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Osunniyi Nets Career-High 23; Bonnies Fall in Heartbreaker vs. Duquesne

Box Score (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Osun Osunniyi registered a career-high 23 points along with 13 rebounds and three blocks, but it wasn't enough in a heartbreaker vs. Duquesne Wednesday night at the Dukes came away with an 81-77 victory at the Reilly Center.

The first meeting with the Dukes – Bona came away with a three-point win three weeks ago outside Pittsburgh – was a thriller. The sequel was no different.

The momentum belonged to the Dukes in the early going as the visitors claimed a 20-11 lead during the opening 12 minutes.

Bona showed a quick spark out of the under-8 media timeout, taking back-to-back treys from Welch and Justin Winston to take a 22-21 edge. Duquesne immediately counter-punched, though, with the next nine points for a 30-22 advantage which would ultimately set up a 35-28 score at intermission.

The Bonnies came out of halftime rolling, quickly taking a 39-38 lead following an Osunniyi dunk that had the home crowd roaring.

A Duquesne timeout helped change the momentum, though, as the Dukes would go on a 9-0 break to re-take the lead.

Duquesne (19-8, 9-6 A-10) kept the Bonnies at arm's length for the next several minutes, holding a 56-50 lead at the under-8 media timeout, but the game was soon tied and the Bonnies re-took the lead, 60-56, following four straight points from Osunniyi.

From there the game was never separated by more than five points. Bona held a 66-61 margin with three minutes left following a hook in the lane from Osun as the Dukes went nearly four minutes without a field goal.

Bona (18-10, 10-5) still held a 70-67 lead following a bucket from Kyle Lofton with 39 seconds left, but a hook shot from Michael Hughes made it a one-point game and, after the Bonnies went one for two at the line, a foul sent Sincere Carry to the stripe where he made both with 13 seconds left for the tie.

A last-second effort for the win in regulation rolled off the rim for SBU, sending the game to overtime.  

In the extra period, Baylee Steele hit a three to start the scoring and the Dukes would never trail, though the Bonnies had multiple chances to tie or take the lead down the stretch. Down a point, 78-77, the Bonnies turned it over on a charge call with 23 seconds left to go, forcing them to foul. Tavian Dunn-Martin went one of two at the line, leaving the door open, but another turnover ended Bona's hopes.

Osunniyi went 10-for-15 from the field while Lofton finished with 14 points and seven assists. Dominick Welch had his sixth double-double of the year with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Jaren English tallied 15 points.

Bona shot 43.5 percent from the floor and owned a 47-42 margin on the boards, dropping to 16-3 on the year went out-rebounding an opponent.

Hughes paced Duquesne with 18 points while Carry equaled that mark.

"I thought it was a really good college basketball game; two teams going at it just like the game in Pittsburgh. I thought Duquesne got off to a better start. They had more energy, it looked like they were quicker to the ball in the first half. They outrebounded us by three or four in the first half, but I thought our guys really responded coming out of halftime. We took the lead and then it was back and forth. We had our opportunities, a couple missed shots.

"We had some unforced turnovers – we stepped out of bounds a couple times. One time we were in (zone), and a couple of guys were in man. We messed that up, and they hit a three. We made some mental mistakes, but Duquesne made one more play than we did. It was a competitive game. They're a good team. We had a great game against them down there, we had another great game against them, and we came out on the short end tonight. We had our chances, but they made one more play than we did."

The Bonnies travel to Philadelphia to play at La Salle Saturday. Tip time is slated for 2 p.m.

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