Jan 15, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Bonaventure Bonnies guard Matthew Wright (24) controls the ball while being guarded by Saint Louis Billikens forward Dwayne Evans (21) during the second half at Chaifetz Arena. The Saint Louis Billikens win 66-60. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Duquesne at St Bonaventure 71-67

Dukes let one slip away with a chance to tie late from the line. Derrick Colter missed two free throws and the Bonnies’ Matthew Wright hit his on the ensuing possession. The game ended at 71 – 67, but this one could have easily gone either way.

The Good

The second half.  I thought the Dukes played one of their best overall halves of the season. The defense improved, they hit their shots and they took great care of the basketball.

The Bad

The first half. More specific, the final seven minutes of the first half. With Dominique McKoy on the bench in foul trouble, St Bonaventure played the Dukes’ defense like a fiddle and the away team didn’t get anything going on offense until Isaiah Watkins made a tough basket to stop a 12-2 run.

The Ugly

The “and one” to Matthew Wright at 67 – 64. The Dukes were in a position to take control of the game with a stop. Wright gets off a quick shot on a curl at the top of the key. Great play, great execution. Not a lot the Dukes can do if he hits it. He does, but Jeremiah Jones bumped him as he released. Now instead of 67-66 Duquesne ball, it’s 67 – 66 with the league’s better FT shooter heading to the line. You should never foul in that position.

Play of the Game

Youssou N’Doye block on Ovie Soko. The Dukes felt like they had momentum on their side, but with one swat of his hand, the seven footer changed all that. Nice play by Kloof to track down the rebound as well.

Player of the Game.

Matthew Wright. As strong as the Dukes were in the second half, the St Bonaventure senior was a little stronger ripping off 16 points after the Dukes kept him contained in the first.

Moment I Knew It Was Over

When Derrick Colter missed both late FT’s. Put the kid at the line with a lead and he’s an ace. Put him out there with a chance to take the lead or tie and it’s not as pretty. He’s completely shifted his situational late game free throw shooting record from last year.

Credit Where It’s Due

St Bonaventure executed perfectly when it counted not just on offense but on defense. The third to last Duquesne possession they completely blew up a play designed to get Micah Mason a look from three.  In my opinion, everything the Dukes got tonight, they earned. I don’t know if I can give a better complement to the opposition.

Parting Thoughts

A lot of people will blame this one on the offense but as has often been the case, the defense flat lined for stretches and the Dukes never fully recovered. You simply can’t go on the road in the Atlantic 10 against a good defensive team and expect to shoot 45% or better in order to win. The intensity is there for the Dukes. The recognition, one on one containment and recovery still aren’t. Some of that is the product of a young team playing better, more experienced opponents. Part of it is system. Part of it is lack of ability at the moment.

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