Dukes Down Dayton, 73-71

Feb. 21, 2010

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PITTSBURGH - Damian Saunders, who scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half, hit a driving layup with 25.8 seconds left to help Duquesne (15-12, 6-7) to a 73-71 win over Dayton (18-8, 7-5) before the Dukes largest Palumbo Center crowd of the season.

A total of 5,144 fans saw the Dukes post their third consecutive win and second in a row over an 18-win team.

Eric Evans scored 14 points and Bill Clark added 12 for Duquesne which won at 18-8 Charlotte on Wednesday.

Chris Johnson hit six 3-pointers in leading Dayton, which went 11-of-29 from the arc, with a game-high 21.

"This was a great day to play a game like this," said Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart. "It was a tremendous environment out there today."

Chris Wright, who scored 13 of his 15 points in the opening 20 minutes, and Chris Johnson combined for 19 points as Dayton took a 33-30 lead at the half.

Dayton, which went 9-of-17 from the arc in the second half, hit three 3-pointers in the opening 3:13 to up its lead to 44-38 before Duquesne went on an 11-4 run keyed by nine points from Saunders, who put the Dukes up 49-48 with a three-point play with 12:39 to go.

UD went ahead by four on a Paul Williams 3-pointer before Clark hit a foul line jumper and Saunders scored on back-to-back dunks to put the Dukes up 61-59.

Duquesne took a six-point lead on an Evans layup before Williams hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game followed by another from Chris Johnson to tie it at 69-69 with 2:20 left.

Kurt Huelsman hit a pair of free throws to put Dayton up two before Saunders stole the ball from Rob Lowery in the backcourt and was fouled as he attempted to lay it in. Saunders made one of two to pull the Dukes within one.

Duquesne then forced Dayton's 21st turnover on a hard trap in front of the Dayton bench with 39.7 seconds left to regain possession.

Following a timeout, Saunders took the ball at the foul line and drove around an outstretched Huelsman to give the Dukes a 72-71 lead.

Chris Johnson missed a deep 3-point attempt and a held ball was called on the rebound, giving Duquesne possession with 9.9 seconds left. Clark was fouled on the inbound and hit one of two free throws to make it 73-71.

Chris Johnson missed a 3-point attempt from the right wing and both teams fumbled for the rebound as time expired.

"We didn't make our free throws down the stretch," said Everhart. "We had to win this thing with our defense."

The Dukes are off until Saturday when they head to St. Louis to take on the Saint Louis University Billikens at 8:00 p.m. (EST).


• Duquesne won despite going 2-of-18 from the 3-point arc and 17-of-31 from the foul line ... DU outscored UD 24-10 off turnovers and 18-0 in fast break points.

• Duquesne is now 8-1 in games that have tipped before 7:00 p.m. ... the lone loss came in overtime at Dayton.

• • The Dukes assisted on 15-of-27 field goals ... over the past three games, DU has 60 assists and 34 turnovers and has assisted on 60 of 90 field goals (66.7%) ... Duquesne has also forced 64 turnovers during its current three-game win streak.

• Duquesne will look to extend its two-game road win streak at Saint Louis on Saturday, Feb. 27. No DU team has ever won three consecutive Atlantic 10 road games.




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