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Hofstra Sneaks Past Bonnies, 67-59

Claudia Del Moral drives past a defender at Saturday's game. (Photo: Craig Melvin)
Claudia Del Moral drives past a defender at Saturday's game. (Photo: Craig Melvin)
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ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – A slow start from the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team and a strong finish from visiting Hofstra sent the Pride to a 67-59 victory Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center.

St. Bonaventure stands 2-2 overall while Hofstra also improved to 2-2.

For the Bonnies, freshmen guards Asianae Johnson and Deja Francis each had career highs with 16 and 13 points respectively.

"We're competing, we're going to keep getting better and keep learning and it starts with those two," St. Bonaventure head coach Jesse Fleming said. "I thought we fought back, but we dug ourselves too big of a hole."

Both teams battled turnover troubles in an uneven start.

Hofstra took advantage of the Bonaventure miscues for the lead throughout the opening minutes, however, taking a five-point edge at the end of 10 minutes.

The Bonnies closed within 29-25 early in the second, but Hofstra pushed its lead to 11 with 1:58 left in the half thanks to 20 first half points from Sica Cuzic. Bona put together a bit of a rally before the halftime buzzer, though, pulling within 43-36 following a bucket off the glass from Asianae Johnson.

St. Bonaventure pushed ahead after intermission, using strong defensive effort.

Hofstra went over six minutes without a field goal during the third quarter and was limited to 2-for-15 from the floor during the period by the Bona defense. Cuzic went without scoring in the third.

The Bonnies took the lead for the first time with a 10-2 run before the media timeout, but the teams would head to the fourth deadlocked, 48-48.

Francis started the fourth with a trey on the wing, but Hofstra responded with drives from E'Lexus Davis and Marianne Kaline to put the Pride back in front.

A jumper in the lane by Francis tied the game, 55-55, with 6:23 remaining, but Boogie Brozoski drilled a three on the other end for a lead the visitors never surrendered.

The Bonnies would get as close as one, 60-59, following work in the paint from Dajah Logan with 2:24 to play, but again the Pride had an answer as Sandra Karsten registered a jumper.

A turnover and a block erased Bona's efforts to tie and another bucket from Cuzic stretched the lead to two possessions with 16 seconds to go.

The Bonnies shot 47 percent from the floor (23-for-49), but were undone by 23 turnovers. Cuzic finished with a line of 27 points, 10 rebounds and three steals.

Logan delivered 10 points and four rebounds off the bench.

"We're staying positive, we've got a lot of young players and our best basketball is ahead of us," Fleming said.

The Bonnies are back in action Friday and Saturday in Colorado for the Denver Thanksgiving Classic for games against Ohio and host Denver.

For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @GoBonnies and get women's basketball updates @BonniesWBB. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.