ALLEGANY – Jay Adams scored 24 points to lead St. Bonaventure to a come-from-behind, 80-76 victory over Duquesne Wednesday at the Reilly Center.
The win kept the Bonnies in fourth place in the Atlantic 10 Conference with a record of 11-4. Bona is 19-7 overall. Just three games remain in the regular season. The top four teams in the standing get a bye into the quarterfinals of the A-10 tournament.
Adams scored 18 of his points in the second half of a game that was a struggle all the way for the Bonnies.
Bona senior guard Marcus Posley struggled through a tough shooting night and finished with 11 points, just three in the second half. Bona senior forward Dion Wright struggled to assert himself inside against a big Duquesne front line. The 6-7 Wright scored 13 points. But Dukes 6-11 center Darius Lewis played a strong defensive game, preventing the Bonnies from getting many easy buckets inside.
Duquesne dominated Bona on the backboards most of the night and finished with 21 offensive rebounds.
But the Bonnies fought back over the final eight minutes.
Trailing, 65-59, Bona got two straight three pointers from Adams and then two free throws from Adams to pull even at 67-67.
The teams traded baskets over the next two minutes.
Then Adams drew fouls on two straight possessions. He made four free throws to give Bona a 76-72 lead with a minute left.
Bona went 4 of 6 from the foul line in the final minute to secure the win.
Duquesne lost its sixth straight game and fell to 15-13 overall and 5-10 in the A-10.
First half: The teams played to a 36-36 tie over the first 20 minutes. Duquesne grabbed 14 offensive rebounds in the first half. The Dukes were averaging only 9.7 a game in A-10 play. Duquesne ranks 11th out of 14 A-10 teams in offensive rebounding.
In one sequence, the Dukes grabbed four offensive rebounds in one possession before finally getting a layup from forward Eric James. Duquesne opted to use a big lineup for long stretches of the first half and it gave Bona problems. The Dukes went 6-11, 6-8 and 6-8 across the front line. Dukes 6-8 sophomore TySean Powell had six rebounds.
Duquesne had a 36-31 lead with a minute to go in the half but Posley scored on a drive down the lane and a difficult spin bank shot off the board. Then Posley hit a three-pointer from the top of the key with 27 seconds left to tie it at intermission.
Sharpshooter: Duquesne’s Mason has a career three-point percentage of .472, which ranks second in NCAA history. He finished seventh in the nation in three-point percentage last year (.447) after leading the nation in 2014 (.560). Mason is shooting .433 behind the arc this season.
Iron men: Adams is averaging 37.1 minutes a game, Posley 36.9 minutes and Wright 36.3 minutes. Those numbers rank second, fourth and eighth, respectively in the A-10. Bona’s bench has played only 22 percent of total minutes this season, which ranks 344th out of 351 teams in the nation.
Adams hot: Adams entered the game shooting .463 from three-point range, which ranked 11th in the nation. Adams is on pace to break the single-season school record for three-point percentage of .456, set by Rich McCormick in 1986-87.
Ranking: Bona stood No. 35 in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index ranking. Dayton is 17th and St. Joseph’s 27. VCU is 47. Atlantic 10 teams have 40 wins over top-100 teams and 19 vs. the top 50. Bona has six top-100 wins and is 3-2 vs. top-50 teams.
Series: Duquesne won the first meeting between the teams, 95-88, on Jan. 16. Duquesne leads the series, 59-56. Bona had won six of the previous eight meetings.
In the house: Attendance was about 4,000.
Up next: Massachusetts visits Bona at 4 p.m. Saturday in the last regular-season game at the Reilly Center this season. Bona beat UMass, 88-77, in January. But UMass had won three of its past four, including an upset of Virginia Commonwealth, entering Wednesday’s action.