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Hofstra Storms Back for a 71-68 Decision as Non-Conference Play Closes

Hofstra Storms Back for a 71-68 Decision as Non-Conference Play Closes

Box Score (PDF)

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Hofstra finished the game on a 19-5 run and erased a double-figure fourth quarter deficit to stun the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team, 71-68, Thursday afternoon at the Mack Sports Complex.

In a game where each team controlled momentum for portions of the afternoon, it would be the Pride that took control late to come back from 11 down in the final four minutes.

Hofstra improves to 6-5 while St. Bonaventure finishes non-conference play at 5-8.

Danielle Migliore paced the Bonnies with a career high 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor, adding six rebounds. Mariah Ruff registered 18 points and four assists.

After a back-and-forth start, the Bonnies surged ahead with an 8-1 run, pushing to a 15-11 advantage in the final seconds of the first quarter. A layup just before the buzzer from the Pride allowed the hosts to close within two at the end of the opening 10 minutes.

St. Bonaventure took more momentum after beginning the second quarter on a 9-0 run, surging ahead 24-13 following back-to-back three-pointers from Arielle Harvey and Migliore.

A cold spell from the Bonnies allowed Hofstra to close back within four, 26-22, but the Bonnies finished the half strong and went to intermission ahead, 34-26.

Just as they started the second quarter, Bona began the third red hot. The Bonnies launched a 17-4 sprint, powered by more work from the perimeter by Migliore, to extend the lead to 50-32 late in the third.

The Pride had a response late in the penultimate quarter, however, and continued to close as the fourth period began. Hofstra embarked on an 11-2 answer to St. Bonaventure's run, closing to a 52-43 score with nine minutes to go.

Hofstra closed to within six, 57-51, at the final media timeout before Ruff drained a huge three to swing the pendulum in favor of the Bonnies.

Ruff drilled another shot from the wing for a 63-52 lead with 3:27 to play.

After closing within 63-57, Abigail Johnson put home a lay-in off the glass to push ahead by eight again with 2:27 remaining. From there, though, it was all Hofstra.

Hofstra forced Bona into multiple miscues with its press and was able to turn those into easy baskets to race back into the game. Consecutive layups from Sica Cuzic gave the Pride the lead, 67-66, with 52 seconds to go. Another turnover and layup pushed the Pride up three before Ruff worked to the line for a pair of free throws and a 69-68 score.

Bona's defense then forced a tie-up and the possession arrow favored the visitors. An offensive foul called on SBU with seven seconds gave the ball back to Hofstra and a pair of free throws ended the scoring.

Johnson posted 10 rebounds and seven points while Rhianna Council added six points and a career best eight rebounds.

In all, St. Bonaventure shot 25-for-53 from the floor for 47 percent while Hofstra was just over 40 percent (25-62). Hofstra worked to the line 10 more times than Bona, going 14-for-24 from the stripe while the Bonnies were 9-for-14.

Bona won the battle of the boards 42-33, but the turnover count mounted late, allowing Hofstra to post 35 points off Bonnies turnovers.  

The Bonnies now break for the Christmas holiday and will begin Atlantic 10 play on New Year's Eve day at Saint Louis. Tip-off on Dec. 31 is slated for 2 p.m. CST and 3 p.m. EST.