Dukes win in final second against Bonnies

Taylor Miles | The Duquesne Duke
Taylor Miles | The Duquesne Duke
Taylor Miles | The Duquesne Duke

Joey Sykes | The Duquesne Duke

It was all smiles after the game for the men’s basketball team Saturday night, especially for sophomore Derrick Colter who nailed a last second buzzer beater to propel the Dukes to an 83-81 win over conference rivals St. Bonaventure in the 111th meeting of the two teams.

The win over the Bonnies snapped a four game losing streak for the Red & Blue, who just recently came off a devastating loss to the 19th ranked St. Louis Billikens. On the other side of the court, St. Bonaventure, who were 12-7 before making their way to the bluff, was looking for their first road win of the season.

The first half of gameplay revealed weaknesses on both sides of the court. The Dukes would have a stretch where they seemed unstoppable, but the Bonnies seemed to have an answer for them. Sophomore Micah Mason did what he does best shooting from downtown. The all-time WPIAL leader in three pointers made five out of six attempts Star forward Ovie Soko put up 27 points in the game, two shy of his season high. Saturday night was Soko’s seventh game with over 20 points this season.

Soko, who fouled out with only 12 seconds left in the game, was impressed with the way the younger members of the team handled the game.

“I’m definitely proud of the younger guys more than anything,” Soko said. “Having the game end the way it did on Wednesday, it would have been so easy for the younger guys to put their head down but they stayed with it.”

“For them to come out the way that they did tonight and respond after that tough loss to St. Louis, I’m proud of them and I think we’re heading in the right direction,” Ferry said. “We got to continue to keep our focus on the big picture, and that’s getting better everyday.”

The game was a tight one until the end. St. Bonaventure’s Matthew Wright took a fade away three to put the Bonnies on top by one with 54 seconds left in regulation, which was tough for the Dukes to watch. The team was forced to foul with less than 20 seconds left on the scoreboard. The men would find themselves down 81-80 but it was anything but over. Colter was able to find his way to the line to shoot two, but to the dismay of the crowd, he missed both.

Again, the Red & Blue were forced to foul, but there was still a glimmer of hope after the Bonnies couldn’t convert both of their free throws into two points. With four seconds left in one of the most intense games of the season, the Dukes called on Colter to redeem himself. Colter drove the ball down the court, looked for a teammate but decided to take the shot himself. The result was a desperation floater from just behind the three-point line as time expired to win the game. The Dukes were able to snap their four game skid and were back to .500 on the season thanks to the late game heroics of Derrick Colter.

Colter explained what went through his head just before making a final desperation shot.

“Coach just said get it in, speed the ball to the court,” Colter said. “The team, they all believed in me, so I just took the shot. I knew that it was going in.”

The Dukes will play at La Salle in Philadelphia this Saturday at 4 p.m.