Feb. 1, 2006
Jermaine Thomas scored 20 points and Darnell Harris added 12 to lead La Salle to a 75-66 win over depleted Duquesne at the Palumbo Center.
La Salle, winner of two straight, upped its record to 12-7 and 4-4 in the Atlantic 10. Duquesne, which was led by Bryant McAllister's 20 points, dropped to 1-7 in the league and 3-16 overall.
The Dukes, who ended a nine-game losing streak with a win over St. Bonaventure last Saturday, suffered a severe blow earlier in the day when they learned that starting center Keith Gayden, who scored 18 vs. the Bonnies, suffered a sprained left (shooting) wrist after a fall on campus.
Gayden, who came off the bench to play nine minutes vs. the Explorers, had averaged 16.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in the Dukes' previous three games.
La Salle, which never trailed, jumped out to a quick 8-3 lead before Duquesne cut it to one on a McAllister layup.
It was then that reserve Sherman Diaz, who entered the game averaging 1.9 points per game, hit three shots in just under three minutes to start a 23-7 La Salle run that gave the Explorers a 36-19 lead at the 3:07 mark. Diaz scored all eight of his points during the run.
La Salle's lead reached a game-high 18 two minutes later when Steven Smith, who finished with 11 points, hit a 3-pointer.
McAllister made a jumper to make it 41-25 at the half.
Duquesne, which hit nine of its season high-tying 10 3-pointers in the second half, managed to cut the lead to nine on four separate occasions, the first with 8:53 left. But La Salle answered every time, quickly rebuilding a double-digit lead.
DeVario Hudson, who went 3-of-4 from the arc, scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and Aaron Jackson, who made 4-of-5 3-point attempts also finished with 15 for the Dukes.
Duquesne shot 52.6 percent from the 3-point arc, but converted just 14-of-39 shots from two-point land in finishing at 41.4 percent.
La Salle dominated Gayden-less Duquesne inside, outscoring the Dukes 28-12 in the paint and outrebounding DU 40-29. The Explorers shot 49.2 percent for the game.
NOTES: Gayden injured his left (shooting) wrist after tripping while running up steps in the student union prior to shootaround ... he tried to brace himself after he stumbled, but couldn't get his left hand out of his pocket in time to break the fall ... the injury has been diagnosed as a sprained left wrist ... x-rays taken in the afternoon did not show a break ... Sean McKeon made his third career start -and first this year - in Gayden's place ... the starting lineup was DU's eighth different one this season ... Aaron Jackson saw a streak of 14 consecutive free throws made snapped on his first attempt of the game ... his last previous miss from the line was on Dec. 27 vs. Boston College ... Jackson's four 3-pointers were a career high ... Hudson's three 3-pointers tied his career high set last year at Boston College ... La Salle outscored Duquesne 23-5 in fast break points and also enjoyed a 22-8 advantage in bench points ... Duquesne shot 52.6 percent outside the 3-point arc (10-of-19) and 35.9 percent (14-of-39) inside the 3-point arc ... the Dukes, who went 18-of-20 from the foul line in their previous game at St. Bonaventure, converted a season-low 50 percent (8-of-16) from the charity stripe ... Chauncey Duke's nine rebounds were one shy of his career high ... McAllister, who finished with 20 points, has now scored 20 or more in each of DU's last three games ... he added six assists, six boards and one steals vs. the Explorers ... McAllister's steal was the only one of the game for the Dukes.
DUQUESNE HEAD COACH Danny Nee: "Keith fell going up some stairs early this afternoon. I couldn't believe it when he told me. He said his wrist popped out and he popped it back in. He had an x-ray this afternoon that didn't show a break, but the wrist is very swollen. I didn't want to play him tonight and I admire the effort he gave. Obviously he wasn't the same. The kids took it worse than I did. I could see it in their faces when Keith walked in [to pregame shootaround] with his wrist wrapped. He was playing at a very high level. Right now we're really kind of snakebitten."
"La Salle played solid. They made the plays they needed to win the game. We hit some `three's' down the stretch, but it was too late. We could never get in a position to threaten them. We have to execute and finish shots around the basket."