St. Bonaventure Starters: G Kyle Lofton, G Dominick Welch, G/F Courtney Stockard, F LaDarien Griffin, C Osun Osunniyi
Updated Records: St. Bonaventure 9-13 (5-4); Duquesne 15-8 (6-4)
Three Keys To The Game:
- A desperation three-point shot by Duquesne's Eric Williams bounced off the side of the rim and the Bonnies claimed their third straight Atlantic 10 road victory.
- In a game when it struggled to score, St. Bonaventure limited Duquesne to 49 points and 34 percent shooting. The Bonnies also had a commanding 54-42 advantage in rebounds.
- Freshman Osun Osunniyi patrolled the paint to the tune of 22 rebounds and six blocks to lead the Bona defense.
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Wednesday at the Palumbo Center, St. Bonaventure made only 20 field goals and nine free throws -- and still won.
A superb effort on the defensive end led by freshman center Osun Osunniyi powered the Bonnies to their fifth Atlantic 10 win of the season, 51-49, over a much-improved Duquesne club.
The win was a testament of will and perseverance. Little worked for the Bonnies on the offensive end, yet they led nearly from start to finish. It was dramatic down the stretch, though, as the Dukes pulled within a single point twice in the last 4:24. The Bonnies led 50-49 after Duquesne scored with 2:10 remaining, but neither team could manage a field goal the rest of the way. Dominick Welch made one of two free throws with 6.2 seconds left, and Eric Williams' last-second shot hit the side of the rim and bounced away.
Osunniyi, the 6-10 rookie who is leads the A-10 in blocks, dominated with a Palumbo Center record 22 rebounds – 11 offensive and 11 defensive. His 22 boards are only five short of Bob Lanier's school record and the most by a St. Bonaventure player since Andrew Nicholson grabbed 23 against Duquesne in 2012. Osunniyi scored nine points and also blocked six shots.
St. Bonaventure's other freshman sensation, point guard Kyle Lofton, finished with 16 points despite being limited to 29 minutes due to foul troubles. Freshman Dominick Welch scored 10 points with seven rebounds. LaDarien Griffin had nine points, five rebounds and three blocks.
Early on, the Bonnies raced out to a 13-3 lead less than five minutes into the contest. A three-pointer by Jalen Poyser gave the visitors their biggest lead of the night at 18-7. The Dukes eventually responded and closed the gap to 23-22 by halftime.
Duquesne briefly took a two-point lead early in the second half at 29-27. Lofton, however, sparked an 8-0 run with six points to put the Bonnies up 35-29.
After a Duquesne score, St. Bonaventure scored six straight to push its lead to 41-31 with 10:36 left. It was a seven-point Bona edge when the Dukes went on a 7-1 run to pull within one at 48-47 on Sincere Carry's three-pointer at the 4:24 mark.
Lofton drove and scored to make it 50-47, but the Dukes quickly answered to pull back within one with 2:10 left.
Quotes From Coach Mark Schmidt
"It was a rock fight. We found a way. It wasn't pretty, but we hung in there and made plays when we had to, especially on defense. You have to hang your hat on defense, especially on the road, and we did tonight. Osun and Kyle were terrific. We ask a lot of them and they delivered again."
- The win was the 201st of Schmidt's tenure at St. Bonaventure. He needs one win to tie Larry Weise for the all-time coaching wins record. It also was Schmidt's 100th conference win.
- Osunniyi's 22 boards mark only the 19th time in the program's 99-year history that a St. Bonaventure player reached the 20-rebound mark (or more).
- Prior to Wednesday, the Bonnies had been 0-3 in games decided by five points or less.
- St. Bonaventure now sits in a tie with La Salle for seventh place in the A-10 standings at 5-4. The Bonnies have already won more conference games then they did non-conference, and all three of their road wins this season came in their last three A-10 games.
- The Bonnies have now beaten Duquesne six straight times and 12 out of the last 14. They lead the series 62-59.
- Jalen Poyser played 11 minutes and had one three-pointer, his first game action since suffering a concussion prior to the Rhode Island game.
Up Next: St. Bonaventure will host VCU this Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Reilly Center, at 2:00 on CBS Sports Network.
- By Steve Mest, Associate Director of Athletics
St. Bonaventure basketball tickets are available via GoBonnies.com/tickets; by calling (716) 375-2500 or at the St. Bonaventure ticket office in the Reilly Center. For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @GoBonnies and get men's basketball updates @BonniesMBB. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.