St. Bonaventure holds off Marist
Bonnies move onto round of 16 in first NCAA tourney appearance
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Jessica Jenkins scored 22 points and Doris Ortega contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead St. Bonaventure to a 66-63 win Tuesday night against Marist and a spot in the NCAA tournament’s round of 16.
Leanne Ockenden missed a desperation 3-point shot at the buzzer for 13th-seeded Marist, which was the lowest seed to advance into the second round.
Marist (26-8) had a chance to tie the score at 64 with 1:25 left, but Kelsey Beynnon missed a free throw that would have completed a three-point play. CeCe Dixon’s two free throws with 23 seconds left gave St. Bonaventure a 66-63 lead.
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Brandy Gang led Marist with 19 points, 14 coming in the second half. Corielle Yarde added 13 points and Beynnon 12 for the Eagles, who shot 40 percent.
Jenkins made six 3-pointers for St. Bonaventure, which hit 45 percent from the field and stopped an 11-game Marist winning streak with its second win of the season against the Eagles. The Bonnies defeated Marist 67-56 on Dec. 18.
Marist trailed 38-31 at half, but regained the lead at 43-42 on Gang’s 3-pointer five minutes into the second half. The score see-sawed until the fifth-seeded Bonnies (31-3) took the lead for good at 52-49 with 9:38 left on Chelsea Bowker’s 3-point shot. Bowker tied the score with a jumper 53 seconds earlier.
St. Bonaventure, playing in its first NCAA tournament, had most things going its way in the first half.
The Bonnies shot 54.2 percent and were 4-for-7 from 3-point distance, all by Jenkins. St. Bonaventure also won the first half rebound battle by a 20-12 margin and finished with a 40-26 advantage overall and 15-8 on the offensive boards.
Marist, meanwhile, shot just 37.9 percent and missed 10-of-15 tries from long range in the opening half.
St. Bonaventure used a 12-2 run midway through the half on the way to its largest lead at 33-23. Marist countered with eight unanswered points to get within 33-31.
Marist had hoped to return to the Sweet 16 for the second time. The Eagles advanced that far in 2006-07 before being eliminated by Tennessee.