Dukes Drop Reg. Season Finale At UMass, 69-64
March 5, 2005
Amherst, Mass - Rashaun Freeman and Stephane Lasme scored 16 points each to lead Massachusetts to a 69-64 win over Duquesne in the regular-season finale at Amherst.
Freeman hit two key buckets in the final 3:27 after Duquesne cut a UMass lead from 11 three with 4:21 to go. Lasme, who entered the game a 56 percent career free throw shooter, went 14-of-14 from the line with the last two coming with 13 seconds left to provide the final margin.
Bryant McAllister scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half to lead Duquesne. Kieron Achara, who went 9-of-11 from the foul line, and DeVario Hudson added 13 and 12 points for the Dukes. Achara was the only Duquesne player to attempt a free throw. The Minutemen, who had three fewer field goals than the Dukes, went 22-of-31 from the foul line.
Duquesne turned it over 12 times in falling behind 37-30 at the half. McAllister scored two quick buckets and Achara added a pair of free throws in the first three minutes of the second half to pull the Dukes within one at 37-36. DU took a 41-39 lead on a 3-pointer by Chauncey Duke with 15:09 left, before UMass answered with an 11-0 run that consisted of eight made free throws - including six by Lasme - and a 3-pointer by Artie Bowers to take a 50-41 lead.
The lead reached 11 with 9:25 to go before Duquesne held UMass scoreless for the next 5:28 and pulled within three on a pair of Achara free throws at the 4:21 mark. It was then that Freeman hit his pair of key buckets.
Duquesne cut the lead to two twice in the last 1:15 and had a chance to tie the game with 18 seconds left when McAllister misfired on a step-back 3-point attempt. Lasme was then fouled with UMass up 67-64 and made both for the final margin.
Stephane Lasme and Rasual Freeman led the Minutemen with 16 points each. Lasme had a double-double with 11 rebounds and was a perfect 14-14 from the free throw line.
Massachusetts took a 2-1 lead 78 seconds into the first half on Lasme's first pair of free throws. UMass extended the lead to as many as 11 points and took a 37-30 edge at halftime.
Duquesne powered back at the start of the second half launching an 11-2 run and retaking the lead, 41-39, on freshman Chauncey Duke's three-pointer with 15:09 left to play. Massachusetts responded with an 11-0 three-minute run, which included six Lasme free throws, to gain a 50-41 lead. Hudson found Achara under the basket for a layup which started DU's 12-6 run, cutting the deficit to 56-53 on two free throws by Achara with 4:21 left in the game. (The sophomore, who was the only Duke sent to the charity stripe, hit nine of 11 attempts).
Layups by Lawrence Carrier and Freeman put the Minutemen up seven, 60-53, with 3:27 on the clock. Duquesne, facing Massachusetts' box-and-one defense (on McAllister) in the game's final minutes, scored layups off two Osimani assists and cut the lead to 66-64 on a layup by Oso with 34 seconds remaining. UMass made three of four free throws down the stretch to ice the game, 69-64.
The Dukes end the regular season with an 8-21 record, 5-11 in Atlantic 10 play. Duquesne gains the fifth seed from the West Division as La Salle lost to Temple 73-67 this afternoon. The Dukes win the tiebreaker over the Explorers (9-18, 5-11) since DU swept the La Salle series this season.
Duquesne faces Fordham (12-15, 8-8) in next week's A-10 Championship Tournament at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9, 2005. The Rams are the fourth seed from the East Division.
UMass upped their record to 16-11, 9-7 (#3 East) and takes on La Salle in the second game of the A-10 Championship first day afternoon doubleheader at approximately 2:20 p.m.