St. Bonaventure (4-4) had an impressive second half comeback, but came up short after a layup with 23 seconds left by Delaware giving the Blue Hens (4-3) the victory 53-52.
Bonaventure’s shooting struggles were a key reason for their loss. They only shot 32% from the field and 61% from the line, while also having 19 turnovers.
Senior Mariah Ruff had a game high 17 points on 5-10 shooting from three. After a 7-2 start by the Blue Hens, Ruff hit a three and then junior Bree Paulson hit a three to give Bonas their first lead 10-9. Paulson only played 10 minutes and had to exit the game with a shoulder injury. Delaware ended the quarter strong with an 11-1 run lead by junior Nicole Enabosi who had nine of her 15 points in the first quarter. The Blue Hens had a 20-11 lead after the first period.
After the Paulson three pointer the Bonnies went almost seven minutes without a field goal until Ruff and sophomore Danielle Migliore hit back to back threes to make the score 25-17.
Junior Arielle Harvey had a major impact in the game especially on the defensive end slowing down Enabosi, and helping the Bonnies get back in the game.
“I thought Arielle Harvey was spectacular on her,” said coach Jesse Fleming. “I thought that kind of changed the game and got us back in.”
Harvey on the defensive end and Ruff on the offensive end brought what was a 14-point lead for Delaware down to 8 at halftime.
The third quarter the Bonnies kept chipping away at the deficit with help from the bench. Sophomore Jalisha Terry who scored four of her seven points in this period. Harvey also scored four of her eight points in the third. The Bonnies outscored the Blue Hens 16-9 in the third quarter to cut the Delaware lead to one 39-38.
The fourth quarter was a tense back and forth affair. Delaware was clutching on to the lead until Migliore hit a three to give Bonas their first lead since the first quarter 47-45 with 4:34 to go. Migliore had 10 points and eight rebounds. Ruff hit her fifth three of the game with 1:27 to go, but then sophomore Bailey Kargo scored all five of her points in the fourth quarter. Two of the points came after she was fouled on a three pointer.
Those free throws cut the Bonas lead to 53-52. After a missed jump shot by Terry with 23 seconds to go sophomore Samone Defreese came free off a ball screen made a layup.
On the last play of the game Ruff came off a ball screen but her jump shot was blocked by Enabosi.
“I was trying to screen the ball screener. 33 (Enabosi) to her credit did a good job on the ball screen” said Fleming.
Bonaventure looks to rebound on Monday night when they host Toledo at the Reilly Center at 7 p.m.