NEW YORK (AP) Jimmy Clark III scored 16 points and Duquesne held off star big man DaRon Holmes II and No. 24 Dayton 65-57 on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

Holmes scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half, but the Flyers (24-7), who came in with a NET ranking of 21, struggled from the field and now will have to rely on an at-large bid to make the NCAA Tournament.

“There’s no guarantees for anything,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “So we hope that we get an opportunity to continue the season. We expect to (be in the tournament) based on the body of work that we’ve had all year.

“We hope to be able to play. Right now, the feeling is disappointment in losing and not having an opportunity for this team to win a championship in our conference where it’s the regular season or postseason. So there’s disappointment right now.”

No other team in the A-10 is in the NET top 70, but the league only got one bid last season for the first time since 2005. This year, all four top seeds lost in the tournament quarterfinals, leaving No. 5 seed VCU as the highest-seeded team remaining.

Seeking their first appearance in March Madness since 1977, the streaking Dukes (22-11) advanced to the semifinals of the conference tourney for the first time since 2009.

“That’s a very difficult team to play against,” Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot said. “If you can hold them to 57 points, you did an unbelievable job.”

Duquesne has won a season-high six straight and 13 of 16 after a rough start in A-10 play.

The Dukes will face seventh-seeded St. Bonaventure on Saturday after the Bonnies beat No. 2 seed Loyola Chicago in double overtime. Top seed Richmond was beaten by Saint Joseph’s.

Holmes had 13 rebounds, shot 5 of 13 and hit a career-high 13 free throws, but the Flyers shot 32% percent overall and missed 19 of 26 3-point tries. Dayton, which entered averaging 74.7 points, was held under 60 for the third time this season.

“We’ve been in the top 20 all year in offensive efficiency,” Grant said. “Tonight when you look at the numbers across the board for us offensively, we really struggled.”

Holmes hit two free throws to give Dayton a 52-48 lead with 7:15 left. The Dukes scored the next 10 points and held the Flyers to five points the rest of the way. Clark’s 3 with 49 seconds left put the game away.

Dae Dae Grant scored 11 points for Duquesne, which shot 42.1%.

Dayton struggled from the outset, starting 2 of 13 from the field. The Flyers got within 30-28 at halftime on Javon Bennett’s deep 3 late in the shot clock with 29 seconds left.


The Flyers have been ranked as high as No. 16 in the AP Top 25 this season but went 5-4 in their final nine games.

Duquesne began 0-5 in A-10 play and had lost twice this season to Dayton, but the Dukes took advantage of a softer second half of their league schedule. They have already beaten St. Bonaventure twice.


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