A-10s: Billikens, Bonnies, Flyers & Hawks Win

Three upsets set the tone as Saint Louis (#11), St. Bonaventure (#10), Dayton (#9) and Saint Joseph's (#5) advance to quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference Women's Basketball Championship Friday in Cincinnati at Xavier's at Cintas Center.

Game Summaries

(9) Dayton 57 (8) La Salle 43

    Junior Nikki Oakland scored a team-high 15 points as ninth-seeded Dayton upset La Salle, 57-43, in the opening game of the 2007 Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Championship.

    After spotting the eighth-seeded Explorers an early 2-0 lead, Dayton (12-18) forced four La Salle turnovers in the next three minutes and used a 9-0 run to jump out to an early seven-point lead. Oakland scored all nine points during the run, including her first three-pointer of the season.

    The Flyers would never look back, as they raced to a 33-17 advantage at the half, and led by as many as 20 in the second frame. Junior Brittany Holterman chipped in 12 points on six-for-seven shooting from the field.

    "The team we wanted to show up - showed up today. We played well and hopefully tomorrow we can come out and do the same thing."

    La Salle (19-11) never got on track, shooting just 28.8% from the field and committing 23 turnovers on the day. Senior Christa Ricketts posted game-highs of 17 points along with nine rebounds in the losing effort.

    With the win, Dayton advances to the second round, where they will take on top seeded George Washington.

(5) Saint Joseph's 68 (12) Rhode Island 52

    Number five Saint Joseph's raced out to an early 19-2 lead and coasted to a 68-52 victory over twelfth-seeded Rhode Island.

    Saint Joseph's sophomore Jen Oyler drained five three-pointers and scored 16 of her 21 points in the first half to lead the Hawks (17-12). Freshman eammate Brittany Ford provided a spark off the bench, scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds.

    The Hawks led by as many as 24 in the first half and led by double-digits for the majority of the game. "Today was probably one of our best starts this season and really was a key for us," said Saint Joseph's head coach Cindy Griffin.

    After a sluggish start, the Rams (6-23) finally found their touch in the second half. Sophomore Jessica Magley's layup with four minutes remaining cut the Hawk lead to 13, but the Rams failed to hit another shot from the field. Magley led all scorers with 23 points.

    Saint Joseph's will now take on fourth-seeded Charlotte, Saturday afternoon at 2:00.

(10) St. Bonaventure 63 (7) Massachusetts 60

    Senior Audrey Latendresse scored 17 of her game-high 19 points in the second half, as tenth-seeded St. Bonaventure came from behind to upset number seven Massachusetts.

    With the win, head coach Jim Crowley's team advances to the second round for the first time in six years. It was Crowley's first A-10 Championship victory.

    The Bonnies (16-14), who trailed by 20-6 after the first eight minutes of play, were able to cut into the deficit and trailed 29-23 at the half. Latendresse's three-pointer got St. Bonaventure within one at 30-29 early in the second half, but UMass used a 15-0 run to take a 45-29 lead, their largest of the game.

    With senior Tamara Tatham leading the way, the Minutewomen (17-13) looked to be in control. Tatham tallied a team-high 16 points and junior teammate Kate Mills posted a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 boards.

    Not to be denied, Latendresse led the Bonnies in mounting a furious comeback. The senior leader capped a 21-3 run and gave St. Bonaventure their first lead since the game's opening minutes when she drained a three to make the score 50-48.

    Her jump shot made the score 61-59 with 1:16 to play and put the Bonnies up for good.

    Priscilla Edwards and Ashley Edwards chipped in 12 and 10 points respectively for St. Bonaventure, who will face second-seeded Temple Saturday afternoon at 4:00.

(11) Saint Louis 69 (6) Richmond 61

    Freshman Katie Paganelli scored a game-high 19 points as eleventh-seeded Saint Louis pulled off an upset over number six Richmond.

    It was a happy homecoming for a trio of Billiken players. Paganelli, Maggie Hennegan and Tyler McIlwraith, all hailing from Cincinnati, played key roles in the Saint Louis victory. Hennegan, a freshman forward, scored 11 points, while senior McIlwraith pulled down ten rebounds before a largely pro-Billiken crowd.

    Richmond (13-17) held the lead for most of the first half, before Saint Louis tied the game at 31 just before halftime. Sophomore Johanna McKnight paced the Spiders with 16 points while teammate Nikita Thomas scored 13 and grabbed 10 boards.

    Freshman Theresa Lisch hit a three with 14:59 to play to put the Billikens up 40-39. It was a lead they would not relinquish, as the margin grew as large as ten points.

    The Saint Louis win was the third of the day by a lower-seeded team. The title of underdog proved not to faze the Billikens. "When we play as hard as we played tonight, we have a chance to beat anyone, anywhere," said head coach Shimmy Gray-Miller.

    Next up for Saint Louis (13-16) is a date with host Xavier tomorrow evening. Tip-off is slated for 6:00.

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