Men’s basketball: Duquesne (Home) Preview

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio and Jeff Fasoldt @Jeff_Fasoldt

After a rough performance against George Washington, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies men’s basketball team returns home for its Alumni Weekend game against the Duquesne Dukes.

The last meeting between these teams was an instant classic, when the Bonnies (14-12, 7-8 in A-10) stunned the Dukes (10-16, 5-10) in Pittsburgh. SBU came back from being down 11 with 2:48 remaining to send the game into overtime, thanks to Marcus Posley scoring 12 points at the end of regulation. Bonaventure ended up winning the game 100-97 in OT.

A lot has changed since that game. Posley has been mired in a major shooting slump, going 11-of-66 from three-point range in his last nine games; Bona has gone 3-6 over that stretch. Jaylen Adams, who had 15 points and 14 assists in that game, is out for the remainder of the regular season. The Dukes, on the other hand, have gained a bit of momentum since that game, going 4-5 in the last nine games with big wins over George Washington and Dayton.

Will the Bonnies get back on track, or will Duquesne ruin the Homecoming festivities? Here’s the full breakdown:

The Coaches:

St. Bonaventure- Mark Schmidt. 120-122 as Bonnies coach.

Duquesne- Jim Ferry. 31-54 as Dukes coach.

Key players for Duquesne:

Derrick Colter-5-11 junior guard. Colter is the leading scorer for the Dukes at exactly 13 points per game. He shoots 45 percent from the field but is especially dangerous from beyond the arc—knocking down 46 percent of the three’s he’s taken this season. His game extends from driving in the paint to well beyond the three-point line and the Bonnies defenders will have to show energy and commitment to stopping Duquesne’s biggest offensive threat if they want to end their losing streak.

Micah Mason-6-2 junior guard. The reason Mason has put up such good numbers, over 12 points per game and 42 percent from three, has a lot to do with Derrick Colter. Because of Colter’s impressive ability to extend defenses, Mason becomes a second thought far to often and makes opposing teams pay for this. Neither one of these guards is that tall or athletically impressive, but they are capable of knocking down shots from anywhere on the court.

Keys to victory for Duquesne: Beat the Bonnies on the outside. If you’re Duquesne you’ve seen teams collapse off Iakeem Alston because of his inability to shoot from outside. I would be doing the same thing—force Marcus Posley to make some shots, which is something he’s struggled with lately. Defend the inside, and on offense, let the three pointers rain from Colter and Mason.

Keys to victory for St. Bonaventure: Defend the three; it’s as simple as that. Before Bona’s furious comeback in Pittsburgh, Duquesne was lighting it up from behind the arc, shooting 50 percent from deep. Mason was 4-of-8, Colter was 3-of-7, Jordan Stevens was 3-of-5 and L.G. Gill was 3-of-4. The outside shooting helped the Dukes score 51 points in the first half of that game, which was simply unacceptable and won’t be allowed to happen if the Bonnies hope to sweep the season series. Posley isn’t in his lights-out mode anymore, so he probably won’t be able to bail the rest of the team out like that if they don’t defend again.

Predictions:

Jeff: The Bonnies are on a skid lately, however there’s only so much that a team can take before it figures out how to play without a key player, in this case Jay Adams. The Bonnies have the advantage inside and Iakeem Alston finally figures it out in this one. 76-52 Bonnies.

Chuckie: The Bonnies should win this without too much of a struggle, but they are going to have to prove me wrong in this matchup. Duquesne lives and dies by the three-ball, while Bonaventure can’t defend it. Mason and Colter are going to be salivating in anticipation of a shootout, and no one in a brown and white uniform can shoot the ball at the moment. SBU also has the tendency to lose on Alumni Weekend despite the boisterous crowd’s efforts, and this has potential to be another disappointment for Bona. 74-68 Duquesne

 

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