Dukes Edge Explorers, 77-72
Feb. 23, 2005
Bryant McAllister hit seven of eight free throws over the final 47 seconds to help Duquesne snap a five-game losing streak with a 77-72 victory over La Salle at the Palumbo Center. McAllister, who scored 18 of his team-high 21 points in the second half, flirted with a triple-double by adding a career-high nine assists and eight rebounds. La Salle's Jermaine Thomas, who hit three of his seven 3-pointers in the final minute, finished with a game-high 33 points. Steven Smith added 22 points for the Explorers.
La Salle took a 60-52 lead on a Thomas 3-pointer at the 6:48 mark before Duquesne answered with an 11-0 run capped by a McAllister 3-pointer to put the Dukes up 63-60 with 3:36 left. Tyler Bluemling, who scored a season-high 11 points before fouling out, and Martin Osimani both hit 3-pointers during the run. Duquesne upped its lead to seven when Kieron Achara hit one of two free throws with 58 seconds left to make the score 68-61.
That's when Thomas, who finished 7-of-8 from the arc, answered with the first of his last-minute 3-pointers. Thomas' last 3-pointer cut Duquesne's lead to 73-71 with 13 seconds left. McAllister was then fouled for the third time in the final 27 seconds and hit both to make the score 75-71. Thomas was then fouled in the backcourt and hit one of two free throws, the second of which was rebounded by Duquesne's Chauncey Duke. Duke was fouled and hit both with eight seconds left for the final score.
La Salle shot 58.3 percent from the field in jumping out to a 39-32 halftime lead. The Explorers' on the strength of eight points from Steven Smith in the opening moments of the second half took their largest lead of the game at 53-42 with 15:46 left before Duquesne battled back. The Dukes, who outrebounded La Salle 44-29, held the Explorers to 40 percent shooting in the second half to get back in the game.
NOTES: Duquesne assisted on 21 of its 28 field goals ... Keith Gayden came off the bench to tie his career-high with nine rebounds, seven of which came at the offensive end ... DeVario Hudson blocked a career-high five shots ... DU, which attempted just one free throw in the first half, went 13-of-17 from the line in the second 20 minutes ... La Salle entered the game 8-0 when leading at the half ... Duquesne is now 6-0 when scoring 75 or more points.
Duquesne head coach Danny Nee: "Bryant had a very poor first half, with foul trouble. I thought he played magnificent in the second half. He's a great player. He always catches the [opposing team's] best defender. This was a game of runs, I don't think Thomas and Smith could play any better than they played. We did a nice job of making free throws down the stretch."
Duquesne senior guard Martin Osimani: "Bryant came out of the locker room and gave us a spark. I saw him going hard and going at it. He set the tone for the whole team."