Another hard-fought rally was cut just short, a familiar scenario that created another all-too-familiar ending.
Duquesne suffered its 14th loss in 15 games, a 78-71 defeat to St. Bonaventure on Saturday night in an Atlantic 10 matchup at Palumbo Center.
The Dukes erased a 12-point deficit to force second-half ties at 51, 53, 55, 57 and 59. But the Dukes' momentum-changing shot never fell. They missed two potential go-ahead 3-pointers by Quevyn Winters, another by Jeremiah Jones and a turnaround jumper by Andre Marhold.
“We definitely felt like if we'd hit that (go-ahead) shot, it would have changed the momentum of the game,” Winters said, “and we could have built on that shot we hit.”
But they never got another chance.
A quick 6-0 run gave St. Bonaventure a 65-59 lead with 5:12 left, and the Dukes never again had the ball down fewer than five points.
“We used a lot of energy coming back,” coach Jim Ferry said, “We got a little fatigued, put some subs in and got a little out of rhythm. I also thought St. Bonaventure picked up their intensity a little with a sense of urgency.”
Demitrius Conger and Chris Johnson each had 19 points and Eric Mosley added 16 for St. Bonaventure (13-13, 6-7), which last season reached the NCAA Tournament.
The Bonnies shot 54 percent (27 of 50), while the Dukes were below 40 percent (22-56).
Winters had 18 for Duquesne (8-19, 1-12), which remained last in the A-10. Winters, who also had seven rebounds, scored all but two of his points in the first half. Andre Marhold added 13 points, and Derrick Colter and Jeremiah Jones each had 10.
St. Bonaventure held a 35-26 rebounding edge, grabbing 13 of 15 rebounds in the final six minutes.
“That's been a problem all league season,” Ferry said. “When we get outrebounded, we don't do well.”
The Bonnies' nine offensive rebounds hurt most, wearing down Duquesne's defense while outscoring the Dukes, 20-10, in the paint.
“You're playing defense for 33 seconds and you feel like you're right there to get the stop that you need to get over the hump,” sophomore Marvin Binney said, “and then they get the ball back and you've got to play defense for another 35. That really kills our momentum.”
Duquesne, enduring the growing pains of a program overhaul, hasn't won at home since a Dec. 19 victory over Western Michigan.
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