Dukes Drop Regular Season Finale to Saint Joseph's
March 4, 2017
PITTSBURGH - Saint Joseph's rallied from a double-digit second half deficit to defeat Duquesne, 63-60, in the regular season finale at the Palumbo Center.
Graduate transfer Emile Blackman led Duquesne with a season-high 26 points in his final home game.
James Demery and Chris Clover led Saint Joseph's with 19 points each.
DU's Mike Lewis II had a chance to give the Dukes the lead late, but missed a pair of free throws with the score 61-60 with :04.3 left. SJU's Jai Williams rebounded the second miss and hit a pair of free throws with three seconds left.
Saint Joseph's Nick Robinson intercepted the long inbound pass at Duquesne's top of the key, but traveled, turning the ball back to the Dukes with 0:0.4 on the clock. DU's Isiaha Mike was able to get off a 3-pointer from the right wing at the horn, but the ball glanced of the rim.
The Dukes, who led by 10 with just over 13 minutes remaining, went scoreless for 3:30 as Saint Joseph's cut the lead to 51-47.
The Hawks made it a three-point game on a Charlie Brown jumper and took a 53-52 lead on a pair of Clover free throws. Brown completed a 12-2 run with a jumper that gave SJU a 55-53 lead with six minutes left.
The Dukes managed just one field goal over a nine-minute span as SJU built its lead to 59-54.
Mike ended the drought with a jumper that made it a three-point game with just over three minutes left. Blackman then hit a pair of free throws and a driving layup to put the Dukes in front 60-59 at the 1:25 mark.
Brown answered with a baseline jumper and Blackman turned it over, giving the Hawks the ball up one.
Duquesne forced a Demery miss and Mike grabbed the rebound before the Dukes called timeout with :08.7 left.
Lewis II drove and was fouled by Brown. Lewis II, an 84.6 percent free throw shooter, missed the first and - following a Saint Joseph's timeout - missed the second.
Neither team led by more than five until Blackman and Mike hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Dukes a 31-22 lead. Darius Lewis hit a pair of free throws with four seconds left to make it 35-28 at the half.
With the loss, the Dukes secured the No. 14 seed and will open Wednesday's Atlantic 10 Championship against No. 11 Saint Louis at 8:30 p.m. The Dukes and Billikens split two regular season matchups, with DU winning 73-66 in Pittsburgh and SLU defeating the Dukes 87-81 in St. Louis.
A complete bracket for the A-10 Championship, which will be played at Pittsburgh's PPG Paints Arena from March 8-12, will be released by the conference office at the conclusion of tonight's games (the final game is Dayton at George Washington at 8:00 p.m.).