WASHINGTON – St. Bonaventure will play Richmond in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament quarterfinals Friday night after the seventh-seeded Spiders beat No. 10 Duquesne, 81-68, Thursday evening in Capital One Arena.
Jacob Gilyard, a 5-foot-9 guard, scored a game-high 20 points for the Spiders. Richmond was in control for nearly the entire game and cruised in the second half. Bona, which earned the No. 2 seed with a 14-4 record in conference play, is looking to reach the conference tourney semifinals for the first time since 2014.
The Bonnies won their final 12 conference games to finish the regular season with a 24-6 record overall. They would be a virtual lock for an at-large bid with a win over the Spiders on Friday. St. Bonaventure beat Richmond, 97-88, in a game that was closer than the score indicated.
Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley scored 24 points apiece and combined for eight three-pointers and nine assists in that game, which marked the halfway point to their current winning streak. The Bonnies were 21 of 22 from the free-throw line and had five starters score in double-figures.
"The shooting is tremendous," Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. "Adams all around – his shooting, decision-making, delivering the ball to his teammates at the perfect time – and Mobley's shooting are difficult to guard. We didn't stop them very often. If we can clean up our defense a little bit, we'll have a chance."
Richmond (12-19) has five starters averaging in double-figures this season. Freshman Grant Golden, a 6-9 center, scored 24 points and caused problems inside with his size and strength in the first meeting. Nick Sherod scored a game-high 26 points in the game after making six of 13 shots from long range.
The Spiders will have guard De'Monte Buckingham in the lineup Friday. He missed the first game with a concussion. Richmond, which plays a matchup-zone defense similar to Syracuse, had mixed results with a young team. It had a miserable start, won six of seven conference games and lost five straight down the stretch.
St. Bonaventure was ranked 26th nationally in the latest Associated Press poll and one spot behind conference rival Rhode Island, the top seed in the A-10 tourney. The Bonnies haven't reached the NCAA since 2012, when they received an automatic invitation to the Big Dance after winning the conference tournament.