Shooting touch found: Posley, Bonnies complete season sweep of Duquesne, grab eighth A-10 win

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

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The Short Story:
St. Bonaventure re-discovered its shooting touch and completed a season sweep of Duquesne on Saturday, 92-75.

Marcus Posley snapped out of his slump in a big way, scoring game-high 29 points as he made eight of his 14 shot overall, went 6-9 from beyond the arc and 7-8 at the free throw line. Andell Cumberbatch contributed 18 points whileYoussou Ndoye recorded his 10th double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Three-point shooting powered the Bonnies’ 46-34 halftime lead, as the team went 9-15 in the opening 20 minutes. Posley made five himself, while Cumberbatch contributed three. Posley knocked down a three-pointer from just inside the center-court logo in the final seconds of the half to give the Bonnies their 12-point halftime lead, which served as their largest lead of the game at that point.

St. Bonaventure was able to hold off the Dukes and maintain a steady lead throughout the second half. Duquesne cut the deficit to five points in the first five minutes of the second half, but the Bonnies pulled ahead and held a double-digit lead for the final 5:34 of the game.

While offense was the eye-opener in this game, St. Bonaventure also played strong defense against the A-10’s best shooting backcourt, limiting Derrick Colter and Micah Mason to a combined 28 points — many of which came late — and 3-11 three-point shooting. The Dukes went 3-15 from long range.

The win was an important one for the Bonnies, evening their A-10 record at 8-8 and assuring them of no worse than a 10th place finish in the conference.

How It Happened:

  • Andell Cumberbatch got things started for the Bonnies with a three-pointer at the 19:12 mark to give the Bonnies a 3-1 lead.
  • Denzel Gregg intercepted a Duquesne pass and eventually finished on the other end to put SBU up 6-3 at the 17:52 mark.
  • Back-to-back dunks from Youssou Ndoye and Cumberbatch followed by two three-pointers from Marcus Posley made up a 10-2 run that gave the Bonnies an 18-9 lead by the 14:33 mark.
  • Idris Taqqee made his first three-pointer of the season to put the Bonnies up 21-13 with 13:07 remaining in the half.
  • The Dukes climbed back with a 7-2 run to make it a 25-21 Bona lead with 10:06 left.
  • Posley knocked down his third three-pointer of the game to put the Bonnies up nine (32-23) with 6:30remaining.
  • Cumberbatch and Posley made three-pointers on consecutive possessions to grow the lead to 40-31 with2:10 remaining.
  • The Bonnies stayed red hot from beyond the arc as the duo of Cumberbatch and Posley each knocked down three-pointers in the last 22 seconds of the first half to send the Bonnies into the break with a 46-34 lead. Posley’s came with four seconds left in the first half and was from about 30 feet away from the basket. St. Bonaventure went 9-15 (.600) from three-point range in the first half.
  • The Dukes jumped out with an 8-2 run to start the second half to make it a 48-42 game at the 17:49 mark.
  • Duquesne pulled to within five points at 52-47 at the 15:45 on a layup by Jeremiah Jones, but that turned out to be the closest the Dukes came.
  • The Bonnies pushed the lead back double digits at 62-52 on a Dion Wright layup at the 11:27 mark.
  • Duquesne pulled within 62-55 at the 10:44 mark, but Cumberbatch made a three-pointer immediately after that.
  • The Bonnies then maintained a steady lead as the two teams took a 67-58 score to the 7:42 mark.
  • Posley put the Bonnies up 12 points (72-60) with his sixth three-pointer of the game with 5:34 remaining.
  • Duquesne began to foul around the 2:25 mark and the Bonnies made nine free throws in the final two minutes of the game to seal the win.

Beyond The Boxscore:

  • The Brown and White’s eight conference wins are tied for the second-most under head coach Mark Schmidt. The 2011-12 A-10 Championship team went 10-6 in the conference while the 2010-11 team was 8-8.
  • Saturday was Senior Day at the Reilly Center and Youssou Ndoye, Andell Cumberbatch Chris Dees andOpeyemi Olomo were honored before the game. It was the final home game with students still on campus (Spring Break starts March 7).
  • St. Bonaventure’s three-pointers in the first half, their most in a first half all season. The Bonnies made fewer than nine three-pointers in 24 games this season.
  • Posley (15), Ndoye (11) and Cumberbatch (11) all scored in double-figures in the first half.
  • Bona attempted 41 free throws (35 in the second half), their most since conference play began, making 29 (.707) which is the second-most free throws made in a game this season only to 31 against Jackson State.
  • Dion Wright had all 15 of his points in the second half. He also had a career-high five assists.
  • Freshman Idris Taqqee played a big role in the win with career highs in both points (nine) and minutes (20). Taqqee also made his first three-pointer of the season.
  • Marcus Posley made six three-pointers, his most since he tied the school record with eight when the Bonnies defeated Duquesne on Jan. 22.
  • The Bonnies have eclipsed the 90-point mark twice this season, both times coming against Duquesne.
  • SBU turned the ball over just eight times, their fewest since Jan. 31 vs. La Salle.
  • With 29 points in today’s game and 36 in the first meeting, Marcus Posley has scored 65 points against the Dukes this season.
  • Posley has now recorded 20 or more points in 10 games this season, third most of any Atlantic 10 player.
  • Ndoye’s double-double now gives him 10 on the season. The senior from Dakar, Senegal, has also recorded 17 games of 10 more rebounds, ranking him second in the conference.
  • Now with 271 rebounds this season, Ndoye is only two rebounds away from passing Matt Gantt (1969-70) for 15th place on the single-season rebounding list; Ndoye’s 674 career rebounds rank him 15th all-time, just seven rebounds shy of passing Caswell Cyrus (1996-00), who was in attendance Saturday.
  • With his six three-pointers, Posley jumped all the way to ninth place on the single-season three-pointers made list (he has 70), passing five players including Marques Green, Mike Gansey, and Tim Winn.

Quotes From Coach Mark Schmidt
“It’s tough when you have to move guys around, but … it’s the next man up and everyone has to do their job. Marcus played good at the one and Andell did a tremendous job playing at the two. Everyone is eventually going to play better and that hasn’t happened in the past couple of games. Everybody has to elevate their games and they did that today.”

“Give our guys credit. From a defensive standpoint, that was the key. From an offensive standpoint, we needed to shoot the ball better. We knew they were going to play 2-3 zone for 40 minutes and we came out in the first half and shot the best we’ve shot in a long time. Marcus and Andell did a tremendous job starting us off … we’ve been working in the gym, and in the game they shot it with confidence. Once you make the first one then the second one, the basket seems a little bit bigger.”

“I thought Dion (Wright) didn’t play a great first half … he came out in the second half and had 15 and 7. Youssou was 15 and 11. This game was for the seniors and we can’t win if the seniors didn’t do their part. I thought all three seniors including Chris played a huge role in this win. I’m very proud of how we played and hopefully we can continue the momentum.”

Up Next: The Bonnies will visit Saint Louis for their final road game of the season next Wednesday, March 4. The game will tipoff at 8:00 ET.

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