The Duquesne Dukes defeated St. Bonaventure 75-69 this afternoon. Charles Pride’s 22 points and Mika Adams-Woods’ 21 points would lead the game but would not be enough to take home a victory. Duquesne’s Fousseyni Drame (16 points) and Jimmy Clark led the way for the Dukes. At the end of the day, Bonaventure’s poor three-point shooting along with the large deficit throughout the second half cost the team the game today. Here’s how it all went down.
In complete contrast to a few weeks ago, today’s game got off to a fast start. The Dukes scored the first four points with Dae Dae Grant and Dusan Mahoric both grabbing easy layups. Charles Pride then got St. Bonaventure on the board with an and-one lay. The Dukes continued to score, however, as Tre Williams made one of two free throw attempts and Jake DiMichele sunk a floater. Next it was Chad Venning’s turn to get to the charity stripe. Venning converted both his free throws as the Bonnies trailed 7-5 in the early going.
Mika Adams-Woods would give Bonas their first lead of the game as he cashed in a straight-away three as the shot clock expired. DiMichele would find a pair of buckets while Barry Evans threw down a two-handed slam off a slick feed from Daryl Banks III. Evans was then fouled going up for a second dunk. He split from the line and the game was tied at 11.
Jimmy Clark III finally got himself on the board with a wing triple but was answered immediately by a rare Banks dunk on the other end. Mahorcic and Venning then traded layups following a pair of possessions that ended via offensive fouls. The Dukes continued to score as Fousseyni Drame drained a corner three. Pride then grabbed Venning’s miss and laid it back in to cut the Duquesne lead to 19-17 as the first half ticked under eight minutes to play.
Clark made his way to the free throw line following the under-eight media timeout. However, the 67.7% free throw shooter missed both his shots. Pride then went to work on the following possession as he got to the rack for two and the tie. Clark then made up for his missed free throws as he hit a three with Banks’ hand in his face. After a defensive stop, the Dukes scored again as Clark drained his third three of the game.
Pride continued to be the only Bonnie keeping the team afloat as he secured yet another offensive board and putback bucket. The three-point party continued for Duquesne, this time with Kareem Rozier smashing a corner triple. Drame was next to score as he made his way to the line. The 6-foot-7 forward knocked down both as Duquesne now led 29-21 with less than four to play in the first half. It was an 11-2 run for the Dukes.
Drame struck again with a triple out of the final media timeout of the first half. Next it was Rozier getting to the hoop for two and extend the Duke run to 16-2. Kyrell Luc would finally break the run after Mark Schmidt called the timeout. Duquesne would strike last in the half as Halil Barre threw down a monster two-handed slam. The Bonnies trailed 36-23 at the half.
Clark and Pride entered the half tied for the game-lead in scoring with nine points each. Other notable scorers were Drame with eight and DiMichele with six. The Dukes shot 14/30 (46.7%) from the field, 5/14 (35.7%) from three and 3/6 from the free throw line. The Bonnies went 9/28 (32.1%) from the floor, 1/7 (14.3%) from deep and 4/5 from the line. Duquesne outrebounded Bonaventure 20-17 while the Bonnies had five turnovers compared to the Dukes four.
Clark and the Dukes struck first to open the second half and extended the Duquesne lead to 15. The Dukes continued to pour it on as Willaims was next to score a reverse lay. The Bonnies finally got on the board in the second half as Adams-Woods knocked down a triple. Pride would then work his way to the free throw line as Clark was whistled for the foul. It was his third. The Bryant transfer made both his shots from the stripe as the Bonnies trimmed the lead to 12.
Venning would pick up a block to extend his streak to 25 straight games with a block which led to Adams-Woods being fouled on the other end. He was perfect from the line as the Bonnies trimmed the lead to 10. Drame would answer on the following possession as Drame scored in close. Pride and Grant then traded buckets before Clark cashed in another corner three. Pride would continue to work as he went back to the free throw line and hit both. The Dukes continued to respond to anything the Bonnies threw at them as Rozier hit the floater to push the Duquesne lead back to 15.
The Bonnies then finally began to show some life as Adams-Woods grabbed two quick layups and a steal to push the deficit back to 11 with under 12 minutes remaining. Duquesne would quickly silence Bonaventure’s comeback attempt as Mahorcic scored in close and Clark went one of two from the line. David Dixon was next to score as he flushed a dunk. The Dukes had pushed their lead to the largest of the afternoon at 54-38.
Venning would be fouled on the next possession and made both his free throws as the Bonnies looked to cut back into the Duquesne lead. Adams-Woods scored next before Pride went two of two from the line. Bonas continued to play solid defense which led to Venning scoring in tight. The Duquesne lead had been cut the lead to eight. Keith Dambrot had seen enough as he called the timeout as Bonaventure was on an 8-0 run.
The Dukes responded immediately out of the timeout as Dixon grabbed an easy layup. Duquesne then got a stop and another bucket as Drame got a floater to fall. Pride continued his individual effort to keep Bonaventure in the game as he was fouled. He went one of two from the line before Assa Essamvous knocked down the corner three as Bonas cut the deficit back to eight. Just as quick as the Assa scored, Dixon flushed an alley-oop from Clark. The game ticked under 3:30 with Duquesne leading by 10.
Dixon would go to the free throw line as he drew the foul on Evans. The 6-foot-9 forward made one of his two free throws to push the lead back to nine with under three minutes to play. Assa was next to be fouled on the ensuring possession. He split his free throws. Bonaventure continued to chip away at the Dukes lead as Adams-Woods was fouled by Clark. It was Clark’s fifth foul, disqualifying him with a team-leading 15 points. The Cincinnati transfer was the next player to spilt from the line as the Duquesne lead was cut to seven.
Grant was able to get one to go on the next possession before Adams-Woods missed a layup. Drame was fouled and missed the front end of his one-and-one before Admas-Woods hit a straight-away three. The Bonnies had cut the lead to six with 1:17 left. Evans fouled Grant who made both free throws. Adams-Woods then struck again with a layup before Banks stole the inbound pass. He was fouled and made his two free throws. Schmidt then used the timeout with his team only down four.
Grant was then fouled following the inbound once again. The 96% free throw shooter cashed in both from the line before Venning made a quick layup with under a minute to play. Schmidt burned his final timeout to set up pressure on the inbound. The Dukes were able to break said pressure easily as Dixon threw down a dunk.
The Bonnies were not completely done yet as Banks drained a three to cut the deficit to three with 25 seconds left. Drame was then fouled and hit both free throws before Adams-Woods missed a layup. Drame grabbed that board and was fouled once again. His two free throws were good and that was all she wrote on Bonaventure this afternoon. Pride added a layup, Grant two free throws and Adams-Woods a free throw to push the score to its formal final at 75-69 Duquesne.
Duquesne head coach Kieth Dambrot explained how his team executed their game plan successfully this afternoon. “We had to neutralize Venning and cover the three-point line,” he said, “We did a great job of that today against a really good team and a great coach.”
Coach Schmidt then touched on his team not getting out to another slow start. “We didn’t get off to a good start again, didn’t have any pep and Duquesne took it to us in the first half,” he said. He then continued on finding a possible solution for the sluggish starts. “I don’t know how to fix that problem right now, we’re going to work on it,” Schmidt said. He finished by expressing how hard it is to play from behind all game. “When you get down that much you have to play near perfect and that’s not how we want to play,” he said.
The Bonnies fall to 14-9 overall and 5-6 in the Atlantic 10 Conference while the Dukes improve to 14-9 overall and 4-6 in conference. St. Bonaventure travels to Fordham for a mid-week meeting with the Rams who have already defeated Bonas this season.