The absence of center Peter Van Paassen and the ejection of forward Kevin Houston proved too much of a handicap for St. Bonaventure's men's basketball team to overcome Saturday night -- even against a struggling Duquesne team.
Van Paassen missed the game because of tendonitis in his right ankle and Houston was ejected after picking up two technical fouls in the first half as the Bonnies were upset by the Dukes, 72-60, before 4,464 at the Palumbo Center.
The victory snapped a nine-game losing streak for Duquesne (8-18, 2-11). The Bonnies dropped to 15-9 overall, 6-6 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Duquesne played without its top scorer, Wayne Smith, out with bruised ribs.
Even a 28-point night by J.R. Bremer couldn't save the Bonnies.
Houston pushed off making a cut away from the ball and was called for an offensive foul with 12:08 left in the first half. He protested vehemently and picked up two technical fouls and was ejected. He scored only three points and had no rebounds. Houston is Bona's leading rebounder.
"He's got to keep control," said Bonnies coach Jim Baron. "He plays with so much intensity and that was a big part of the game especially with Peter and Patricio (Patricio Prato, sidelined with a broken wrist) being out.
"We just didn't show the leadership and the poise that we needed."
Without the 6-foot-9 Van Paassen and Houston, the Bonnies were outrebounded, 37-18.
Bremer had 16 first-half points, including a personal run of 11 that brought Bona from an 18-13 deficit to a 24-22 lead. Bremer also hit a three to tie the game at 33-all going into halftime.
The Dukes went on a 9-2 run -- Jamal Hunter had seven of the points -- for a 48-41 lead with 12:58 to go in the second half. The run was capped by a steal and dunk by Hunter, who finished with 22 points, 18 over his season's average.
A tip-in by Charles Stanfield gave Duquesne a 13-point lead (60-47), its largest of the game with 7:44 to go and the Bonnies never were able to make a serious threat.
Freshman Quadir Habeeb (Turner/Carroll) had a career-high 12 points for the Bonnies. Vidal Massiah had 10 before fouling out.
Duquesne shot 55.8 percent (24 of 43) and made 5 of 9 from three-point range.
The Bonnies shot only 38.2 (12 of 32) and were 7 of 21 from beyond the three-point arc.
It was a sloppily played game. Duquesne had 30 turnovers to Bona's 22.
The Bonnies' next game is against Xavier in Cincinnati on Wednesday night.