OLEAN, N.Y. -- Duquesne (16-15) could not withstand a rush forward by St. Bonaventure (15-15) through the core of the second half and the Dukes fell, 83-71, in a first-round Atlantic 10 Conference tournament game tonight at Reilly Center in Olean, N.Y.
St. Bonaventure turned a close game into a win with a 14-0 jolt in the middle portion of the second half.
Chris Matthews knocked in six 3-pointers to lead St. Bonaventure with 28 points and Andrew Nicholson had 25; Damian Saunders scored 18 for the Dukes.
The Bonnies advances to play Temple in the quarterfinal in Atlantic City at noon on Friday while the Dukes' chances at winning an Atlantic 10 title are finished with a one-and-done effort.
Duquesne surely will not get an NCAA or NIT tournament invite, but have an outside chance at receiving an invitation to the far less prestigious CBI tournament or CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament. There is also another option -- that their season is over altogether.
Duquesne battled through serious foul trouble to some of its brightest stars in the first half, as Bill Clark, Melquan Bolding and B.J. Monteiro spent long stretches on the bench saddled with fouls.
Nonetheless, the Dukes trailed by just four points -- 34-30 -- at halftime as Damian Saunders scored 9 first-half points.
It was the inside-outside game of Nicholson and Matthews (just like six days ago) that hurt the Dukes in the first half, as each of those St. Bonaventure players had 11 at the break.
Duquesne came out of halftime and looked to be playing well, as the Dukes tied it at 43-43 and then again at 45-45.
But then the Bonnies surged, behind (whom else?) Nicholson and Matthews.
Matthews hit an enormous 3-pointer to push St. Bonaventure to a 53-45 advantage with just over 12 minutes left.
From there, the Bonnies, in front of their home crowd, rolled.
Colin Dunlap: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1459.