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St. Bonaventure moves into sole possession of eighth place in the A-10
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — If this was their final game at the Reilly Center, seniors Jonathan Hall and Chris Matthews made it count. The senior duo combined to score 34 and sophomore Andrew Nicholson poured in 21 points to lead St. Bonaventure to a crucial 92-80 win over Duquesne Wednesday night at the Reilly Center.
The victory is the fourth straight in conference play for the
Brown and White, marking their longest A-10 win streak since the
1999-2000 campaign. With the win, St. Bonaventure evens its record
at 14-14, but more importantly moves into sole possession of eighth
place in the A-10 standings.
The win also makes the chances of hosting an A-10 Tournament first round game next Tuesday, March 9 a reality. The Bonnies will need a loss by George Washington at Temple on Saturday and Rhode Island to finish above Charlotte and Dayton in the standings in order to return to the Reilly Center as the No. 8 seed.
Matthews equaled Nicholson’s game-high 21 points thanks to 6-of-10 shooting from the three-point arc. With his six threes, Matthews moves into third place in the single-season record books with 90 makes and now has 171 for his career in the Brown and White. Despite playing just 24 minutes due to fouling out, Hall finished with 13 points, four boards, three assists and three steals.
Nicholson scored 14 of his 21 points in the second, hitting on 7-of-10 from the field and 7-of-10 from the free throw line. Nicholson has reached the 20-point plateau in three of four career games against the Dukes. Classmate Michael Davenport reached double figures for third straight game for the first time in his career, finishing with 17 points, five rebounds and a career-high four steals.
For the second straight game and the 10th time this season, the Bonnies shot 50 percent or better, connecting on 28-of-50 from the field (56 percent), including 9-of-18 from beyond the arc. St. Bonaventure passed out 16 assists on its 28 makes and its slim 36-32 edge on the glass was aided by 15 offensive boards.
Five players finished in double figures for Duquesne, led by junior Damian Saunders’ 19th double-double of the season. Saunders posted team-bests of 17 points and 13 rebounds to help the Dukes shoot 47 percent (31-66) and grab 19 offensive rebounds.
After an opening bucket by Duquesne, the Bonnies sprinted out to a 9-0 run that was highlighted by a pair of dunks from Nicholson and Davenport.
Still leading 9-6, St. Bonaventure embarked on its second big run over the opening seven minutes, this time, find its rhythm inside and outside to take a 20-6 lead with 13:21 left in the half. The Bonnies came away with three points on three straight possessions during the run, as Matthews and junior Ogo Adegboye drilled long range trifectas followed by an old-fashioned three-point play by Nicholson.
The Bona lead reached as high as 16, 24-8, just minutes later and Matthews’ third and fourth three-pointers in the opening frame helped the home team take 34-19 edge with 7:12 remaining.
St. Bonaventure double figure lead dipped to single digits on a trio of occasions over the final seven minutes, with the last coming a three-pointer by Melquan Bolding with seven seconds left to make it a 43-35 Bona lead at the break.
The Bona lead dipped to as low as five, 51-46, less than four minutes into the second half, but that was as close as Duquesne would come the rest of the way as the Bonnies held a double-digit lead for more most of the final 16 minutes.
The Bonnies trailed for just 14 seconds in the entire game
St. Bonaventure will hit the road for its final regular season game when it travels to Cincinnati to take on #24 Xavier on Saturday, March 6. The Musketeers entered this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll for this first time this season on Monday and will be looking for at least a share of the A-10 regular season title. Gametime is slated for 4 p.m. and the game can be seen live on Fox Sports Ohio.