Dukes Fall to St. Bonaventure in First Round of Atlantic 10 Championship
March 9, 2010
OLEAN, NY - Chris Matthews and Andrew Nicholson combined for 53 points and keyed a 14-0 second half run as St. Bonaventure (15-15) advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic 10 Championship with an 83-71 win over Duquesne (16-15) at Reilly Center.
With the win, the Bonnies advance to Atlantic City, N.J. to face top-seeded Temple (26-5)on Friday at Noon.
Duquesne will have to wait until Sunday night to see if its season continues as bids to the National Invitation Tournament, College Basketball Invitational and CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament will be extended following release of the NCAA Championship field.
The game was tied 45-45 when Nicholson, who finished with 25 points scored on a layup and followed with a traditional three-point play when he was fouled on a dunk. Matthews, who went 6-of-8 from the 3-point arc in scoring a game-high 28 points, buried a 3-pointer to put the Bonnies up eight. The run ended with a Jonathan Hall Hall layup that made it 59-45 with just under 10 minutes left.
Duquesne went scoreless for 4:50 , turned it over three times and missed three shots to fuel the St. Bonaventure run.
DU cut it to six with 4:29 left on one of Saunders' three second-half dunks, only to see Matthews hit back-to-back 3-pointers to double the SBU lead.
"You've just got to take your hat off to St. Bonaventure," said Duquesne coach Ron Everhart. " It seemed like every big possession came down to (Chris) Matthews, getting a crack, getting open, hitting the three. Obviously, Chris was the difference tonight, we didn't guard him very well, and he did a great job of shooting the ball. Anytime you're 8-11 from the field, 6-8 from three, and 6-6 from the line, that's a pretty good night. I don't know that I have seen too many like that."
The Bonnies, who went 9-of-12 from the 3-point arc, maintained at least an 11-point lead the rest of the way.
St. Bonaventure shot 51.0 percent for the game, while Duquesne connected on 49.2 percent of its shots. Both teams had 11 turnovers. SBU outscored DU 24-8 from the foul line.
"We'd like to continue playing," said Everhart when asked if he'd like the season to continue. "We'll play anyone, anywhere and anytime. That's a given."
The NIT invites 32 teams and the CBI and CIT 16 each. Duquesne's RPI through the St. Bonaventure game is at 107 according to warrennolan.com.
There were six ties and seven lead changes prior to SBU's 14-0 run.
With his three steals, Damian Saunders upped his single season school record to 87 and passed Mike James to move into the No. 3 spot on DU's career list with 203.