Two streaks continued when the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (17-7, 9-4) extended their winning streak to five with a 81-55 win over the Duquesne Dukes (6-19, 1-12), who have now lost 12 straight games.
“It’s a character check,” said Duquesne head coach Keith Dambrot on staying motivated during the losing streak. “There’s going to be a million times in life that things don’t go well, you have a choice to put the white flag out or continue battling”
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It was a tough night for the Dukes, as they only led once in the entire game, after they scored the first basket to make it 2-0. The Bonnies then went on a 11-2 run and never relinquished the lead. The closest the game got was a five-point deficit in the first half.
Mike Bekelja, brought the score to 18-13 with 9:03 left in the first when he hit the Dukes first 3-pointer. The Bonnies then ended the first half by out scoring the Dukes 21-8 in the games last seven minutes. The two teams went into halftime 39-22.
Both teams struggled from 3-pt range in the first half, with them shooting a combined 5-22. While the Bonnies ended up figuring things out, shooting 3-6 from 3-pt range in the second half, the Dukes never quite did, finishing the game shooting 20-57 overall and 5-21 from 3-pt range.
“We struggled from more than just the three-point line today, it was shooting in general,” said Dambrot. “It’s tough to win when you struggle to score and it’s tough to make stops on defense when you can’t put points on the board.”
In the second half, the Bonnies shot almost 60% when they made 16-27 (59.3%) while the Dukes continued to struggle, as they only made 11-31 (35.5%) shots overall. The Bonnies put the game out of reach early with a 9-0 run to start the second half. They led by as much as 36 points when they took a 69-33 lead with 8:03 left in the game.
It was in the paint where the Bonnies truly won the game. The Bonnies outscored the Dukes 48-22 from downlow and outrebounded them 42-25. Dambrot admitted a struggle to stay motivated during the losing streak, but added that it’ll be a test of the character of his team. He compared the losing streak to tough moments that people will go through in life, and the ability to pull through demonstrates a strong character.
It’ll be another tough test for Duquesne in their next game when they host Davidson on Wednesday.