Dukes Fall to Visiting La Salle, 74-70
Jan. 28, 2004
Gary Neal and Steven Smith combined for 51 points to lead La Salle to a 74-70 win over Duquesne at the Palumbo Center. Duquesne, which outshot La Salle 49.1 percent to 33.9 percent and outrebounded the Explorers 39-32, shot just 62.5 percent (15-of-24) from the foul line. La Salle went 24-of-29 from the stripe led by Smith (10-of-10) and Neal (8-of-9).
The Dukes limited the Explorers to just eight first-half field goals in building a 35-30 halftime lead. Duquesne upped the lead to eight on a Ron Dokes bucket with just under 12 minutes left in the game. La Salle rallied to take its first lead since late in the first half on a Neal 3-pointer with 7:27 left to make the score 60-58. Duquesne then tied the game on a pair of Dokes free throws with 3:24 left when the tide turned.
As the teams were leaving the floor for a timeout following Dokes' second free throw, Duquesne's Martin Osimani was assessed a technical foul for apparently elbowing La Salle's David Bell as the two teams were walking to their respective benches. Neal made both technical free throws and scored on a driving layup on the ensuing possession to give La Salle a 67-63 lead.
The Dukes managed to cut the lead to two with 19 seconds left, but Smith hit four consecutive free throws down the stretch to seal the win. Elijah Palmer led Duquesne with 20 points. Dokes posted his second career double-double with 15 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Bryant McAllister scored 13 for DU before fouling out with 14 seconds left.
La Salle went 10-of-30 from the 3-point arc with Neal and Thomas leading the way with 4 and 3 3-point field goals respectively. Duquesne shot just 3-of-11 from the arc. The Dukes outscored the Explorers in the paint by a 36-18 margin.
NOTES: Duquesne assisted on 17 of 26 field goals ... Dokes tied his career-high with four dishes ... the game featured 11 ties and eight lead changes ... Neal scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half ... .
Duquesne head coach Danny Nee: "If you look at the stats, it looks like we should have won the game. We made too many mistakes in the critical time from the three minute mark on down. I thought we played well enough to win. We just didn't do enough things at end. The missed free throws and turnovers ... we had opportunities to do better, we just couldn't convert. We got some good looks from the 3-point line late in the game. A college basketball player has got to make those shots. There is still a lot of basketball to be played. We're not backing off."
Duquesne center Ron Dokes: "It came down to the last few minutes of the second half. That's when our halfcourt offense slowed down and we started standing around. We put up a good effort but came up short."