Dukes Drop A-10 Opener at La Salle, 84-61

Jan. 4, 2006

Box Score |  Quotes |  Notes

Philadelphia, Pa. -- Steven Smith scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half to rally La Salle from a 34-26 halftime deficit to an 84-61 win over Duquesne in the Atlantic 10 opener for both schools at La Salle's Tom Gola Arena.

Smith, who did not start the game for undisclosed reasons, scored La Salle's first six points of the second half as the Explorers pulled to within two at 38-36.

After La Salle's Marshall Taylor tied the game at 40, Duquesne's Bryant McAllister, who scored a game-high 22 points, answered with a 3-pointer to put the Dukes up 43-40. McAllister's 3-pointer preceded a five-minute Duquesne drought during which La Salle went on a 12-0 run to take a 55-43 lead with 10:20 to go.

Smith's jumper at the 13:55 mark - his ninth and tenth points of the half - put the Explorers up for good at 45-43. La Salle maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

Duquesne missed seven consecutive shots and turned it over twice during the La Salle run.

La Salle, which shot 61.8 percent in scoring 58 second-half points, led by as many as 25 in the closing moments.

Darnell Harris, who hit 4-of-7 3-point attempts, finished with 14 points for La Salle. Jermaine Thomas added 12 as five Explorers finished the game in double figures.

Aaron Jackson was the only other DU player to reach double digits with a career-high 16 points. Jackson, a 6-2 freshman, added a career-best eight rebounds.

Duquesne, which shot 53.6 percent in the first half, led by 11 before La Salle closed the gap to eight at intermission.

The Dukes, which finished the game 45.3 percent from the field, turned it over 19 times. La Salle took full advantage of DU's miscues, outscoring the Dukes 25-2 in points off turnovers.

NOTES: Duquesne finished the game with 19 turnovers, while La Salle turned it over just five times ... McAllister (8-of-16) and Jackson (5-of-10) were a combined 13-of-26 from the field with 38 points ... two Dukes fouled out (Keith Gayden at 8:44 and Sean McKeon at 1:48) ... a third Duquesne player, DeVario Hudson, finished the game with four fouls ... the first half saw six ties and six lead changes ... Duquesne, which outrebounded La Salle by 11 in the first half, finished with a 34-33 advantage on the glass ... the Dukes were 2-of-12 from the 3-point arc.

Duquesne head coach Danny Nee: "It was a game of two halves. I thought we played well in the first half. La Salle did the things you need to do to win in the second half. We didn't. In the first half, we held them to one shot. In the second half, Smith took over in the first five minutes, he's a special player. He got them started in the second half. Rebounding and turnovers are the two things that caused the game to change. We have to find a way of putting two halves of basketball together. If you can do it for one half, there is no reason you can't do it for another half."




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