St. Bonaventure (15-15) 83
Duquesne (16-15) 71
Post Game Quotes
Coach Mark Schmidt
I’m really proud of our team especially Chris (Matthews) and Jonathan (Hall), we wanted to get to Atlantic City for them and our guys did it for them. We didn’t play that great on the defensive end, but Andrew (Nicholson) was terrific inside and Chris is playing really well right now from the perimeter. I thought Demetrius Conger was tremendous off the bench and Ogo (Adegboye) came off and hit some shots. We’re playing well now, we’re playing with energy and enthusiasm, we’re taking care of the basketball and we’re shooting the heck out of the ball. Our guys are playing with a lot of confidence and it’s a great victory for us. It’s an exciting time for everyone.
On the team’s tournament mentality:
We talked about getting a home game and working hard to get that home game. Now we just have to cash in; it’s a great opportunity and we have to take advantage of that. I told them also that in Atlantic 10 games you can go one of two ways: either you play tight like we did last year where we played not to lose or you could play loose and aggressive and you play to win. We played with a lot of energy and it looked like they were having fun.
On Andrew Nicholson staying out of foul trouble:
We’re definitely a better team having our best inside player in the game. We’re better defensively and offensively and we can go inside-out. With him in the game you can get some easy baskets when you have a player of his caliber inside. Without him we become too perimeter oriented and at times that’s difficult.
Dukes Head Coach Ron Everhart
“You’ve just got to take your hat off to St. Bonaventure. It seemed like every big possession came down to (Chris) Matthews, getting a crack, getting open, hitting the three. Obviously, Chris was the difference tonight, we didn’t guard him very well, and he did a great job of shooting the ball. Anytime you’re 8-11 from the field, 6-8 from three, and 6-6 from the line, that’s a pretty good night. I don’t know that I have seen too many like that.”
On Atlantic 10 second-team center Andrew Nicholson and senior Jonathan Hall
“Nicholson has been pretty good every time we’ve played against him. There were three straight possessions where we had the big guy (Morakinyo Williams) in the game, and he put it on the floor and got to the rim. He’s always been great in the post, he’s always been good popping out and shooting the ball, but he was really good off the dribble tonight too. We know he’s very good, and we have to pay a lot of attention to him.”
I told Mark (Schmidt) after our game last week that, ‘The kids are playing with confidence and sharing the ball, sort of like we did last year when we made that run in the A-10 Tournament, and I can see you guys doing that. He said, ‘Our kids are playing with a lot of confidence right now.’ They really are. They’re shooting it great, obviously their inside game is very good when Andrew is there. The thing that makes them special is they can play small and put Hall at the 4, and that really gave us some problems tonight too because anytime one of our big guys guarded Hall, he got it and the floor and was a real catalyst for them. He made some real good plays out there.”
On if he would play one of the alternative postseason tournaments
“We’ll play outside, whenever they want us to play, that’s the way I feel about it, and I’m sure our kids do too. It’s been such a frustrating year for us, with overtime losses and down to the wire jobs, and running into a kid like Matthews, who you figure can’t go 6-10 (from three-point range) again, and he jumps up and goes 6-8. He was terrific in both games. You have to give it to him; he’s a big-time shooter, maybe as good as or better than Jimmy Baron (son of SBU Hall of Famer Jim Baron) was last year for Rhode Island. When you have a guy shooting with that much confidence, and he’s that good, it’s tough to play against a team like that. He’s their senior, their leader in the huddles. From a coaching standpoint, you see that and you really respect that, because they have really good senior leadership right here, right now.”