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Bonnies Continue to Struggle Offensively, Give Duquesne First A10 Win

Photo by Dan Nelligan

Duquesne defeated St. Bonaventure 54-50 tonight. Charles Pride led all scorers with 14 while Jimmy Clark III led the Dukes with nine points. Assa Essamvous was the only other player in double figures. The Bonnies shot 27.1% from the floor and only made two threes tonight while turning the ball over 16 times. Daryl Banks III, Kyrell Luc and Chad Vening combined to shoot 2/26 from the floor in the ugly loss. Here’s how it went down in Pittsburgh this evening.

The game started slow following the first possession as both Dae Dae Grant and Mika Adams-Woods did not play in this one. Venning won the opening tip for the Bonnies and was rewarded with a bucket in the paint on the other end. Duquesne answered immediately on the as Dusan Mahrocic matched Venning’s layup. The only other scoring in the first four minutes came via a Tre Williams free throw and Charles Pride second-chance layup. The Bonnies led 4-3 at the first media timeout.

The Dukes would grab the next two buckets as Fousseyni Drame splashed a three and David Dixon picked up a second-chance layup. Bonaventure then ended a 5:32 scoring drought with Venning making one of two free throws. The defensive battle continued as the first half reached its halfway mark. The Dukes led 8-5 with 10 minutes gone. Jimmy Clark III broke Duquesne into double figures with a corner three. The Bonnies then grabbed their first field goal since 17:15 as Barry Evans put back a Luc miss.

The Bonnies came out of the under-eight media timeout with a Moses Flowers layup before the game entered another long scoring drought. That drought would end with a three from Matus Hronsky with 5:25 left in the half. Drame then added a free throw before Clark cashed in another triple. The Dukes led 18-9 with just under four minutes left in the half.

Pride grabbed a contested layup to break the Bonnies into double figures following the timeout. Dixon then added a pair of free throws to push the lead back to nine as the clock ticked under 90 seconds. Pride once again found the hole as he went to the bucket for a layup. However, Luc committed the foul on the ensuing possession. Williams went to the line for a one-and-one and made both his free throws as the lead continued to seesaw between seven and nine. Pride again went to the hoop for an easy two as he was the only player keeping the Bonnies in the game. Both teams came up empty in their last possessions of the half. Duquesne led 22-15 at the break.

Pride’s eight points led all scorers at the half while Clark’s six led Duquesne. No other player had more than four points. The Dukes shot 6/24 (25.0%) from the floor, 4/15 (26.7%) from three and 6/8 from the free throw line in the first 20 minutes. The Bonnies went 7/31 (22.6%) from the field, 0/7 from deep and 1/2 from the charity stripe in the first half. Bonaventure outrebounded Duquesne 23-19 while turning the ball over nine times compared to eight for the Dukes.

The Bonnies came out of the locker room and worked their way to the free throw line. Venning made half of his pair from the stripe before Williams grabbed a hook on the other end for two. Rozier proceeded to knock down a midrange to push the Duquesne lead to 10 shortly after. It was the Dukes’ largest so far. Flowers got back into the scoresheet in transition, but Dixon answered on the other end. The game went to the first media timeout of the half with the Dukes leading 28-18.

Drame then got low for the Dukes and scored while getting the foul to go. He made his free throw to push Duquesne up 31-18 with 15 minutes to play in the game. Flowers worked his way to the line on the following possession where he hit both his shots. After a handful of empty possessions, Assa Essamvous cashed in his first three of the night. However, the Dukes answered right back as Hronsky hit a triple of his own. The scoring had begun to pick up as Banks worked his way to the line and knocked down a pair of free throws.

Drame was then fouled shooting a corner three on the other end but only made one of his free throws. After a pair of empty trips, Assa found another make from deep but was once again immediately answered. This time it was Mahorcic with the one-handed slam. Duquesne led 37-28 with 11:08 remaining.

Duquesne saw Rozier bang a triple out of the media break to extend the lead to 12. Venning and the Bonnies responded on the other side of the floor as he grabbed a layup and the foul. However, he would miss his free throw. The Bonnies would commit their seventh foul of the second half with 8:36 left. Jake DiMichele went to the line as a result of that foul and hit both his free throws. Pride would get to the hole on the next possession but DiMichele would be open on a homer-pass immediately following the bucket. The Dukes took a 44-32 lead into the under-eight media timeout.

Clark would miss a pair from the line before Kyrell Luc earned a trip on the other end. Luc made one of two free throws. Williams would be the next player to attempt free throws after nearly a minute of empty possessions. He made one of his two free throws to push the lead back to 12. Luc committed the foul on the next defensive possession as Rozier hit one of two. DiMichele would add what felt like a dagger three with five minutes left to put Duquesne up 14. Assa scored from in tight on the following possession as Schmidt called the timeout.

Bonaventure came out in a full-court press and were rewarded with a pair of steals. Evans finished at the rim on the first while Assa was fouled in the act of shooting on the second. He made one of two before the game hit its final media timeout. Bonas got a defensive stop out of the timeout and Luc was fouled in transition to shoot a one-and-one. Luc made both to cut the lead to nine. The team once again stopped the Dukes before Evans tipped in a missed shot. The Duquesne lead was now seven.

The Dukes were finally able to score on the following possession as Evans fouled Rozier who made one of two free throws. The Bonnies kept clawing at the Duquesne lead as Luc went to the line again and made one of two again. After another defensive stop, Pride was fouled. The graduate transfer hit both his shots and the Bonnies had trimmed the lead to five. After yet another stop, Assa was fouled shooting a three. He made two of three free throws, and the Duquesne lead was now 50-47.

Bonaventure got yet another defensive stop but turned it over in transition. That led to Clark being fouled. He made both free throws to push the Duquesne lead back to five. Assa was fouled away from the ball on the next possession. He split his chances from the line as the Dukes’ lead was 52-48. Duquesne successfully broke the press for the first time all game which burned valuable time and led to Clark hitting one of two free throws. Banks missed a layup on the other end and the Bonnies once again fouled. Jakub Necas made one of his two free throws to push the lead back to five. Evans hit a jumper on the other end but it was too little too late. Duquesne took home the 54-50 victory.

Pride and Assa led all scorers with 14 and 12 points respectively. No player on Duquesne totaled in double figures as Clark led the team with nine points. Other notable scorers for the Dukes were Drame with eight along with Rozier and DiMichele with seven each. Duquesne shot 15/49 (30.6%) from the floor, 7/21 (33.3%) from three and 17/30 (56.7%) from the free throw line. St. Bonaventure went 16/59 (27.1%) from the field, 2/13 (15.4%) deep and 16/24 (66.7%) from the charity stripe. The Bonnies outrebounded the Dukes 44-39 while turning the ball over 16 times compared to the Dukes 15 turnovers.

Coach Schmidt addressed the team’s offensive struggles tonight. “We just struggled tonight, said Schmidt, “When you have three guys combining for 2/26 from the field and having Kyrell (Luc) and Daryl (Banks) at 0/9 you don’t win many games.” The 17th year Bonaventure head coach continued to address the offensive struggles, but this time focused on Venning. “He was doubled all night tonight. He just has to get better and overcome that,” said Schmidt. He made one final thought about the lackluster offensive game. “We had our chances and just couldn’t execute tonight in many aspects of the game,” said Schmidt. Finally, the head coach addressed the absence of Mika Adams-Woods. “He was sick tonight,” he said.

The Bonnies fall to 11-7 overall and 2-4 in conference with the loss while the Dukes improve to 10-8 overall and 1-5 in conference with the win. St. Bonaventure will be back in action at home Friday night at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2.


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