Julian Routh | Asst. News Editor
In the first time in history sporting black jerseys, the Duquesne Men’s basketball team dropped to 1-12 in Atlantic-10 conference play Saturday night at the A.J. Palumbo Center with a 78-71 loss to St. Bonaventure.
In a game that saw coach Jim Ferry start three freshmen for the fifth straight game, Duquesne continued their reliance on three-point shooting, taking nearly half of their 56 shots from behind the arc and sinking only 34.6 percent.
“We’ve been taking 26 threes all year. That’s what we are,” Ferry said. “Sometimes, that’s the only shot that shows for us.”
Duquesne held only two leads, each coming in the first five minutes of play. After senior guard Sean Johnson hit a three pointer with 15:00 remaining in the first half to give the Dukes an 11-10 lead, the team failed to get out in front of the Bonnies for the game’s remaining 35 minutes.
The Dukes did come close, however, tying the game at 51, 53, 55, 57 and 59 points in a stretch of five minutes midway through the second half.
With timely shooting by seniors Chris Johnson and Demitrius Conger and a pair of key offensive rebounds late in the game, the Bonnies were able to extend their lead and prevent Duquesne from making the go-ahead shot.
The late offensive rebounding by St. Bonaventure, something that Ferry called “backbreaking,” attested to the Bonnies’ 35-26 control of the rebounding margin.
Junior guard Jerry Jones said offensive rebounding killed the Dukes’ momentum.
“You’re playing defense for 33, 32 seconds, and you feel like you’re just right there to get that stop you need to get over the hump,” Jones said. “And then they just get the ball back and you got to play defense for another 35.”
Freshman forward Quevyn Winters scored 16 of his team-leading 18 points in the first half. Winters, who also led the team with 7 rebounds, accredited his second half shooting performance to the Bonnies making adjustments on defense.
“They did a good job of closing out, crowding me, getting in my space. Not making me feel comfortable,” Winters said.
On their way to a 41-35 halftime lead, the Bonnies scored 14 points off of eight Duquesne turnovers in the first half. The trend reversed in the second half, though, as the Dukes forced eight turnovers and scored eight points in resulting possessions.
Ferry said his team “came out a little sluggish in the first half.”
“We allowed Bonaventure to get comfortable. They made a bunch of threes early on us,” Ferry said. “I thought in the second half, we really came out really aggressively and guarded really hard and played with more energy and more aggressiveness.”
In addition to Winters’ 19 points, senior center Andre Marhold (13) and freshmen guards Derrick Colter (10) and Jeremiah Jones (10) scored in the double-digits. For St. Bonaventure, Johnson and Conger led with 19 points.
The Dukes next play this Saturday at La Salle and then return home for senior day next Wednesday against Charlotte.
Photo: Connor Hancovsky / The Duquesne Duke
Jerry Jones attempts to block a shot in a 78-71 loss to St. Bonaventure.