Last Time Out
Andrew Nicholson finished with game-highs of 35 points and 11 rebounds to lead St. Bonaventure, but Dayton (16-7, 4-4 A-10) held on down the stretch to earn a hard-fought 63-61 victory Wednesday night at UD Arena. Nicholson drained a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left to cut the Dayton lead down to one, before Chris Johnson made the front end of a pair of free throws to give the Flyers a two-point lead. After the miss, Nicholson's three-quarter court heave fell short as the Bonnies suffered their ninth straight loss to Dayton.
SBU hosts Duquesne at the beginning of three-game homestand before enjoying a well-deserved bye week. The Bonnies will return to action next Saturday (Feb. 12) against La Salle for a homecoming doubleheader before wrapping up the three-game stand against Saint Louis (Feb. 16.). Overall, five of the Bonnies' final eight scheduled games of the 2010-11 season will be played at the Reilly Center.
Scouting the Dukes
Duquesne, whose school-best 8-0 start has it alone atop of the Atlantic 10, looks to extend its win streak to 12 when it travels to St. Bonaventure. The Dukes' 11-game win streak is the school's longest since 1970-71 (15 in a row) and is the fourth-longest current streak in the nation. DU, which has not experienced a road loss since Dec. 4 at Penn State, is looking to extend its road win streak to six and school record road conference streak to four. Duquesne, whose starting lineup goes 5-10, 6-0, 6-5, 6-5 & 6-7, has been led by senior 1,000-point scorers Bill Clark (1,477 points in 115 g,) and Damian Saunders (1,375 points in 116 g.). Five players have 53 or more assists. The Dukes, who averaged an Everhart Era "low" 70.3 ppg. last season, have returned to their running ways under their fifth-year head coach (81.9 ppg.). DU began the week ranked among the nation's top 20 in eight categories: assists (1st at 19.1), turnover ratio (1st at 6.9), steals (2nd at 10.2), scoring (10th at 81.8), scoring margin (14th at +14.9), assist/turnover ratio (14th at 1.4), blocked shots (16th at 5.6) and 3-point field goals per game (19th at 8.6). True freshmen T.J. McConnell, the five-time A-10 Rookie of the Week, and Mike Talley have started 17 times side-by-side in the backcourt. McConnell (27) and Talley (28), who rank second and third in 3-pointers made, have 150 assists and 70 turnovers (2.1-to-1 ratio) between them.
Senior Chris Matthews equaled a career-high with 28 points and sophomore Andrew Nicholson turned in his third straight 20-point outing to lead St. Bonaventure to a 83-71 win over Duquesne Mar. 9, 2010 in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championship at the Reilly Center. It marked the Bonnies' first postseason win since 2002 and second win in three games against the Dukes in the 2009-10 season.
Head Coach: Ron Everhart
Dukes' head man Ron Everhart is in his fifth season at Duquesne, where he has rebuilt a program that won just three games in the season prior to his arrival. He led DU to a 17-13 (7-9 A-10, t9th) record in just his second year – snapping a series of 13 straight losing campaigns – and an NIT berth in 2008-09 with a mark of 21-13 (9-7, t5th). Last season, the Fairmont, W. Va. native saw the Dukes finish 16-16 (7-9, t8th) and earn a bid to the College Basketball Invitational, marking the first time a Duquesne team finished with 15 or more wins in three consecutive seasons since 1968-73. Prior to Duquesne, Everhart held the head coaching position at Northeastern (NIT, 2005) for five years and at McNeese State (NIT, 2001) for seven.
Duquesne leads the all-time series 55-49, but the Bonnies won the last two of three meetings in 2009-10 to draw closer. After falling to the Dukes on the road Jan. 29 last year, SBU rebounded to defeat the Dukes at home (Mar. 3), 92-80, before earning an 83-71 win six days later in the opening round of the Atlantic 10 Championship. As the home team in series history, SBU boasts a 33-21 advantage.
Sharing the Sugar
Senior PG Ogo Adegboye - a team captain in his second and final season in the Brown and White - handed out a game-high eight assists in the loss to Dayton on Wednesday. For his career, the London native has nine games with six or more helpers, including seven this season.
It's Up, and Good!
Nicholson made a career-high 15 field goals in his 35-point outburst at Dayton. In the opening 20 minutes, he went 6-of-9 from the floor en route to 15 of the 23 Bona points. He finished off the second-highest scoring game of his carrer 9-of-14 in the second half.
Return to Sender
Against Dayton, Bonnies' junior Andrew Nicholson blocked three shots to move into sole possession of second place on the career rejections list (165). Nicholson's block at the 6:31 mark of the second period against Ohio made him just the third player in school history to block 150 or more shots in a career. The junior Mississauga native also owns the Bonnies' single-game record (9 vs. Bucknell).
Duquesne brings its unblemished record into the RC, the site of its last loss in conference play. The Bonnies handed the Dukes a 92-80 defeat Mar. 3, 2010 in the Bonnies' final home game of the 2009-10 season. The victory helped SBU earn the No. 8 seed into the A-10 Championship, where St. Bonaventure eliminated the ninth-seeded Dukes, 83-71.
Same Starting Five
St. Bonaventure is one of just four teams nationally to use the same starters in every game: Cleveland State (24 games); James Madison (24); Missouri State (23) and St. Bonaventure (21). Evansville, who was previously on the list, used a different lineup in its 21st game of the season. The Bona starting five: Ogo Adegboye (G), Michael Davenport (G), Demitrius Conger (F), Da'Quan Cook (F), Andrew Nicholson (F).