Bonnies Ride Defense To Fifth Straight Win, Sweep Of Duquesne

Courtney Stockard posted 21 points in the win over Duquesne. (Photo: Scott Eddy)
Courtney Stockard posted 21 points in the win over Duquesne. (Photo: Scott Eddy)
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Box Score (PDF)

St. Bonaventure Starters: G Kyle Lofton, G Dominick Welch, G/F Courtney Stockard, F LaDarien Griffin, C Osun Osunniyi

Updated Records: St. Bonaventure 14-14 (10-5 Atlantic 10); Duquesne 18-10 (9-6)

Keys To The Game:

  1. St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt called the game his teams' best defensive effort of the season as the Bonnies held Duquesne to 47 points on 28 percent shooting.
  2. The Bonnies led for all but 30 seconds thanks in large part to senior forwards Courtney Stockard (21 points) and LaDarien Griffin (16), who combined for 37 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists and five steals.
  3. Leading 33-22 at halftime, St. Bonaventure pushed its lead to 19 points less than five minutes into the second half. After that, the Dukes were not able to cut the gap to single digits.

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Maybe it's about time everyone starts giving St. Bonaventure credit as a top-flight defensive team. 

Wednesday night at the Reilly Center, the Bonnies earned their fifth straight win with another defensive gem, limiting Duquesne to a season-low in points in a 68-47 victory. St. Bonaventure moved to 10-5 in the Atlantic 10 Conference and remained in a tie for fourth place with three games remaining in the regular season.

Entering the night, the Bonnies and Dukes were in a three-way tie for fourth place. The Bonnies jumped out quickly, keeping the Dukes under double digits until more than 10 minutes had elapsed.  St. Bonaventure opened a 19-7 lead by the 10:28 mark.

Duquesne closed to within five points at 19-14, but the Bonnies responded with 12 unanswered points to surge ahead 31-14. Courtney Stockard and Jalen Poyser each scored five points in the run.

After taking a 33-22 lead into halftime, the Bonnies started the second half just as fast, scoring the first eight points of the frame to increase their edge to 41-22 by the 15:34 mark.

A team that has made a habit of comebacks this year, Duquesne cut the Bona lead to 12 and then eventually down to 11 at 47-36 with 9:58 remaining. It was a 55-43 game when the Dukes' Michael Hughes was called for a technical foul and Kyle Lofton made a pair of free throws.

The margin remained around 14 points the rest of the way, with Stockard capping the win with a three-pointer with 1:57 left.

St. Bonaventure held Duquesne to 28 percent shooting overall (15-53), its best defensive field goal percentage in an A-10 game. Nearly half of the Dukes' field goals – seven – were three-pointers, as the Bonnies dominated inside with a 36-14 advantage in points in the paint.  

Duquesne was without freshman point guard Sincere Carry, who has now missed two games due to a knee injury.

Led by LaDarien Griffin, who went 8-11 from the field on his way to 16 points, the Bonnies made 55 percent of their shots. Griffin added 11 rebounds for his third double-double this season. Stockard led St. Bonaventure with 21 points while freshmen Osun Osunniyi and Kyle Lofton both finished with 10.

St. Bonaventure has now authored a complete turnaround in its season. Once 4-10 after opening A-10 action with a loss, the Bonnies have gone 10-4 since to even their overall record at 14-14. 

The Bonnies are now tied with George Mason for fourth place in the A-10 standings. The Patriots knocked off Richmond on Wednesday.

Coach Mark Schmidt Post-Game Quotes:
"I thought our guys were locked in. We kept them off the backboard. We did a good job on Hughes inside. We got to their three-point shooters. That was the game. We're not a pretty team offensively, although we share the ball and we shot a high percentage. But, I thought defensively it was as good of a defensive performance as we've had all year."

"Give Duquesne credit, we could never break away from them. But our guys made shots when we needed to and we made stops. If someone would've told me that we would've held them to 47 points, I would have told them they were crazy."

"If someone told me a month-and-a-half ago that we would be 14-14 ... all the credit goes to the players, they bought in and didn't sulk. We couldn't do anything with the non-conference record. We lose the first game at George Mason and the kid didn't quit. As you win, you gain more confidence, you just get better chemistry. The kids didn't hang their heads, they kept on working. It's a great lesson. When things aren't going well and you hit adversity, you can go one of two ways. You can lay down or you can get up and fight and our guys have really gotten up and made themselves better."

Game Notes

  • St. Bonaventure has now won 10 or more Atlantic 10 games five seasons in a row, a program record.
  • The Bonnies have held six of their last seven opponents under 60 points and 38 percent shooting.
  • St. Bonaventure is 12-0 this season when it holds its opponent to 60 points or less.
  • The Bonnies have now won seven straight over Duquesne and 10 in a row over the Dukes at the Reilly Center.

Up Next: St. Bonaventure travels to George Washington this Saturday, March 2. Tip-off will be at 4:00 in the Smith Center.

- By Steve Mest, Associate Director of Athletics

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