Today: Apr 23, 2024

Women’s basketball defeats University of New Haven

Dillon Flanigan- Sports Editor

“Rebound Bonilla! Four seconds left,” Owls play-by-play broadcaster Chris Smith said. “Takes a desperation, and it goes in, the half-court shot by Julianna Bonilla.” 

Ending the third quarter with everyone in shock, guard Julianna Bonilla, a graduate, nailed the buzzer beater from half-court. 

“For me, it’s my last year, so I am going to continue to go out with a bang, hopefully, and just try and produce as much as I can for this team,” Bonilla said. 

In the first round of the NE10 Conference Tournament, the women’s basketball team hosted and defeated their crosstown rivals, the University of New Haven, UNH, Chargers 60-44 on Friday, March 1. 

Photo: Dillon Flanigan

“We have a step on the gas mentality right now,” Bonilla said. “We know its survive and advance. You win, you move on. You lose, you go home. Going into the game, we knew that we did not want to go home today.” 

Two baskets for the Chargers occurred when they completed one of two free throws and a layup. Sandwiched in between was a Bonilla three-pointer, but it was overshadowed by what was yet to come. 

Guard Makenzie Helms, a graduate, and several other players scored throughout the first quarter, extending the Owls lead 12-6. 

“I thought we stuck to our game plan very well, which was just get their bigs out of the game, and our guards put a lot of ball pressure on,” guard Rheyna Steinauer, a sophomore, said. “I just feel we all executed really well.” 

Bonilla drained a three followed by Helm’s jumper; the lead grew to 11. The next three of four jumpers were made by forward Katie Williamson, a senior, extending the Owls’ early lead to 25-8. The 30-12 halftime lead was capped by guard Delaney Haines, a junior, with a corner three. 

“Stay mad; stay focused. You have a goal. Everyone has a goal. We kind of just reflected on our journey and the fact that we want more,” Head Coach Kate Lynch said. 

Two minutes into the third period, the Chargers did not miss. They entertained an 11-0 scoring run, their best of the game. The Chargers did not hesitate to continue to score, but it only became sparser.  

Steinauer scored eight of her 11 points in the final six minutes of the third period. However, the third period ended with fans on their feet when Bonilla hit the half-court shot. 

“They came out shooting well, UNH. But I thought we were able to weather the storm the best we could,” Lynch said. 

The Owls continued a 9-0 scoring run, earning them the largest lead in the game, 52-31. Rebounds and steals made easy shots for the Owls as the clock hit triple zeros. Owls scoring commenced with a Bonilla three, ceasing with a Haines three.  

“We kind of assumed at some point they are going to hit some threes, and they do shoot the ball fairly well,” Lynch said. “They have an inside and outside threat. We’re just wanting to at least try to limit one of those options.” 

In the postgame, their time with the lead was shattering. The Chargers had a lead for an entire 18 seconds; miniscule compared to the Owls with over 37 minutes. 

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