The St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team came to life at just the right time.
The Bonnies put together a 25-11 edge in the fourth quarter to break open a close contest with Rhode Island, and defeated the Rams, 69-56, in the Ryan Center in Kingston, R.I., on Sunday afternoon.
Bona earned its first win of the season in Atlantic 10 play, and won its 11th straight game overall. That puts them at 12-2 for the season. Rhode Island is 6-7 overall, 0-1 A-10.
Nyla Rueter was the individual hero for the Bonnies. She poured in 25 points, including a 6-for-9 performance from behind the three-point line. Rueter also had five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Miranda Drummond added 16 points, while Mariah Ruff had 10 points and six assists. Katie Healy got into foul trouble but still had eight points and six rebounds.
Drummond and Healy scored back-to-back baskets with about seven minutes left to put the Bonnies ahead for good, 51-48.
Rueter and Drummond hit consecutive three-pointers after that, and Bona was up by 57-49 with 5:29 left. Ruff hit an important three-pointer to put the Bonnies up by 10 with four minutes left, and the game was essentially decided.
Charise Wilson had 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for Rhode Island. The Rams shot 38.2 percent from the field. They are the first opponent in the last eight Bona games to shoot better than 35.5 percent from the field.
The Bonnies head home for a Thursday night date with Fordham that will open the Atlantic 10 home schedule.
Both Canisius and Niagara will send their teams into action Monday night. The men’s teams are on the road, while the women are at home.
• The Canisius men finish their season series with Monmouth, playing in New Jersey (7 p.m., Radio 1230 AM and 102.9 FM). The Golden Griffins have won four in a row, and have edged over the .500 mark in both their overall record (7-6) and MAAC record (2-1). That includes a win over Marist on Saturday. Kassius Robertson had a game-high 27 points to lead the way.
Canisius defeated Monmouth in the Koessler Center, 96-86, on Dec. 4.
• Niagara’s men are still looking for the first road win of the season. The Purple Eagles will play at Iona (7 p.m., Radio 1400 AM). The Purple Eagles have lost seven straight road games, with the last win away from home coming last February against Canisius.
Niagara has lost six in a row overall, falling to 3-11 on the season. The Eagles are 1-2 in Metro Atlantic play.
Iona was considered the preseason favorite to win the MAAC this season. The Gaels are 6-6 overall but have gotten off to a hot start in the conference at 3-0.
• The Canisius women seek to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss on Saturday afternoon. They play Siena at the Koessler Center (7 p.m.).
The Golden Griffins dropped a 51-50 decision to Fairfield, as Kristin Schatzlein hit a shot with one second to go for the Stags. Canisius fell to 7-5 overall, 2-1 in the MAAC.
Monday’s game won’t be an easy one for the Griffins, either. Siena has moved to 3-0 in the MAAC this season, including a win over Niagara on Saturday. The Saints are tied with Marist and Iona atop the conference.
• Niagara’s women are still in search of their first win of the MAAC season. The Eagles will try to improve from 0-3 against Fairfield. Niagara has lost seven of its last eight games.
Of those who have been regulars throughout the season, Sam Lapszynski has the top scoring average for the Purple Eagles at 11.7 points per game.