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Duquesne snaps skid with win over St. Bonaventure

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Sean Johnson and B.J. Monteiro each scored 19 points, while T.J. McConnell tallied 12 points, 9 assists, 8 reboumds and 5 steals as the Dukes beat the Bonnies 70-64 at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Duquesne 70 - St. Bonaventure 64
A.J. Palumbo Center, Pittsburgh, PA

B.J. Monteiro and Sean Johnson scored 19 points each and T.J. McConnell flirted with a triple-double for Duquesne, propelling the Dukes to a 70-64 payback win over St. Bonaventure Wednesday night at the A.J. Palumbo Center. The Dukes (18-10, 10-5), whose 11 game win streak earlier this season was snapped by a Bonnies (15-13, 7-8) buzzer-beater on February 5, entered the rematch 1-5 in their past six contests. But Ron Everhart's squad got back on track by playing vintage Dukes game, sharing the ball on offense and snatching turnovers on defense.

The Dukes led 37-31 at halftime and held a seven point advantage with 4:59 left in the game, as Johnson took a pass from Joel Wright and made a lay-up to make it 61-54. However, an 8-2 Bonnies run, keyed by six points from Andrew Nicholson, narrowed the gap to 63-62 Duquesne with 1:24 to play.

While the Dukes let a late lead slip away back in February, they clamped down on Wednesday. Johnson hit a 3-pointer with less than a minute to go, McConnell made a lay-up off a dish by Johnson, and then Johnson sealed the game by swishing a pair of lay-up shots with six seconds left. St. Bonaventure, meanwhile, managed just a Demetrius Conger lay-up during that stretch.

Duquesne, coming off a season low in points, assists and field goal percentage in a Saturday loss to St. Louis, had 21 helpers on 29 field goals against the Bonnies, shooting 46.8 percent from the field. On defense, the Dukes grabbed 10 steals and forced 23 turnovers.

On Senior Night, a freshman stole the show. McConnell scored 12 points while also chipping in nine assists, eight rebounds and five steals. Stuffed stat sheets are commonplace for the five-time A-10 Rookie of the Week: McConnell is only freshman in the country with more than 275 points, 100 assists and 20 steals this season.

Playing their final regular-season home games at the Palumbo, Damian Saunders and Bill Clark struggled from the field. Saunders, who became the Dukes' all-time leader in starts, made three of his nine shots, finishing with seven points and rebounds apiece.

Clark shot 1-of-9, missing all five of his 3-point attempts while scoring a season-low two points. That offensive output was Clark's lowest since he was shut out as a freshman against St. Bonnie's and Dayton.

Ogo Adegboye and Andrew Nicholson led St. Bonnie's with 12 points. Nicholson—tied for the A-10 lead in scoring entering the game—committed a career-high seven turnovers against the Dukes' feisty D. Matthew Wright also scored in the double digits, with 11 points. Da'Quan Cook chipped in nine and Conger scored eight, but Conger lost his handle on the ball seven times, too.

Michael Davenport, whose 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left dashed Duquesne's win streak in February, was held to six points.

By besting St. Bonnie's, Duquesne moved back into sole possession of fourth place in the A-10 at 10-5. Rhode Island fell to George Washington 66-55 Wednesday night, giving the Dukes a one-game lead over the Rams and Colonials, both 9-6.

Duquesne controls its own destiny at Richmond on Saturday -- with a win, the Dukes clinch a first-round bye in the A-10 tournament.  Duquesne beat George Washington earlier this season but lost to Rhode Island, so a loss on Saturday and a Rams win (they play St. Bonnie's on Saturday) would drop the Dukes to fifth in the conference.

Damian Saunders, the only D-I player in history with more than 250 career assists, steals and blocked shots, added another accolade Wednesday night by becoming the Dukes' all-time leader in games started, with 112. Saunders' Senior Night start moved him past Bruce Atkins (1979-82) and Dick Ricketts (1952-55).

The Dukes' victory over St. Bonnies was the first win by a single-digit margin this season. Duquesne's first 17 W's came by at least 10 points.

Duquesne tied a school record for most conference wins in a season, with 10. The 1981 and 1991 clubs also notched 10 conference W's.

With a 4-for-22 (18.2 percent) performance from beyond the arc, the Dukes continued to scuffle on 3-point shots. Over the past three games, the Dukes have shot a combined 10-for-54 (18.5 percent) from deep.

: DUQ 46.8, SBON 51.2
FT%: DUQ 61.5, SBON 85.7
3-PT: DUQ 18.2, SBON 36.4
RBS: DUQ 26, SBON 26

: DUQ- Johnson, Monteiro 19; SBON Adegboye, Nicholson 12
Rebounds: DUQ- McConnell 8; SBON Conger, Nicholson 5
Assists: DUQ- McConnell 9; SBON Davenport 3
Blocks: DUQ- Monteiro, Wright 1; SBON Conger, Cook, Nicholson, Roseboro 1
Steals: DUQ- McConnell 5; SBON Cook, Davenport, Wright 1

The Dukes seek a first-round bye in the A-10 tournament during a Saturday tilt with Richmond at noon. That won't be easy -- the Spiders (23-7, 12-3) are led by seniors Justin Harper (18.2 PPG) and Kevin Anderson (15.8 PPG). St. Bonnie's returns to the Reilly Center to host Rhode Island Saturday at 2 p.m.

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