by Amy Moritz
Dayton 67, St. Bonaventure 63
Dayton led by as many as 15 points in the second half and by as many as 13 in the final minute but the Bonnies showed a gritty, gutsy performance -- the first of its kind this season for a full 40 minutes to give the No. 14 Flyers all they could handle. Dayton hit some key buckets in the final minutes to keep pace with a crazy scoring pace from the Bonnies to close out the game. Don't call it a moral victory for the Bonnies, but that was the first true 40 minutes of St. Bonaventure basketball we've seen this season.
Key stat: Dayton won the battle of the boards, 50-35. The Flyers had 20 offensive rebounds and turned them into 24 second chance points.
Key stat II: The Bonnies hit just 12 of 20 from the free throw line.
Player of the Game: Alaina Walker. Yeah, the Bonnies lost, but the senior scored a game-high 17 points and displayed calm, cool leadership for the Bonnies on defense.
The Young Ones: Dayton is the sixth-youngest team in Division I this year and sophomores Ally Malott (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Andrea Hoover (13 points) paced the Flyers in this won. For the Bonnies, the freshmen keep getting better. Emily Michael scored all 12 of her points on three-pointers. Katie Healy had 11 ponts, eight reobunds and four blocks. Nyal Rueter scored nien points with three blocks.
What It Means: The Bonnies are still a longshot to qualify for the A-10 tournament. Dayton remained undefeated in the conference (11-0) and moved to 23-1 overall.
In the House: There wre 503 at the Reilly Center tonight.
They Said It:
Bona junior Doris Ortega:
“I’m saying that they probably thought they’d blow us out by 30 points. We didn’t get the win but I’m proud of my team When we were down 10 or 12 we could have rolled over and this season we have in certain games. But tonight we didn’t and that’s great to see. … We dug in and fought until the clock said zero.”
Dayton coach Jim Jabir:
“St. Bonaventure deserved to win. I’m not pleased with our team in any way. Our record is gaudy. The rankings are nice. But it doesn’t represent how we’re playing right now. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We have more work to do than I can begin to describe. … I asked my team, ‘Do you want to be good or do you want to be lucky?’ We’ve been lucky. Lucky doesn’t get you in the Sweet 16 or win a conference championship.”
Next Up: The Bonnies have three games left starting with a trip to George Washington on Sunday. They play at Fordham on Feb. 27 and finish off at home against La Salle on March 3.