PHILADELPHIA—No. 6 La Salle won a tightly contested first round game against upset-minded St. Bonaventure, 73-70 Saturday in the 2017 Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship at Tom Gola Arena.
The Bonnies Mariah Ruff missed a 3-pointer with mere seconds remaining that would have tied the game and sent it to overtime. St. Bonaventure was seeded 11th, but led 32-28 at halftime and kept the higher-seeded Explorers close.
La Salle advances to the quarterfinals to face Philly rival Saint Joseph’s, 77-51 winners over Rhode Island in the first round. The quarterfinals, semifinals and championship final will all be played in Richmond, Va., at the Richmond Coliseum. The Explorers and Hawks will tangle in Friday’s quarterfinals at 7:00 pm. All four quarterfinals games, including La Salle – Saint Joseph’s, will air on American Sports Network (ASN) and online at americansportsnet.com/live.
The Explorers jumped out to a huge lead, outscoring SBU 19-8 in the first quarter, but the Bonnies stormed back in the second quarter, outscoring the Explorers 24-9 to take a 32-28 halftime lead.
La Salle, which outscored St. Bona 22-15 in the third quarter, took a three-point lead into the final frame. The Explorers led by seven with 2:34 left in the fourth, but a layup from Gabby Richmond and a three by Ruff in less than 25 seconds brought the Bonnies within two. The teams traded buckets until the final 10 seconds. A layup by Ruff made it a two-point game at 72-70 with nine seconds left. Adreana Miller then hit one of two free throws for La Salle, and Richmond secured the rebound off the miss, giving Ruff the last-second look.
Miller had 20 points and Lisa Mintzer scored 18 to lead the Explorers. Jasmine Alston tallied 11 points and 13 assists for a double-double, and also added a team-high seven assists.
Ruff finished with a game-high 22 points, while Richmond had an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double. Mckenna Maycock added 10 points for the Bonnies.