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Bonnies Head To Steel City For First Of Two Vs. Duquesne

Bonnies Head To Steel City For First Of Two Vs. Duquesne

Game Preview: Duquesne Dukes

Game Date: Wednesday, Feb. 6
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Palumbo Center

Records:

St. Bonaventure 8-13 (4-4)   |    Duquesne 15-7 (6-3)
Bonnies Stats        |         Dukes Stats

TV: Stadium Network
Radio: WPIG 95.7 FM with Gary Nease and Don Scholla
Twitter: @BonniesMBB

Full Media Game Notes (PDF)

OPENING TIP
Wednesday evening, St. Bonaventure visits the Steel City for the first of its two annual meetings with Duquesne. The Bonnies look to bounce back from a loss to Davidson, while the new-look Dukes are off to a 6-3 start to Atlantic 10 play.

BONA-NOTEWORTHY
• After starting out 0-6 in true road games, the Bonnies won their last two (UMass, Richmond).
• St. Bonaventure has three freshmen in its starting lineup, the only Atlantic 10 to have that many freshmen starters. They combine to average 28 points per game.
Kyle Lofton, who has started every game at point guard, averaged 23 points per game over the last three games. He was named A-10 Rookie of the Week after averaging 22.5 points per game in road wins over UMass and Richmond. He is second among all Atlantic 10 freshmen in scoring (14.7 ppg) and assist-to-turnover ratio. Since moving into the starting lineup seven games ago, freshman center Osun Osunniyi is playing the best basketball of his young career. The A-10 Rookie of the Week for the week ending Jan. 13, Osunniyi leads the A-10 in blocks (2.2 per game).
• The Bonnies' three seniors are still the leaders of their team. Forward Courtney Stockard, who was named to the preseason All-Conference team, is averaging 17 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. Forward LaDarien Griffin missed 10 games with a knee sprain, has worked his way back into preseason form and is averaging 12.4 ppg in A-10 play. Guard Nelson Kaputo comes off the bench to add 7.4 points and is third in the A-10 in 3-point percentage.

St. Bonaventure vs. Duquesne: The Last Meeting
Feb. 21, 2018 at Reilly Center: Bonnies 73, Dukes 67
Defensive struggle, free throw shooting contest – call it whatever you want, but it still resulted in another St. Bonaventure win. It took all 40 minutes for the Bonnies to pull out a 73-67 win, their ninth straight. All-American candidate Jaylen Adams led all players with 24 points and five assists. Senior guard Matt Mobley was limited to five points, but teammates Amadi Ikpeze and Idris Taqqee delivered. Ikpeze, the improving sophomore center, recorded the first double-double of his career with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Taqqee scored 11 points and grabbed eight boards. Courtney Stockard delivered right on his season average with 12 points. A game featuring 14 ties and 10 lead changes had the teams deadlocked at 56-56 with 5:01 left. Free throws by Ikpeze and Adams 13 seconds apart put the Bonnies in front 60-56 at the 3:36 mark. It was a lead the home team would not relinquish. Duquesne pulled within 63-60, but Stockard's turnaround jumper with 1:58 left gave the Bonnies some breathing room at 65-60. Duquesne's Tarin Smith, however, answered with a three-pointer at the 1:35 mark.  Adams got in the lane and canned a mid-range jumper with 1:07 remaining to make it a 67-63 score. After the teams traded missed shots, Taqqee got free for a breakaway dunk with 24 seconds left that gave the Bonnies a 69-63 edge. The Bonnies were 21-25 at the free throw line in the second half, including a string of 20 straight to start before they missed.

Duquesne Notes
• The much-improved Dukes are 6-3 in the Atlantic 10 after a road loss at Dayton last Saturday. Duquesne is an eye-popping 12-3 at home including a mark of 4-1 in A-10 games.
• The Dukes have two impact transfers playing major roles, center Michael Hughes and guards Frankie Hughes and Marcus Weathers. Michael Hughes averages 11.5 points and 6.6 rebounds with 44 blocked shots. Frankie Hughes averages 8.9 points and leads Duquesne with 48 three-pointers. Weathers averages 9.8 points and six rebounds.
• Freshman Sincere Carry is one of the top rookies in the A-10. The point guard averages 12.4 points and is tied for the A-10 lead in assists at 5.9 per game.
• Eric Williams, one of the few holdovers from last year's team, leads the Dukes at 12.9 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.

Series History
This will be the 121st meeting between the longtime A-10 rivals. St. Bonaventure leads the series 61-59 and has claimed 11 of the last 13 meetings including a sweep of the series last season. 

Schmidt Gets Win #200; Now Three Wins From Mark
The win at Richmond was the 200th in the Bona career of head coach Mark Schmidt. He is now just three wins away from becoming St. Bonaventure's all-time winningest coach, as he trails only Larry Weise (202). 

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