DAYTON, Ohio – A bucket from Asianae Johnson drew St. Bonaventure within five with four minutes left and capped a 13-2 Bonnies run, but the upset effort would ultimately come up short at defending Atlantic 10 champion Dayton Friday night in the Buckeye State.
Johnson matched her season high with 14 points, all coming during the second half, to pace the Bonnies offense. Redshirt junior Tori Harris added seven points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, one shy of her career high.
The Bonnies defense picked up in the fourth quarter, holding Dayton without a point for the first 4:02 of the period. Bona's 9-0 run during that span was capped off by a Johnson layup pulled the Bonnies within seven, 46-39.
Bonaventure would continue to chip away, pulling within five, 48-43, after Johnson made back-to-back baskets for the visitors.
That would be as close as the Bonnies would get, however.
Trailing by five, strong defense by the Bonnies forced the Flyers into the end of the shot clock. The hosts picked up a game-changing three at the buzzer, though, from Makira Cook for an eight-point advantage with 3:38 remaining. From there the Flyers held serve.
The Bonnies (1-4, 0-2) trailed by as many as 16 points in the third quarter before their fourth quarter rally.
Dayton (2-1, 1-0) went on a 9-0 run to take a 27-14 lead over Bona late in the second period.
Olivia Brown was able to stop the bleeding with a basket while being fouled and converted the free throw with two seconds remaining in the half, cutting the Bonnies deficit to 10, 27-17, at the halftime break.
Dayton held the Bonnies scoreless for over eight minutes spanning from the end of the first quarter and much of the second period before Deja Francis ended the drought with a layup to bring the Bonnies back within four, 16-12.
Cold shooting haunted both teams in the first quarter with Dayton taking an 11-10 after the first 10 minutes of play. For the game, the Bonnies shot just 29 percent (16-for-55) while Dayton improved to finish at a 41 percent clip (20-48).
Cook led all scorers with 18 points while Tenin Magassa hauled in nine rebounds and blocked five shots.
The Bonnies are back in action Friday, Jan. 8 when they host Richmond at the Reilly Center. That game will serve as St. Bonaventure's Atlantic 10 home opener and the contest will tipoff at 6:00 p.m. Sunday's originally scheduled game at Saint Louis has been postponed due to virus concerns within the Billikens program.
- St. Bonaventure starters – Tori Harris, Asianae Johnson, Olivia Brown, Deja Francis, Emily Calabrese.
- The Bonnies outrebounded the Flyers on the night, 37-32, despite Dayton's size advantage.
- Emily Calabrese's five rebounds moved her into 20th all-time on the St. Bonaventure career rebounding list, passing Jodi Urich '93, who had 522 career rebounds.
- Asianae Johnson's 14 points matched a season high and she has now reached double digit scoring in all five games this season.
- Graduate transfer Star Fitzgerald-Greer provided a spark inside for the Bonnies, playing 11 minutes with three points and a steal off the bench.
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