St. Bonaventure women beat Florida Gulf Coast

By Brent Kallestad

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, March 18 2012 5:24 p.m. MDT

The Florida Gulf Coast band tries to distract St. Bonaventure's Armelia Horton (25) as she shoots a free throw in the first half of an NCAA women's tournament first-round college basketball game Sunday, March 18, 2012, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Phil Sears, Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Megan Van Tatenhove scored 18 points, Armelia Horton had 17 and fifth-seeded St. Bonaventure rallied to beat 12th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast 72-65 in overtime Sunday in the first round of the NCAA tournament, snapping the Eagles' 21-game winning streak.

Doris Ortega and Chelsea Bowker scored 10 points apiece for the Bonnies (30-3), who overcame a 53-42 deficit in the final 6½ minutes.

Courtney Chihil sent the game into overtime with the Eagles' only field goal in the final 6:29, a layup that tied it at 58.

Sarah Hansen led FGCU (29-3) with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Eagles shot just 35.7 percent.

St. Bonaventure plays No. 13 seed Marist (26-7) on Tuesday night, with the winner advancing to the round of 16 in the Raleigh Regional. The Red Foxes upset fourth-seeded Georgia 76-70.

For a while, it appeared the Bonnies might be heading back home to upstate New York.

FGCU, eligible for the NCAA tournament for the first time this year after transitioning from Division II, stormed to a 53-42 lead with a 29-12 run that wiped out the Bonnies' 30-24 advantage at halftime.

But the Eagles, the nation's top 3-point shooting team, went nearly 22 minutes in the second half and overtime without a 3 after Eglah Griffin connected with 16:12 left. That shot set a Division I record for 3s in a season (341), according to tournament officials.

FGCU's next 3-pointer came with just 7 seconds left in overtime when the Bonnies already had the game sewed up.

CeCe Dixon's layup with 1:59 to go capped a 14-1 run ignited by Van Tatenhove's jumper, which gave the Bonnies their first lead in 16½ minutes at 56-54.

Van Tatenhove, who went 8 of 10 at the free throw line, sank four during a 10-2 run in overtime that gave St. Bonaventure a commanding 70-62 lead as time ticked down.

The 6-foot-1 senior from Sheboygan Falls, Wis., was equally accurate from the floor, missing just two of her seven tries.

In addition to her 17 points, Horton led the Bonnies with nine rebounds.

Nicoya Jackson added 12 points and Griffin 11 for FGCU, which hadn't lost since Dec. 28.

The Eagles made only seven of their 26 tries from 3-point distance while St. Bonaventure made its living inside, attempting just a dozen shots from beyond the arc with Bowker getting two of the team's three 3s.

St. Bonaventure outscored FGCU 34-24 inside and 11-5 on second-chance points.

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