Strong Efforts By Ruff, Johnson Aren’t Enough As Bonnies Fall

ST. BONAVENTURE — Senior Mariah Ruff finished with 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds and freshman Abigail Johnson posted her first career double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds, but it was enough as George Washington snuck past the Bonnies, 63-56.

St. Bonaventure led in the early minutes, then moved ahead again during the second quarter. Back-to-back jumpers from Rhianna Council and Mckenna Maycock (Randolph/Randolph) gave the hosts a 17-14 advantage with 8:20 remaining in the half.

A 6-0 break from the Colonials (11-11, 6-4 Atlantic 10) helped the visitors take a 26-23 lead to intermission.

After GW pushed out by a 37-29 score six minutes into the second half, the Bonnies began to chip away. The margin remained within five points for the remainder of the third period, then the Bonnies came all the way back during the fourth.

Ruff found Johnson underneath for a bucket off the glass and a 46-46 tie with over five minutes remaining. As would become a trend, though, every time the Bonnies evened the score, GW would answer – usually with a bucket from Brianna Cummings, who responded to the tie with a layup on the next trip down the floor.

Cummings finished the day with 21 points, also putting the Colonials back ahead after free throws by Rhianna Council tied the game at 48.

The Bonnies (7-17, 2-9) kept within two possessions for the majority of the fourth quarter, closing to 57-53 with 1:14 remaining after free throws by Ruff.

After the Bonnies forced a missed jumper by Cummings, the Colonials pulled down a huge offensive rebound which led to a foul and two at the line from Kelli Prange with 47 seconds to go. St. Bonaventure would never get any closer.

“The biggest moment, it is tied up 48-48 and we weren’t able to get stops when we needed them,” St. Bonaventure head coach Jesse Fleming said. “It was great to see Abigail play very well. She’s a physical kid who plays really hard and with passion. She still isn’t 100 percent, but she is working really hard. It was also good to see Mariah getting into attack mode. Different people stepped up at different times and there was good and bad today.”

The Bonnies finished with a 42-26 edge in rebounding, including 12 offensive rebounds – led by five from Danielle Migliore who finished with nine total boards on the day. George Washington was able to turn St. Bonaventure’s 16 turnovers into 17 points of offense on the other end while the Colonials made just five turnovers of their own, however.

St. Bonaventure returns to action next Sunday at VCU.

NOTES: Johnson’s 10 points and 11 rebounds both represent career highs after being limited to five games thus far due to injury. … Ruff surpassed 1,300 points for her career with her sixth 20-point game of the year. Ruff also tied Nyla Rueter ’16 for sixth all-time in program 3-pointers (188). … Maycock finished with 11 points, including 3-of-5 from distance. Maycock is shooting an Atlantic 10-best 48 percent from beyond the arc this season.

MEN

NO. 1 VILLANOVA 92, SETON HALL 76

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Omari Spellman had 26 points and 11 rebounds, helping No. 1 Villanova kick off a rousing day in Philadelphia sports with a 92-76 win over Seton Hall on Sunday.

The Wildcats (22-1, 9-1 Big East) won their ninth straight game in front of a crowd dotted with green jerseys and chanting for the Eagles just hours before the Super Bowl.

Mikal Bridges, who scored 17 points, hit a 3 with 2:22 left for a 21-point lead that seemed to serve as the cue for fans to turn their full attention toward the Super Bowl, chanting “We Want Brady!”

For about 25 minutes, the Pirates (17-6, 6-4) gave the Wildcats a serious scare.

NO. 17 OHIO STATE 75, ILLINOIS 67

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Keita Bates-Diop scored a career-high 35 points and had 13 rebounds for No. 17 Ohio State.

The Buckeyes (20-5, 11-1 Big Ten) played without suspended guard Kam Williams. Jae’Sean Tate added 11 points.

Mark Alstork paced Illinois (12-12, 2-9) with 19 points.

NO. 25 ARIZONA STATE 88,

WASHINGTON STATE 78

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Shannon Evans II scored 23 points and Romello White added 21 for No. 25 Arizona State.

Tra Holder had 20 for the Sun Devils (17-6, 5-6 Pac-12).

Malachi Flynn scored 22 for Washington State (9-13, 1-9), which has lost five in a row.

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