted, and held the lead, 60-59, as the clock ticked under 10 seconds.
Mariah Ruff's free throws with seven seconds to go gave the Bonnies a one-point lead. Then, following a timeout and with the ball advanced past half court, Dayton found one last shot – a nearly 25-footer with a defender's hand in the face of Christy Macioce. The senior drilled the long prayer with just 0.8 seconds remaining to give the Flyers what turned out to be the game-winner.
A Bonnies timeout allowed the hosts a final opportunity. With just enough time for an inbound pass and shoot, Ruff nearly drained a long three. It was not to be, however, as the attempt from just in front of the scorer's table rolled off the rim as the final horn sounded.
Ruff turned in a career performance, equaling her best scoring outing in a Bonnies uniform with 25 points to lead all scorers. The junior guard added four steals and three assists in 37 minutes of action.
Bonnies freshman Sarah Hart also had a career night with her personal best scoring performance, pouring in 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor.
"Mariah got things going for us and Hart was a real playmaker tonight," Bonnies head coach Jesse Fleming said. "Imani Outlaw brought a lot of energy and it was great for her to give us some solid minutes. It was as complete of a game as we have played this season."
After Dayton scored the game's first four points, the Bonnies quickly answered with 10 of the next 12 points for a 10-6 lead. Bona ultimately took a 17-13 edge after one quarter of play, but Dayton responded with a 10-2 run of its own to grab a 23-19 advantage.
Before halftime, the Bonnies rallied back thanks to the hot shooting of Ruff. She delivered 16 points during the first half and the Bonnies seized a narrow 33-31 margin as Hart put a one-hander off the glass at the buzzer.
Bona shot 52 percent from the floor during the opening 20 minutes while holding Dayton to 38 percent, work on the offensive glass kept the Flyers neck-and-neck with the Bonnies.
"We missed a couple of box outs that we should have had," Fleming said. "We have to equal out the size advantage that teams in the league may have on us by taking care of the ball. That's something we have to keep working toward."
Dayton snatched a 47-42 advantage with 25 seconds to go in the third, but the Bonnies defense forced the Flyers cold from that point.
An 11-0 Bonnies run put the Brown and White ahead, 53-47, with 8:01 remaining in the game. Dayton would not score again until the 6:03 mark of the fourth as it went 1-of-7 from the field to begin the final quarter.
Dayton chipped away at the foul line, though. Personal and technical fouls whistled on the Bonnies on the same play allowed Kelley Austria and JaVonna Layfield to connect on four free throws with five minutes to go for a 54-53 Flyers edge.
A pair of shots at the line from Outlaw pushed the Bonnies back in front, but two more free throws and a layup from Saicha Grant-Allen placed Dayton ahead by four with 1:04 to go.
Ruff drained a three on the other end with 42 seconds remaining, then Dayton's Alex Harris missed both attempts at the line to set the stage for the final seconds. Ruff was fouled driving to the hoop, setting up her free throws and a brief Bonnies lead before Macioce's heroics.
Austria paced Dayton with 14 points with Layfield chipping in with a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. Bona limited Dayton leading scorer Jenna Burdette to just two points.
"We competed tonight. We deserved to be in it," Fleming assessed. "We went punch-for-punch with a really good team."
St. Bonaventure travels south again this weekend for a Saturday afternoon date at Richmond. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m.
- Gabby Richmond had seven points and nine rebounds.
- Mckenna Maycock recorded five points and three assists off the bench.
- Dayton kept itself in the game with 19 offensive rebounds and 25 second chance points.
- The Bonnies had a season-high 13 steals.
- Macioce's game-winner were her only points of the night in three minutes of action.
- The loss snaps SBU's nine-game Atlantic 10 winning streak at home.
- St. Bonaventure's two A-10 losses are by a combined five points.
- Ruff tied her career high of 25 points set during her freshman season at home vs. Rhode Island. She has 18 or more points five times this season.
- St. Bonaventure shot 42.9 percent from the floor (21-49) while Dayton shot at a 39.6 clip (21-53).
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