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Bona finishes off its 14-0 A-10 season

St. Bonaventure became just the seventh team in Atlantic 10 history to go undefeated in conference play after downing Rhode Island, 58-32, in Kingston.

The 19th-ranked Bonnies finished the regular season at 14-0 to capture the first regular season Atlantic 10 team title in school history.

"So few teams have done it," Bona coach Jim Crowley said. "And you hope you're able to have some success but you never think about perfection. The fact that they did that is a great tribute to their sacrifice and their determination and skill. It's something that can never be taken away and will never be forgotten."

The Bonnies (27-2) jumped quickly, taking an 11-0 lead on a three-pointer by Chelsea Bowker with 11:49 left to play. Bona shot 53 percent (10 of 19) in the first half and took a 26-14 lead at the break.

It was senior forward Megan Van Tatenhove who paced the offense with 17 points, shooting 7 of 10 from the field. CeCe Dixon added 10 off the bench. Jessica Jenkins scored just two points, but only took five shots as the Bonnies offense came in the paint, off turnovers and from second-chance opportunities.

The 32 points by Rhode Island marks the best defensive effort by the Bonnies this year and reset a program record for lowest points by an opponent in the Division I era. The previous low by an opponent came earlier this season in a 49-34 win at Binghamton.

As the No. 1 seed in the A-10 tourney, Bona gets a bye into the quarterfinal round and will play the winner of the Nos. 8-9 game at noon Saturday at host Saint Joseph's in Philadelphia.


Today's Games

Canisius and Niagara close out the regular season with Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference home games.

The Golden Griffins (12-16, 6-11 MAAC) host Siena (10-16, 8-9) at 2 p.m. in the Koessler Center. Sophomore Jamie Ruttle leads Canisius in scoring (11.6) and rebounding (5.2). Junior Ashley Durham has scored in double figures in seven of the last 12 games.

In the Gallagher Center, Niagara (11-18, 8-9 MAAC) hosts Manhattan (16-13, 10-7) at 2 p.m. Niagara's offense has clicked lately, averaging 59.3 points with at least three players scoring in double figures in four of its last five games.