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Johnson's Buzzer-Beater Sends Bonnies To 62-61 Win in Senior Night Thriller

The Bonnies honored senior Mckenna Maycock, pictured with her parents and Head Coach Jesse Fleming, prior to Thursday's game. (Photo: Scott Eddy)
The Bonnies honored senior Mckenna Maycock, pictured with her parents and Head Coach Jesse Fleming, prior to Thursday's game. (Photo: Scott Eddy)
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ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – On a night where the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team honored Mckenna Maycock, its lone graduating senior, it would be a freshman who delivered one of the most memorable moments in recent program history.

Asianae Johnson cut through two defenders and received an inbound pass from fellow first-year guard Deja Francis with 1.1 seconds remaining, bouncing a floater perilously off the rim and in as the buzzer sounded to give the Bonnies a thrilling 62-61 victory over Rhode Island Thursday at the Reilly Center.

"We are thrilled to get a win like that. Down the stretch it was back-and-forth and we let them back in," St. Bonaventure head coach Jesse Fleming said. "Deja Francis made a nice pass and Asianae made a great cut. Overall I thought we were a little tight; we really wanted to get the win for Mckenna, but I think we were gritty. We figured out a way to get this win and keep our goals alive over the next three games."

A back-and-forth game throughout, the Bonnies led by three, 60-57, with 1:19 to play after a fast break from Maycock. Back-to-back buckets from Nicole Jorgensen, including a layup with 12 seconds to go put the visitors ahead, however.

The Bonnies (8-18, 5-8 Atlantic 10) used their final timeout and advanced the ball past midcourt following Jorgensen's basket. The ball was knocked out of bounds with the Bonnies retaining possession when Francis inbounded from underneath the basket with just over a second showing on the clock, setting the stage for Johnson's game-winner.

"I was like, just let me cut right through the middle," Johnson said of the game-winning play. "Deja made a great pass and it just went in the rim, bounce, bounce and I was just hoping it went in."

The night opened with a tribute to Maycock, one of St. Bonaventure's standout student-athletes during the past four years.

"She's as close to perfect when it comes to what you're asking out of a student-athlete as you can get," Fleming said. "Work ethic, being respectful, a good teammate. She checks every single box."

Despite fighting foul trouble early, Maycock would come alive with 12 of her 16 points during the second half to lead the Brown and White in scoring. She also posted eight rebounds to pace the club on the boards.

Johnson finished with 14 points while Francis registered a stat line of 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Bona grabbed a seven-point lead early, 14-7, but Rhode Island rallied with a 12-0 run spanning the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second for a 19-14 edge with Jorgensen putting up nine points and five rebounds in the first 10 minutes.

A run for the Bonnies pushed the hosts back in front, 31-25, but the last five points of the half went to the visitors, sending the teams to break nearly in a stalemate, 31-30.

Rhode Island (7-18, 2-11) came out of intermission rolling, sending the pendulum swinging back in the Rams direction. A 14-5 break to begin the second half gave Rhode Island a six-point lead, but the Bonnies rallied back to score 11 of the game's next 13 points for a 49-46 lead.

St. Bonaventure extended its lead to eight in the first three minutes of the fourth, but the Rams would rally to take the lead before the final moments.

Jorgensen led all scorers with 23 points, hauling in a game-high 14 rebounds as well. The Rams junior helped the visitors to a 35-29 edge in rebounding and a 38-32 advantage for points in the paint. 

Next up for the Bonnies is a trip to George Washington and Sunday afternoon 12 p.m. tipoff time.

GAME NOTES:

  • Thursday was the Bonnies' first victory where the game-winning basket was made inside of 2.5 seconds since a Nyla Rueter layup with exactly two seconds to play gave the Bonnies a 56-54 win at Penn State on Nov. 25, 2014. It is the first "true" buzzer-beater win for the team in over a decade.
  • Maycock played in her 96th career game and she finished the game with 722 career points.
  • Dajah Logan contributed eight points off the bench.
  • St. Bonaventure notched its 13th straight win over Rhode Island, its longest active consecutive winning streak over any opponent.
  • SBU shot 43 percent from the floor (21-49) while Rhode Island finished at 44 percent (24-54). 

- By Scott Eddy, Director of Athletics Communications

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