The Bonnies dropped their second straight falling to Duquesne 56-54. Saturday’s game at UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse saw Bona drop to 13-13 (7-6). Duquesne won their third straight and is currently 17-8 (7-5). Numbers and notes…
Possessions: 68. Grind it out to a moderate tempo range. The times there was transition were to the Dukes’ favor as they led 23-12 in fast break points.
Offensive efficiency: Duquesne 82, St. Bona 79. Decidedly both the season averages for both teams. Bona is 13th in A10 OE at 100, Duquesne is 8th ast 103.
eFG pct: St. Bona 56, Duquesne 41. Bona outshot Duquesne but had 13 less field goal attempts.
FT Rate: Duquesne 28, St. Bona 25
OREB pct: Duquesne 28, St. Bona 22. Bonnies outrebounded Duquesne 34-32. On the offensive boards it was a different story as Keith Damrot’s club enjoyed an 11-4 advantage.
TO Rate: Duquesne 22, St. Bona 37. This is the story of the game. Bona entered the contest with the A10’s sixth best TO rate at 18%. The number turned in Saturday was more than double. Bona committed 25 turnovers leading to a Duquesne advantage of 35-10 in points off turnovers. In the second half alone the Bonnies had more turnovers (12) than field goals (8). It was the second time Bona committed 20-plus turnovers. The other time was back in December when they were guilty of 21 miscues in the loss to Iona.
Drought. As has been the case a number of times this season, the Bonnies offense went cold. Bona took a four point lead into the break. Starting the final stanza they went over four minutes without a point. Duquesne seized the opportunity, going on an 8-0 run to take a four point lead of their own.
Kenpom.com MVP: Dae Dae Grant. The Duquesne guard tied running mate Jimmy Clark III for team scoring honors with 12 points. Grant, at 6’2” pulled down a team-high seven boards. He also led Duquesne with 4 assists, zero turnovers in 33 minutes of action.
Daryl Banks III paced Bona with a game-high 15 points. Chad Venning added 14 and Moses Flowers 10. Venning grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.
Last seconds. Bona trailed by three then fouled Tevin Brewer with under 10 seconds left. Brewer missed the front end of the one and one. Duquesne elected to foul rather than allow the Bonnies to attempt a game tying three. Banks made the first free throw then purposely missed the second. Barry Evans grabbed the miss and dished to Anauar Mellouk who converted at the buzzer. A review of the final play revealed Mellouk’s shot came after time expired and the game had ended.
Final notes and next. Duquesne led 28-20 on points in the paint and 9-4 on second chance points. Bonnies had won 14 of the last 15 against the Dukes with nine of those contests decided by two possessions or less. Bona shot 61% the first half and 38% following the break.
The Bonnies travel to the Bronx to take on Fordham on Wednesday. The Rams won at Reilly Center back on January 25. Following that game Bona looked at a two game road trip to VCU and Richmond followed by a home date with Dayton. It was a key stretch that saw Mark Schmidt’s club come out with a sweep. Now, following two straight setbacks the Bonnies face arguably the hottest team and certainly the biggest surprise in the A10.
When Fordham struggled their biggest crowd were for Bona games when fans of the Brown and White would ensure a near or full capacity on Rose Hill. Now under Keith Urgo, Fordham is selling out and providing a difficult home court advantage for visiting teams to navigate. For Bona, another tough test.