Jan. 25, 2004
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. - St. Bonaventure earned its second conference win of the season, downing Atlantic 10 rival Dayton this afternoon, 74-63.
"We've really established ourselves over the past few games as far as what we need to do to be successful," said head coach Jim Crowley.
After taking a 34-27 lead at the intermission, the Bonnies' shots continued to fall into the second half to secure the victory. Up only three, 41-38, with 15:32 remaining the Bonnies went on a 12-3 tear to take a 53-41 advantage at the 11:47 mark. Freshman guard Stephanie Merlo led the Bonnies with eight points during the run, sinking two three-point baskets around a drive to the hoop for two.
Merlo hit two free throws with 5:28 remaining to give the Bonnies their largest lead of the game, 65-49. The Flyers, who were plagued with foul trouble late, mounted a 7-2 run late in the game, but it was not enough to overcome the Bonnies.
The Bonnies' defense held Dayton to 37 percent (25-67) shooting on the day, including 24 percent (5-21) from behind the arc. The Bonnies shot 60 percent (26-44) from the field and 47 percent (7-15) from three-point range.
Dayton's center Angela Cape fouled out of the game with 7:01 remaining, allowing the Bonnies to work the ball inside, as St. Bonaventure tallied 36 points in the paint to Dayton's 20.
"Our posts are doing a good job both shooting and passing the ball," Crowley said. "That has been a major difference."
Merlo led the Bonnies with a career-high 17 points, while senior forward Becky Valenti netted 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Senior forward Jade Humble and junior forward Tory Vyborny scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Emily Williams led the Flyers with a game-high 20 points, while Stephanie Miller recorded 16.
With the win, the Bonnies improved to 6-12 overall and 2-5 in the A-10. The Flyers fell to 3-16 overall and 1-7 in conference play.
The Bonnies return to action on Friday, Jan. 30 at Fordham. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.