Dukes Knock Off Charlotte, 83-77
Feb. 17, 2010
CHARLOTTE - Duquesne (14-12, 5-7) erased a 10-point second half deficit with a 16-1 run and hit four free throws in the final 22 seconds to hold on for an 83-77 win at Charlotte (18-7, 8-3).
Shamari Spears led Charlotte, which entered the game 9-1 at home, with 20 points.
Duquesne was down 50-40 with just over 17 minutes left, when Damian Saunders, who finished with 11 points and six blocks, ignited the 16-1 run with a steal and dunk and followed by another steal and feed to Melquan Bolding for a layup. Clark cut it to three with a 3-pointer before Charlotte scored its lone point on a Charles Dewhurst free throw. Seven-foot Kentucky transfer Morakinyo Williams, who set new career highs with eight points and nine rebounds, scored on a dunk and short jumper to tie it at 45-45 with 14:45 left. Williams' back-to-back buckets started a 9-0 run that ended with a Saunders dunk that put the Dukes up 60-54 with 10:23 to go.
Duquesne took its largest lead at 67-58 on a Jason Duty 3-pointer with 6:57 left. The Dukes led by eight with 41 seconds to go before DiJuan Harris, who finished with 15 points, converted a three-point play and Ian Andersen turned a DU turnover into a 3-point field goal to cut the lead to 79-77 with 26 seconds left. Duty was then fouled and converted a pair of free throws four seconds later to put the Dukes up four. DU got a stop on Charlotte's next possession before freshman Sean Johnson iced the game with two free throws with seven seconds on the clock.
"We fought and scratched and clawed," said Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart. "We stepped up to the line and made some big free throws late. We've been in so many tough games that it felt great to see the way we responded. We executed very well down the stretch."
Williams, who did not play in Duquesne's 103-82 win over La Salle on Sunday, helped limit Spears, who had 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting in the first half, to seven points on 1-of-8 shooting in the second half.
"Who would have thought that in a running, pressing program that Big Mike would give us the minutes he did," said Everhart. "He guarded Spears extremely well."
Duquesne held the 49ers to 32.8 percent shooting in its best defensive performance since holding Iowa to an opponent season low 31.6 percent in a 52-50 win on Nov. 17.
DU, which finished with eight more field goals than Charlotte, was outscored 29-15 from the foul line. The Dukes went 8-of-22 from the 3-point arc, while Charlotte finished 4-of-18.
Duquesne assisted on 22 of 30 field goals in shooting 48.4 percent.
Duquesne returns home to face Dayton on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 1:00 p.m. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN2. It will be the first ESPN2 game to emanate from the Palumbo Center since 2001.
It was the second consecutive game the Dukes erased a double digit deficit to win ... DU trailed by 14 in the first half of Sunday's 103-82 win over La Salle and was down 50-40 with 16:49 left at Charlotte.
The win was Duquesne's first in a North Carolina school's arena since a 53-33 win at NC State on Jan. 14, 1937 ... DU had lost 14 in a row - including three at Charlotte - in Tar Heel State gyms.
The Dukes assisted on 22 of 30 field goals in the win ... over the past two games the Dukes have 45 assists and 23 turnovers and have assisted on 45 of 63 field goals (71.4%).
Duquesne, which entered Sunday's game vs. La Salle averaging 67.5 ppg. has scored 186 points in its past two games (93.0 ppg.).