Feb. 6, 2004
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. - It was a little over a decade since the Bonnies beat Saint Joseph's in women's basketball. That jinx ended on Friday night at the Reilly Center as St. Bonaventure held off the Hawks 70-68.
St. Bonaventure, who last beat Saint Joseph's 62-61 at Hawk Hill on Feb. 2, 1994, found themselves down 68-67 in the final moments. Trailing by one with 56 seconds remaining, St. Bonaventure junior guard Stefanie Collins went to the line for one-and-one after being held by the Hawks' Erin Brady. Collins made the first one to tie the game at 68, and following a timeout by Saint Joseph's, calmly made the second to give the Bonnies a 69-68 lead with 33 seconds.
Following an errant Brady layup that deflected out of bounds, St. Bonaventure freshman Audrey Latendresse was fouled on the inbounds. Latendresse, who was 14-of-14 from the line in Atlantic 10 play this year, put her team up two, 70-68, with seven seconds left. Her second free throw hit off the backboard and a last-second shot by Brady fell short for the Hawks.
"We knew Brady likes to shoot the big shot for them," said St. Bonaventure head coach Jim Crowley. "We played good defense and forced her to take a crazy shot."
In what was a hectic second half that saw eight lead changes, the Hawks clung to a 64-62 lead following a jump shot by senior Erin Brady with 3:08 remaining. The Bonnies answered as junior guard Stefanie Collins (Montour Falls, N.Y./Odessa-Montour) made an eight-foot jump shot and was fouled on the play. Collins' free throw put St. Bonaventure up 65-64 with 2:43 remaining.
On the ensuing possession, Saint Joseph's Stephanie Graff scored two of her game-high 25 points to put the Hawks up one, 66-65, with 2:33 left in the game. Bonnies' junior forward Tory Vyborny answered with a layup of her own to give the Bonnies a 67-66 lead.
Graff, who went 11-17 from the field, again gave the Hawks a 68-67 lead with 56 seconds left.
In the first half, the Bonnies found themselves down by three, 13-10 five minutes in. Over the next three minutes, St. Bonaventure went on a 12-2 run to take a 22-15 lead on a three pointer by Collins at 11:56.
The Hawks battled and regained the lead, 30-28, with 8:14 left in the first stanza. The Bonnies would counter as both teams battled to a 38-38 at the half.
"This is a great win for tonight," said Crowley. "We are going to enjoy the win this evening, but tomorrow we are going to get at it and get ready for Sunday."
Collins led five Bona scorers in double digits, scoring 18 to go with a team-high seven rebounds. Freshman guard Stephanie Merlo, who hit two three-pointers during a key 11-2 second-half run to bring the Bonnies back from a 46-40 deficit, poured in 13 points. Merlo also handed out a career-high six assists.
Senior guard Lyndsey Maurer and Vyborny added 12 points apiece, while Latendresse finished with 11.
The Bonnies finished 26-57 from the floor for 46 percent, including 91 percent (10-11) from the line, while the Hawks, who shot 47 percent (27-58) from the floor, converted only 8 of 11 from the line.
St. Bonaventure, who improved to 7-13 overall and 3-6 in A-10 play, also won the battle of the boards, outrebounding Saint Joseph's 34-30.
With the loss, the Hawks fell to 12-7 and 7-2 in the A-10. The Bonnies return to action on Sunday, Feb. 8, at the Reilly Center when they take on Rhode Island at noon.