Duquesne had a 43-28 lead at the halftime break only to see St. Bonaventure's deliberate game chip away at that margin and eventually give the Bonnies a four-point advantage with 1:13 on the game clock.
Junior Damian Saunders made 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. Malcolm Eleby hit 1-of-2 free throws to put SBU ahead by two with 21.3 seconds remaining. Sophomore Eric Evans ran some time off the clock before feeding Saunders who drove to the basket but instead of going for the close-in shot fed an open Melquan Bolding on the right wing for the game-winner with 3.4 seconds left to play.
The Bonnies raced up the court and sent a pass toward Andrew Nicholson that Bolding knocked out of bounds as the buzzer sounded.
Duquesne has led in all but two of this season's 19 games with five minutes left to play. Seven times the opponent took away the victory. Tonight, it was the Dukes' turn. Saunders got the tip to start the game, perhaps a sign that things were changing. Or maybe it just turned out that way.
All this was accomplished even though the Dukes' last field goal before Bolding's trey came with 12:45 on the game clock. Oh, and that basket was by Bolding and raised the Duquesne lead to 57-48.
Evans and Saunders each scored 15 points. Bolding hit a trio of treys, as did Saunders, and scored 14 points. Junior Bill Clark, whose last second defensive play returned Saunders to the charity stripe, added 10 points. Bolding and fellow soph B.J. Monteiro had four assists apiece.
Saunders also had nine rebounds, just missing another double-double to add to his nation-leading total of 15 this season.
DU is 10-9, 1-4 in A-10 games while SBU is 9-9, 2-3 in league play.
Once again, Nicholson played near his best against Duquesne. He tied his career-high of 29 points--the mark set in last season's matchup between the two teams--and pulled down a team-best seven rebounds.
Tonight he Dukes, who had been on the road for three of the five losses, scored the first nine points and had a 16-4 lead on Evans' layup with 14:16 left in the first half.
St. Bonaventure cut the lead to 28-23 on Eleby's three-pointer with 7:24 on the clock. Bolding hit a trey on the Dukes' next offensive set to start a 15-5 run that put the hosts ahead, 43-28, at the break.
The Bonnies scored the first six points of the second half on a traditional three-point play by Ogo Adegboye and a shot beyond the arc by Chris Matthews. The Brown consistently chipped away at Duquesne's lead and got within one point twice. SBU took its first lead of the game, 64-63, on Nicholson's short jumper, a put-back of Marquise Simmons' almost sure layup.
SBU extended their advantage to 68-64. But it was Saunders and Bolding who gave the Dukes a one-point victory.
Matthews, with four three-pointers, scored 14 points for Bona. Adegboye and Eleby each recorded five assists.
The teams will meet again in southwest New York in Duquesne's next to last game of the season on Wednesday, March 3, 2010. SBU is one of three A-10 programs the Dukes play twice; the others are Dayton and Saint Louis. It's one game with the other 10 teams.
But next up is another tough road game against Xavier (13-6, 5-1) on Thursday, January 28th at 7:00 p.m. in the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and The CBS College Sports cable television.
The Musketeers topped Rhode Island, who gave the Dukes their last defeat on Wednesday, by a 72-61 score earlier this evening.