Toledo Takes Down St. Bonaventure in Final Seconds, 64-62
OLEAN, NY – Senior Janelle Reed-Lewis’ coast-to-coast layup with 2.8 seconds left lifted Toledo to a 64-62 victory over St. Bonaventure on Sunday in the Reilly Center. With the non-conference win, the Rockets improve to 5-4 on the season.
The Bonnies (8-4) had one final chance to tie the game or win it in regulation with a trey following a timeout, but Emily Michael’s desperation shot from beyond midcourt fell short of the mark as the final buzzer sounded.
Reed-Lewis and sophomore Ana Capotosto paced the Midnight Blue & Gold with 16 points each, followed by senior Andola Dortch with 14 and senior Brianna Jones had 12, respectively.
Jones, who played in today’s game instead of attending graduation in Savage Arena, added a career-tying best 11 rebounds to post her second double-double on the season. As a team, Toledo finished with a 34-26 edge on the glass.
The Rockets shot an impressive 45.6 percent (26-of-57) from the field, including a season-high 40.0 percent (6-of-15) from three-point range, and a sparkling 85.7 percent (6-of-7) from the charity stripe to bounce back from a tough last second, two-point setback vs. Valparaiso last Sunday, Dec. 7.
Katie Healy led SBU with a game-high 25 points, while Gabrielle Richmond had 17 points and a team-best seven boards.
St. Bonaventure looked to be in control of today’s matchup following a Nyla Rueter triple to build a 55-45 lead with 9:17 left in regulation.
Neither team would score for the next three minutes, until UT’s Dortch was fouled while shooting a three-point field goal from the corner. The two-time Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year calmly knocked down all three free throws to ignite a 12-2 run and knot the score at 57-57 at the 4:16 mark. The driving force behind the burst was back-to-back-to-back treys from Dortch, Capotosto and Reed-Lewis.
The teams then traded baskets before Toledo’s Jones converted an offensive putback to give the visitors a 62-59 advantage with 2:28 remaining.
SBU countered with a layup by Richmond and one of two charity tosses from Healy to tie the score for a sixth time at 62-62 with 57 seconds left.
Both squads then missed field-goal attempts in the waning seconds to set the stage for Reed-Lewis’ last-second heroics.
At the outset, Jones scored eight quick points to help UT assume a 10-9 lead at the 14:59 mark.
The Rockets went cold for the next six-plus minutes, though, as SBU put together an 11-2 run to build a 20-12 advantage at 8:27. The Bonnies’ Healy sparked the rally with six points to give the home team a three-possession cushion.
Toledo chipped away little by little as the first half wore on and utilized seven-consecutive points from Capotosto to shrink the deficit to 26-25 at 2:32. The Saugatuck, MI native drilled a triple and followed it up with back-to-back jumpers to make it a one-point contest.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, the Bonnies retaliated by scoring the next seven points in the closing moments to establish a 35-30 cushion at the intermission. SBU’s Healy was too much in the low post and scored 16 points in the opening stanza to give the home team a five-point bulge at the break.
St. Bonaventure’s lead grew to eight points early in the second half, 41-33, before the Rockets fought back to tie the score at 43-43 at the 13:40 mark. Four different UT players scored in the run to draw the teams even.
SBU then reeled of 12 of the next 14 points over the ensuing four-plus minutes to set the stage for Toledo’s comeback.
The Rockets return to action on Sunday, Dec. 22 when they host Atlantic 10 power Dayton. The opening tip against the Flyers is slated for 2:00 p.m. in Savage Arena.
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