A.J. Palumbo Center – St. Bonaventure came into this game as the number one team in the Atlantic 10 Conference but were soon downed by Duquesne, 95-88.
As soon as the game tipped, both teams were going down the court with an extremely up-tempo style of play. That type of game style fell right into the Dukes hands; they were able to jump to an early 8-0 lead.
As quick as Duquesne had that big lead, St. Bonaventure was able to tie it up at 19 just as fast.
Something that has played a negative affect on Duquesne’s recent performance is Derrick Colter’s inability to convert from the field. Although, once again, this happened again in the first half — the only positive is that he was converting from the free throw line again.
Micah Mason, the other half of Duquesne’s two-headed monster, has also had inconsistent play from the field since he twisted his ankle against Georgia Tech, but that all changed tonight. 27 points, yes, count them, 27 points helped lead Duquesne to victory. He finally looked again like the man that is second in NCAA history in three-point percentage. Combine that sound play with L.G. Gill and Darius Lewis’ paint play – and the team eventually pulled out the back and forth matchup win.
It was easy to tell that both teams were evenly matched, even though St. Bonaventure is first in the A-10. Practically the entire game pitted both squads within one-point from each other, until Duquesne’s big men started to change the tide. Though it is easy to see how Duquesne had fits rebounding, they had to deal with Dion Wright and his 8.6 RPG — nothing changed in this one as he put together a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Coach Jim Ferry called a timeout to address the team’s misfortune on 50-50 balls, and it worked – perhaps part of that was the red blazer he was sporting. After the game, he jokingly said, “It has got to be the coat.”
Jeremiah Jones was in attendance for tonight’s game and supported his team throughout. During play, the senior would move next to myself in the media sections so nothing, mostly a basketball, would not hit his torn ACL in a brace; every media timeout he would hobble over to the team huddle for encouragement – quite a team player.
Duquesne was being outrebounded as a team the entire night, but as soon as Gill and Lewis started grabbing boards, the Dukes took control. By the way, Gill ended up with a career-high in rebounds, 12.
The game was still in question even when Duquesne began to pull away. Wright continued to have strong play down low and Marcus Posley, who put up 36 points against Duquesne last year, was going off again. If he could have produced numbers like that again, his team would have, more than likely, easily pulled off a win, but, of course, 22 points including an 8-8 performance from the free-throw line is another marvelous performance.
Nevertheless, a Lewis earth-shattering dunk with about five minutes left put, what seemed to be, the final nail in the coffin for St. Bonaventure; he was unable to do much damage in the first half because he was benched due to foul trouble.
A few minutes later, Colter retrieved an inbound and held the ball until the final second for the upset win. Fitting for this to happen, because DC went off in the second half from the field and behind the arc. The hope from Duquesne’s camp has to be his continued progress in sinking shots other than just from the charity stripe. One thing is for sure, the Dukes’ student section was wholeheartedly behind Colter.
The Red and Blue Crew, something that is rarely in effect for Duquesne games, was in full force tonight – and perhaps helped them fend off the Bonnies. St. Bonaventure’s fans undoubtedly made the trip down from New York. However, The Red and Blue Crew outmatched them nearly the entire game.
Their presence was most evident during a couple of big slams and three-pointers, including Lewis’ dunk, a pair of huge dunks from TySean Powell and Eric James knocking down shots consistently.
After starting out conference play 0-3, Duquesne is now 2-3 with another big conference matchup on against VCU on Wednesday in Richmond.
In my opinion, which is the basic consensus, if Colter and Mason can stay consistent, there are not many teams in the A-10 conference that can knock off Duquesne due to their ability.
Coach Ferry said, “I certainly do not think you have seen our best basketball yet,” when asked about their slow start.