By Colin Dunlap | 3:35 p.m. Saturday
About to leave in a few minutes, want to get down to the Palumbo, get a cup of coffee and get settled in.
First, a photo from my back deck over the roof of my house.
It is, quite simply, of the sun...something we haven't seen in a little while:
OK, a question to get the GAMEDAY THREAD started, and I want your answers.
In my story this morning about Ron Everhart not making excuses, what did you make of this particular quote:
"Quite frankly, even with all the injuries and whatever, we should be a better basketball team than we are right now, we should be better than what we have shown to each other and to our fans. We have failed to execute in late-game situations and that is our fault, not the fault of anyone else."
Did this hammer home, to you as it did to me, that, even through the rough patches, Duquesne has the right guy leading this program?
I'd like to hear your thoughts.
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UPDATE 4:48 p.m.: As my friends know -- and my wife probably knows best -- I'm a guy who is, by nature, an urban dweller. I grew up in Sharpsburg and Aspinwall and lived both in Bloomfield and in Downtown before my wife (in somewhat of a kicking and screaming move) uprooted me to Hampton Township. In some regards, it is like living in the middle of Montana for me. That said, while I hate having to drive to do everything, I understand the value in the schools, the property, all that other stuff, etc. As I was set to walk into the Palumbo today, I saw something on Forbes, though, that reminded me why, maybe the 'burbs aren't such a bad place. Look at this knucklehead:
4:55 p.m.: Before every game, same routine for me. I park in the media lot, walk down to the bookstore and get a cup of Starbucks, then walk to the Palumbo. I noticed that the new Adidas stuff is in stock at the bookstore. Here is the photographical evidence:
5:26 p.m.: Needed to pass this along: Two NBA scouts will be here tonight. The thought here is that they will be in the building to see the combination of Nicholson and Saunders.
5:57 p.m.: Dinner.
7.7 out of 10. A solid effort by the catering staff.
Mini fish sammiches and manicotti:
6:14 p.m.: The word appalled is a bit strong, but the word surprised probably isn't strong enough -- a word in the middle is definitely what I'm looking for. Follow me on this: The Dukes dance team is warming up in the back gym. I was walking back near there and, as they were coming out, a few team members walked by. One had a 'PITT' shirt on. I know the fan base, alums and other people like to complain sometimes when it is not fully warranted, but little things like that are just a symbol as to why the students don't come out. Kind of ridiculous if you are a Dukes fan, if you ask me.
6:52 p.m.: It is cloooose. But, I think the Duquese students have the Bonnies students slightly outnumbered.
Here are the SBU students:
7:04 p.m.: Very solid crowd tonight. Seriously.
7:06 p.m.: News already...first time with a new starting lineup. Evans, Clark, Saunders, Bolding and Monteiro.
7:11 p.m.: What the doctor ordered, perhaps. The Dukes start 9-0 and force Bona into a timeout.
7:14 p.m.: First media timeout and first American Woman of the night. Oh, back to the game, Bona has been forced into four turnovers in, from my chair, has been the best Duquesne has played, defensively, all season.
7:23 p.m.: Dukes are 10 for 13. Wow. Also, Big Mike just went to the hoop on a post move. Very refreshing if you are a Dukes fan.
7:28 p.m.: A question for everyone: Does bringing Duty off the bench make this team more potent?
7:39 p.m.: Again, Big Mike doing a ton of things you cannot put in a stat. He has forced Bona into three walks. He has also set about five hammer screens and altered four shots.
7:46 p.m.: They are not booing, they are yelling Lewwwwwwwwwwwwinson. Ollie in the game. And he just travelled. And it looks like he just got hurt a little. Now out of the game. Dukes up, 38-27.
7:56 p.m.: Some halftime numbers. Obviously the score: Dukes 43-28. Eight players have scored for Duquesne. They are 16 for 30 from the floor and 6 for 10 from 3-point range. Bona is 9 for 24 -- that's the difference right now.
8:06 p.m.: Pep band just played School's out for Summer (or whatever that is called). Explain that one. For the record, I like the pep band.
8:13 p.m.: Shirt foul And I hate to call this guy out, because he might be a great person, probably is, actually. Also, I like the script Pitt logo, a lot. But Pitt ain't playing in the Palumbo tonight -- no reason for the Pitt shirt:
8:22 p.m.: Dukes up 59-51 as Williams gets his fourth foul. I thought, when Williams got his second, Everhart should have gone to Lewinson or Peggau, instead of waiting for Big Mike to get his third. By the way, St. Joe's beat Dayton by 1.
8:26 p.m.: Saunders down in a heap. Holding his left ankle. Looks not great. Vic Bauer out there. Saunders leaves floor gimpy.
8:30 p.m.: Saunders back in...went to corner of gym, tested his ankle out and now he's back in there.
8:32 p.m.: Bona cuts it to 59-58. Nicholson might end up fouling out three guys before this thing is over. He has 23 points right now and no one can guard him.
8:41 p.m.: Is it just me, or does this Dukes team settle for waaaaaaaaaaaaay too many jumpers early in the shot clock late in games?
8:46 p.m.: Night and day how this one became a half-court game in the second half.
8:49 p.m.: Bona takes its first lead. Again, Clark looks out of sorts.
8:51 p.m.: Dukes are 4 for 21 in the second half. There you go...that's how leads turn into losses. Dukes down, 66-63 with 2:03 left.
8:56 p.m.: Saunders foul call on the steal. Right in front of me. Iffy call.
8:58 p.m.: Dukes get the block/charge call. Have the ball down 68-66 with 35.5 left (30 on the shot clock). I say you have to go to Saunders here. Have to. Let Evans try to beat someone off the dribble, but Saunders has to touch it.
9:04 p.m.: Dukes got what they want...ball at the end. Down 69-67 with 21.3 left.
10:52 p.m.: EARLY GAME STORY
By Colin Dunlap, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Duquesne (10-9, 1-4) snapped a five-game losing streak with a 70-69
victory against St. Bonaventure (9-9, 2-3) at the A.J. Palumbo Center
It was Duquesne's first victory since Dec. 22 and came when Melquan Bolding hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 3.5 seconds left.
That field goal ended a scoring drought wherein the Dukes hadn't made a field goal in more than 12 minutes.
St. Bonaventure's Andrew Nicholson was marvelous, leading all scorers with 29 points.
Duquesne was paced by Damian Saunders and Eric Evans, who each had 15 points.
The Dukes started strong out of the gate, shooting to a 9-0 lead and making it 14-2 in the early going as they made their first 10 of 13 shots.
But St. Bonaventure fought back, cutting it to 26-20 with 7:56 to play before halftime.
The Dukes, however, took a 43-28 halftime advantage, hitting six 3-pointers over the first 20 minutes and playing tremendous defense, holding St. Bonaventure to 9 for 24 shooting in the first half.
The Bonnies hacked back in the second half, cutting it to 60-58 with just over seven minutes left then 63-62 with 4:32 left.
St. Bonaventure took its first lead -- at 64-63 -- with 3:28 remaining.