For the first time since Jan. 3, St. Bonaventure won two games in a row. The Bonnies beat Davidson Saturday afternoon on Senior Day 72-56, but the game was much closer than the final score indicated.
St. Bonaventure led for most of the game, but the Wildcats kept it close. Davidson’s Dakota Dukes scored a basket to cut the Bonnies’ lead to two with 8:52 left in the game. Mariah Ruff, however, sunk a three on the next possession, and St. Bonaventure ended the game on a 20-6 run.
Davidson (5-22, 1-13) had been in the game for so long because the Wildcats outrebounded St. Bonaventure 42-28, including 15 offensive boards to three.
“That’s the team that’s in last in our league,” said Jim Crowley. “It just shows how good are league is.”
The Bonnies (15-12, 5-9) led by three at halftime. Davidson had 10 first half offensive boards. The Bonnies had some lapses on defense, but in the second half that changed.
“I thought we corrected a lot of things for the second half. I thought we limited their rebounds, we contested their shots harder,” said Crowley. “It didn’t start that way in the second half, but I thought the last 10 minutes we really locked in and made them earn things; limit them to one shot and that really helped our offense get going.”
The Bonnies had three players score 19 or more points. Those three players (Ruff, Katie Healy and Nyla Rueter) combined to score 84 percent of the Bonnies’ 44 second half points.
“Our pace is a lot better,” said Crowley. “We’re getting into our shots a lot quicker because we’re going harder to get there. We’re going harder off the drives and that’s allowing us to have better rhythm, as well as we are making people work a little harder defensively, so they’re maybe a step slower to contest”
The Bonnies passed the ball beautifully in the second half. The team had 12 assists on 15 field goals. Healy led the way with five.
Healy struggled early to score, but defended Davidson’s best scorer, a versatile stretch forward Hannah Early, to a 4-of-18 shooting afternoon.
“I thought it was a really good all-around game (for Healy),” said Crowley. “She had some good looks in the first half the ball just didn’t drop. She stayed with it, and she had a couple big baskets. I thought she had a couple passes that were really good that set up for some big threes.”
Ruff hit four of the six second half threes. She’s hit 51 percent of her three-point attempts in the Bonnies’ last four games after hitting 1-of-15 from three in the previous four Bona games.
“I think its confidence,” said Ruff. “I think we’re hitting the gym a little extra. We’re doing more guard workout than normal.”
The Bonnies have its last home game of the season this Wednesday against La Salle (13-13, 4-9) at 7 p.m.