St. Bonaventure 69, Duquesne 48
How Bona Won: By attacking the glass. The Bonnies outrebounded the Dukes, 48-26, and pulled down 21 offensive rebounds, which they turned into 22 points. They also locked things down defensively in the second half, limiting the Dukes to just 28 percent shooting (7 of 25) after halftime. It helped that they took better care of the ball, too. Bona made just five turnovers in the second half.
Player of the Game: Bona star Andrew Nicholson. His 21-point, 23-rebound performance is the first time since Dec. 22, 1967 that a player has put up a 20-20. The last to do it? Bob Lanier, who had 34 points and 27 rebounds against Loyola (Md.). Lanier is the only player in Bonnies history to have more than 23 rebounds in a game (his most was 27). Nicholson passed Fred Crawford to move into fifth on the Bonnies' career rebounding list with 790.
Play of the Game: Demitrius Conger finished off a baseline drive to the basket with a violent, two-handed dunk that gave Bona a 35-23 lead with 3:41 left in the first half and sent the Reilly Center fans into a frenzy.
Unsung Hero: Chris Johnson came off the bench to score 12 of his 15 points in the first half, sparking a Bona team that had fallen behind, 7-2, just two minutes in.
Stat of the Game: Bona's 21 offensive rebounds were a season high and the most they've come down with since finishing with 24 against Canisius on Nov. 29, 2008.
Home Cooking: Bona improved to 9-1 in the Reilly Center and 5-0 against league opponents. They've beaten their A-10 counterparts by an average of 19.6 points per game in those wins. Perhaps that's why coach Mark Schmidt said in his postgame press conference that he wished his team could play 29 home games.
He Said It: "Probably in my dreams," Nicholson, when asked the last time he had a 20-rebound game.
He Said It II: "We dominated physically. We were bigger and stronger and we needed to take advantage of it."
In the House: 4,505 including students dressed as a hot dog, a lucha libre and Superman.
What It Means: The Bonnies moved into fifth place in the A-10 with a 6-4 league record, a game out of the coveted top four. Those teams receive automatic byes into the A-10 Tournament quarterfinals in Atlantic City, N.J.
Next Up: The biggest game of the season against Temple, at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Reilly Center. The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network. Win it, and a top-four finish starts to look very promising for the Bonnies.
taggedAtlantic 10 | College basketball | Mid-Majors | NCAA | St. Bonaventure