By: Nicholas Gallo
St. Bonaventure Women’s basketball (6-12, 1-4 Atlantic 10) couldn’t hold the lead long enough on Saturday to defeat La Salle University (6-11, 1-3 Atlantic 10) as the Explorers would win 66-63 in Philadelphia at Tom Gola Arena. This marks La Salle’s first conference win and Bonaventure’s fourth conference loss.
For the Bonnie’s, senior guard Mariah Ruff would have another high-scoring game dropping 30 points; her fourth 20 points plus game and second 30-point game in that span. The game would give fans a back-and-forth matchup as there were six ties and nine lead changes during the game.
With 7:32 left in the third quarter, La Salle was up 39-25, their largest lead of the game. With Ruff’s 13 points in a 15-3 run, the Bonnies were able to cut the lead with 1:29 left in the third making the score 43-42. By the end of the third quarter, the Bonnies were only down 47-43 after the run.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Bonas would go on another run as Danielle Migliore would spark it with multiple three-pointers and the team would have their largest lead of the game with only 3:49 left in the game.
Bonas were ahead 61-52. La Salle would go on a final run to overcome the deficit. La Salle would outscore Bonas in the final three minutes with a 14-2 run.
With nine seconds to go, Bonas coach Mark Fleming drew up a play for Ruff to tie up the game with a three. Bonas inbounded the ball, Ruff caught it and tried to make a move on her defender but ended up shooting a contested three that hit off the rim.
In the end, Bonas was outrebounded 41 to 33, shot 39% from the field and 21.4% from the three-point line, and would only play six players in the game. Five players on the team played 30 or more minutes in the game while La Salle was able to go deep into their lineups and would have only two players with 30 minutes or more.
With this loss, the Bonnies head back to the Reilly Center to continue conference play against the University of Rhode Island at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16.