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Saint Bonaventure Women's Basketball

It wasn't until September of 1942 that women were introduced as day students at Saint Bonaventure.  In 1958, the male to female ratio was 50-1.  So it's not surprising that women's sports were late in developing on the SBU campus.

Thursday October 29th, 1959, the first women's informal intercollegiate basketball game was played against Buffalo's D'Youville College in SBU's Butler Gym.  The 400 spectators were more than four times the number of women on campus at the time.  The Bonaventure team, then known as Squaws, lost 49-37.  

Tania Hennig was Bonaventure's star in that first game, and continued in that role through the 1960-61 season.  the 10 women on that year's team represented 10% of all the women enrolled at the time.  The women's team came and went until the later 1960's when the program began to establish itself more firmly. (Hartigan, 20)

As the times and the team evolved the Squaw's name changed to the Lassies, who made their own uniforms, and then to the Bonettes in the late 60's and early 70's.  Increasing press coverage in the 1970's demonstrated the growing strength of the Bonaventure women's basketball program.  And, in the spring of 1971, a meeting of the college's teams led to a commitment to better support and promote of women's sports.  Women's basketball was a significant beneficiary of this change in orientation. (Hartigan, 21)

If we jump ahead to more recent times, something that most Bonaventure students and faculty don't know is that in 1991 the first woman was inducted into the Saint Bonaventure Athletic Hall of Fame.  Kathleen Lynch was inducted after playing from 1977-1981 and scoring a total of 1,017 points.  She was the fifth leading all-time scorer for St. Bonaventure at the time of her induction.

Hartigan, Jeremy. The History of St. Bonaventure Women's Basketball.  Saint Bonaventure University. Bachelor of Arts Thesis. 1998.

Last updated:  10/27/08