Danielle Migliore hit seven three pointers all of last season, and now she is closing in on that mark after one game.
Migliore sparked the Bonnies 11-point second half comeback by scoring 21 points and going 5-9 from three-point range as the Bonnies won their season opener over Niagara 76-58.
Niagara was winning after the first quarter 17-13 because of a quick start from sophomore point guard Maggie McIntyre starting the game 3-3 from distance, McIntyre ended the game with nine points.
Mariah Ruff had 14 assists which is tied for second most in school history, and one of them was to Migliore who hit a three as the first quarter buzzer sounded.
Second quarter Bonaventure’s offense was stagnant, and Niagara took advantage. The Purple Eagles went on an 18-5 run to start the second quarter lead by redshirt-senior forward Victoria Rampado and senior forward Kaylee Stroemple who had nine of her 11 points in the first half. Stroemple and Rampado had double doubles.
Rampado had 12 points 15 rebounds while Stroemple had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Niagara had a 17-point lead, but the Bonnies ended the half on a 6-0 run to leave them down 11 at half.
Junior college transfer Bree Paulson started her Bonaventure career with a bang by following a Migliore three with back to back threes of her own to start the third quarter. Paulson ended with 14 points. Ruff scored two of her nine points with a layup to give Bonaventure their first lead of the game.
The Bonnies never looked back as they scored 34 points in the third quarter and shot 12 of 14 from the field and 8 for 9 on three pointers. Coach Jesse Fleming knew what he had in this team saying, “They’re very dangerous, and I’m so proud they showed it in the second half.”
It was not just three-point shooting that sparked the comeback. Fleming said “They showed maturity. we’re going to get around the post, we’re going to team defend and we’re going to make it tough”.
That’s exactly what they did, Niagara went five minutes without scoring and by then they were down 11. Migliore capped off a historic quarter by banking in a three at the buzzer.
The Bonnies were up 15 going into the fourth quarter thanks to as Fleming described it “We caught lightning in a bottle” and he said “It’s infectious when you make threes and it spreads like a disease”.
The game was not over yet because Bonaventure struggled to rebound all game. Niagara outrebounded Bonaventure 39-26 and 11-1 on the offensive glass. A Rampado layup capped off an 11-4 to bring Niagara’s deficit to single digits with 2:35 to go.
Freshman Emily Calabrese answered the run with 2 of her 8 points followed by sophomore Jalisha Terry adding a layup and the foul which was three of her 13 points which put the game away.
The character of a team is very important, and Fleming said they “showed what their character was. They could have said the heck with it, you’re not coming back.” Fleming continued “It’s really encouraging to know that I got fighters, I got tough kids that love to play with each other”.
Bonaventure has a quick turnaround as they travel to play at Siena on Sunday at 2 p.m.