Bonnies dump No. 13 GW for first win ever vs. ranked team

OLEAN, N.Y. (AP) -- Bonnies coach Jim Crowley figured there were going to be a lot of confused fans around the country when the score from St. Bonaventure's win over George Washington (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP) flashed on the ticker.

"I think there's going some wide eyes," Crowley said. "I'm not going to lie, I thought of people seeing the bottom line at halftime and figuring it was a misprint."

The Bonnies 44-24 first-half lead wasn't a mirage and neither was the final outcome Saturday: St. Bonaventure 63, George Washington 60.

The Bonnies defeated a ranked opponent for the first time in program history and also ended a 26-game losing streak against the Colonials. In fact, the win was only St. Bonaventure's second in 33 meetings against George Washington, and first since a 58-56 win at Olean on Feb. 23, 1989.

Dana Mitchell and Katelyn Murray scored 14 points each, and Cara Gustafson sealed the stunning victory by scoring the game's final three points as the Bonnies (17-9, 5-6 Atlantic 10) set a single-season Division I record for wins.

"It feels amazing," said Mitchell. "There's not a certain word to describe it."

Sarah-Jo Lawrence scored 20 points for the Colonials (20-4, 8-2), who had a six-game win streak snapped, and didn't resemble anything close to a team that has perennially been the conference's best and enjoying its ninth straight 20-win season.

"Things we did all year to be 20-4, we stopped doing today. I can't tell you why," Colonials coach Joe McKeown said. "You've got to give St. Bonaventure credit, because they made the plays when they had to and we didn't."

The Bonnies used a 23-4 run to open up a 41-18 lead in the first half and spent the rest of the game avoiding what would've been a monumental collapse by pulling out the victory in the final three minutes.

Whitney Allen's putback of her own miss capped a 23-5 run to put George Washington ahead 58-57 -- giving the Colonials only their second lead of the game.

The Bonnies, who seemed intent on running out the shot clock, finally woke up.

Murray's 3-point basket put the Bonnies up 60-59. With the game tied at 60, Gustafson sealed it by scoring the final three points -- one on a free throw and another on a short jumper from the paint that rattled the rim and went in with two minutes left.

The Colonials failed to score on their final four possessions, with their best chance coming when star guard Kimberly Beck had an awkward 3-point attempt hit the side of the rim. George Washington retained the ball with less than a second remaining, but couldn't get a shot off before the buzzer.

"We're not going to make excuses," said Beck, who returned after an illness forced her to sit out George Washington's 69-45 win at Massachusetts on Wednesday. "It was all on us. They weren't taking us out of ourselves, we took ourselves out it."

The Colonials went 10-of-26 in the first half, endured a 4-minute scoreless stretch and were also out-rebounded 26-8.

Beck finished with 12 points, all coming in the second half, followed by 11 each from Jessica Adair and Antelia Parrish.

Mitchell had a game-high 11 rebounds, while Erica Schiefen had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Bonnies.

Crowley could sense the energy draining from the Reilly Center when the Colonials were making their second-half run.

"I was actually getting pretty worked up that the crowd wasn't more into it. I think they were, `Oh, good try,' " Crowley said. "But everyone wearing a white jersey wasn't thinking that. It was not a thought in my mind. I felt at least for tonight we were the better team."

It's been a long time anyone could say that about the Bonnies, a program that prior to last season's 16-15 finish had not enjoyed a winning season since 1997-98.

"The A-10 doesn't respect us, so we have a chip on our shoulder," Mitchell said. "This is a good stepping stone right now."