Dec. 8, 2008

Courtesy of St. Bonaventure

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — A career game from senior Katelyn Murray (Harrisburg, Pa./Trinity) lifted the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball to 63-52 win over nationally ranked Michigan State on Sunday afternoon at the Reilly Center.

Today’s win marks the second straight season that the Bonnies have beaten a ranked team. The Brown and White upset #14/13 George Washington at home last season, 63-60.

With the win, the Bonnies improve to 6-1 on the season. The 6-1 start ties the 1992-1993 squad for the best start to a season in program history.

“Without question in the time I’ve been here this has by far been the best defensive effort for a full game that we’ve ever had,” said coach Jim Crowley. “Our commitment to one another defensively today was outstanding, and I’m just really proud of our ability to fight through and defend a very good team for 40 minutes.”

No person contributed more to today’s huge victory than Murray. The Harrisburg, Pa. product poured in 25 points setting a new career-high on the strength of five made three-pointers, which is also a new career-high.

Dana Mitchell (Fairless Hills, Pa./Pennsbury) also had another solid game for the Bonnies, chipping in 15 points to go along with five rebounds.

The Bonnies jumped out to an early 10-0 lead on the strength of back-to-back three-pointers by Erica Schiefen (Elmira Heights, N.Y./Thomas A. Edison) and Murray.        

Another jumper from Murray kept the lead with the Bonnies at 12-8 with 13:31 remaining in the first half.

Back-to-back lay-ups by freshman Megan Van Tatenhove (Sheboygan Falls, Wis./Oostburg) and Mitchell extended the Brown and White lead up to 10 again at 20-10.

The Spartans would not go away, however, as a three-pointer and a lay-up by Kalisha Keane on consecutive possessions would cut the Bonnie lead to 20-15 with 7:00 remaining in the first half.

St. Bonaventure would come right back with another pair of back-to back three-pointers, this time by Cara Gustafson (Omaha, Neb./Gretna) and Murray to put the Bonnies up 11 at 26-15.

The teams would trade baskets in the final minute with the Bonnies taking a 30-20 lead going into half.

A three-pointer by Mia Johnson and a fast-break lay-up by Keane would bring Michigan State within five at 34-29 with 15:04 remaining in the game. A three-pointer, just moments later, by Gustafson would extend the Brown and White’s lead back to double figures at 41-31.          

Another three-pointer off a broken play by Murray would extend the Bonnie lead to 46-33 with 7:52 left in the 2nd half.

A 6-0 response by the Spartans would cut the Bonnie lead to seven at 46-39.

Murray was there again, however, to keep the Brown and White comfortably ahead as she drained another three-pointer from the wing to put the Bonnies back up 10 with 6:33 remaining.

After a three-pointer by Andrea Doneth, Murray hit her fifth and final trifecta of the game to give the Bonnies their largest lead of the game 55-41 with just over four minutes remaining in the game.

Michigan State would try to come back cutting the St. Bonaventure lead down to eight points with one minute remaining.

Two clutch free-throws by the East Lansing native Doneth would put the game out of reach and seal the win for the home team.

Michigan State was led by Keane who had 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field. Lauren Aitch, who was the only other player in double figures for the Spartans, netted 11 points in the loss.

Michigan State dropped to 6-3 after the loss, their third in a row.

St. Bonaventure shot 45 percent (22-49) from the field and 47 percent (9-19) from three-point land for the game. Michigan State shot 32 percent (18-56) from the field and 73 percent (11-15) from foul line for the game.

“I think our kids love challenges and we talked before today’s game about embracing those challenges,” said Crowley. “We found out a lot about ourselves today and now it’s about being consistent.”

The Brown and White will enjoy the next six days off for finals week. St. Bonaventure returns to action next Sunday when they travel to take on MAC power Bowling Green for a 2:00 pm tip-off at Anderson Arena.