Box Score (PDF)
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure started strong and controlled most of the afternoon, but it was visiting Akron mounting the final charge to steal a 63-54 victory Sunday at the Reilly Center.
The Zips, playing in their first game of the season, ended the game on a 20-4 run after the Bonnies, playing their third game of the week, had led for over 38 minutes.
Deja Francis led the Bonnies in scoring with 13 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Olivia Tucker poured in a career-high 11 points off the bench while Dajah Logan and Jurnee President each finished with nine points.
Shaunay Edmonds powered the Zips with nine points and seven steals in the second half alone. For the game she tallied a game-high 20 points and 10 steals.
The Bonnies were rolling from the opening tip.
St. Bonaventure connected on its first six shot attempts from the floor as part of a 10-0 run, forcing an Akron timeout just over two minutes into the game.
The Bona blitz continued as the hosts stretched their advantage to 16-4 at the 6:05 mark of the first quarter following a three from President.
Akron would mount a charge of its own, though, racing all the way back to grab its first lead at 22-21 four minutes into the second quarter.
Olivia Tucker ignited a run to intermission for the Bonnies with a trey to re-take the lead with a quick 8-0 break that would lead to a 39-30 advantage at the half.
Third quarter control remained in favor of the Bonnies until the Zips were able to close within four in the waning seconds. Another three from President brought the Bona bench to their feet in celebration, though, as the lead went to 50-43 heading for the final 10 minutes.
From there, the Bonnies went ice cold on the offensive end, going 1-for-13 from the floor in the final period as Akron rallied.
- For the second consecutive game the Bonnies came out rolling at the start. St. Bonaventure opened the contest on a 10-0 sprint – Thursday vs. Niagara, the Bonnies scored the game's first seven points.
- Bona eclipsed its early season high for three-pointers in a game with seven during the first half alone.
- Head coach Jesse Fleming is in his fourth season at the helm, but for the first time he had all of his roster available. For 91 straight games – dating back to the program's NCAA Second Round game at Oregon State in 2016 – the Bonnies had played with at least one member of the active roster unavailable due to injury/illness.
- Akron advanced to the national postseason last year, reaching the Women's Basketball Invitational with 16 wins.
- Akron won the battle of the boards, 39-37, but shot just 31 percent from the floor (18-for-57) and 2-for-13 from distance.
QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH JESSE FLEMING
"That's a team that has been playing together for awhile now. I'm not sitting here being negative about this loss. We are a young team that have two sophomores in the starting lineup and two freshmen playing a lot of minutes. My message to the team in the locker room was to use this as a learning experience and to continue moving forward."
"I was happy with threes not going down and still being in games, where we didn't have to rely on it. We should have been living at the foul line today and we were just taking the shots that were given to us today. Great to see that we have the ability to hit 11 threes."
The Bonnies hit the road for the first time this season, traveling to defending Patriot League champion Bucknell Wednesday afternoon. Tip-off is slated for 4:00 p.m. in Lewisburg, Pa.
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