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Duquesne's skid hits 9 in a row with loss at St. Bonaventure

| Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 6:20 p.m.

OLEAN, N.Y. -- Jim Ferry admitted Duquesne's margin for error is small.

With a young roster and only three upperclassmen, the Dukes can't afford an abundance of mistakes, the first-year coach said.

Saturday afternoon, when Duquesne battled back but to no avail, its sloppy play early on proved too costly in a ninth straight defeat.

The Dukes committed 10 turnovers in the first half against St. Bonaventure and couldn't complete a second-half rally in a 68-60 loss before 4,991 at Reilly Center.

Duquesne (7-14, 0-7), which remained the lone winless team in Atlantic 10 play, cut St. Bonaventure's lead to 64-60 with 1:06 to play after trailing by as many as 13. The Bonnies, who won the A-10 Tournament last year, went 4 for 4 from the free-throw line in the final 33 seconds to secure the win.

“The margin of error is extremely, extremely small,” said Ferry, whose team had only one turnover in the second half. “And I think you saw a team in St. Bonaventure that has won a championship and kind of pulled that game out down the stretch with experience, and we did not. It's frustrating, I'm not gonna lie, it's really frustrating. It's frustrating for the kids, but it's the same thing that keeps popping up.”

He added, “If we wouldn't have turned it over in the first half, I think it would have been just as close (as the second half). But we turned it over and got outrebounded (35-24) and those are two things (in) our program that we hold high, and we didn't do a very good job of it.”

St. Bonaventure (10-10, 3-4) made a season-high 12 3-pointers, shooting 55 percent from behind the arc. Eric Mosley led the Bonnies with a game-high 14 points, and Jordan Gathers and Demitrius Conger added 13 and 11, respectively.

Kadeem Pantophlet, Jeremiah Jones and Sean Johnson scored 11 points apiece for Duquesne, and Derrick Colter had 10 points and seven assists. The Dukes hit 11 of their 24 3-point attempts but made only nine 2-point baskets.

“You become easy to guard when you don't get high-percentage shots,” Ferry said. “And that's when the guys really had to figure out that we had to drive and kick to get ourselves some shots. But you can't come on the road and rely on 3-pointers to win, that's for sure.”

Still, Ferry believes his group is getting closer.

“They're growing, they're learning,” he said. “It's just getting harder and harder, but that's what this league is. That's what we signed up for, and we gotta keep fighting because we're knocking on the door in all these games. ... I think if we can limit our mistakes and play as hard as we're playing, we're gonna win some games.”

Shawn Campbell is a freelance writer.

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