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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bonnies Reach 20 Wins With Dominating Victory Over Saint Louis, 80-59


ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Returning to action a week after a disappointing setback at VCU, the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team looked much more like the team that had won its first 13 games at home, dominating on the way to an 80-59 victory over Saint Louis Wednesday at the Reilly Center.
With the win, the Bonnies reach 20 victories for the fifth time in the past seven seasons by improving to 20-4 overall and 9-2 in Atlantic 10 play. The victory moves St. Bonaventure past the Billikens in the Atlantic 10 standings as Saint Louis falls to 18-6, 8-3.
St. Bonaventure shot a season-best 55.3 percent from the floor, shaking off last week's offensive woes.
"I'm very pleased with our offensive effort, we shot the ball really well and had a good pace early," head coach Jim Crowley said. "We got a lot of shots that we are good at and that helps us make the difficult shots as well."
Sophomore Miranda Drummond made her return to the lineup after missing two games due to injury and paced the Bonnies offense with 19 points including 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc.
Drummond hit her first five shot attempts and finished 6-of-8 from the floor.
Nyla Rueter delivered 14 points while Katie Healy tallied 12 points, seven rebounds and a game-high five assists.
The Bonnies did not score for the first 2:41 of the game, but that would be about the only time the offense went quiet Wednesday night.
St. Bonaventure soon erupted for a 15-2 run to seize a 15-4 advantage with just over two and a half minutes left in the opening period. The Bonnies drilled five shots from long range, racing out to a 23-8 lead after the first 10 minutes.
The second quarter saw the Bonnies remain hot from the floor, building a 20-point cushion at 38-18 following a jumper from Imani Outlaw at the 4:04 mark.
Eight of the Bonnies' 13 attempts from beyond the arc went down during the first half as SBU shot 58.6 in all (17-for-29) before halftime. The Bonnies matched their output for the entire VCU game in just the opening 20 minutes, taking a 47-22 lead to intermission.
"I thought especially in the first half we executed our game plan defensively exactly how we wanted to," Crowley said.
While St. Bonaventure was racing offensively, it kept pace on the defensive end as well – while the Bonnies sank eight first half three-pointers, the defense limited the Billikens to eight total baskets.
Saint Louis never got closer than 16 points, closing to 66-50 with 4:49 left in the game before a layup from Emily Michael.
Jackie Kemph enjoyed a tremendous offensive performance for the Billikens, registering a game-high 28 points on 9-of-19 shooting.
The Bonnies return to action Saturday at UMass. Tip off is slated for 2 p.m.