#DUQMBB Uses Balanced Attack to Defeat George Mason, 81-69
March 8, 2014
FAIRFAX, VA - Derrick Colter hit a career-high five 3-pointers to lead five Duquesne players in double figures with 21 points as DU used its long-range shooting to defeat George Mason 81-69 in the regular season finale for both schools at the Patriot Center.
With the win, DU (13-16, 5-11) secured the No. 10 seed and will face No. 7 Richmond (18-13, 8-8) in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championship on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.
George Mason (11-19, 4-12), which was led by Sherrod Wright's 25 points, will be seeded No. 12 and will face No. 13 Fordham (9-20, 2-14) in the Championship opening round game on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.
"We were picked last in this league and to finish tenth - believe it or not - is an accomplishment in this league with a young team," said Duquesne head coach Jim Ferry. "It's one of the best conferences in America, yet I think its a tournament anybody can win. I really do feel there are a lot of teams who can win it."
Colter added a career-high 8 rebounds and 4 assists in 34 turnover-free minutes.
There were five ties and eight lead changes - with neither team leading by more than four - before Gill hit three 3-pointers in a 2:03 span to ignite a game-breaking 20-2 run that spanned halftime.
Gill's first 3-pointer gave the Dukes a 30-29 lead and his third made it 36-29 with 2:01 to go in half.
Soko followed with a dunk off a pass from Desmond Ridenour to up the lead to nine.
Wright, who matched Gill's 11 first half points, hit a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 38-31 at intermission.
Colter hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the second half and Jeremiah Jones added another to up the lead to 47-31 under three minutes in.
Duquesne took its largest lead on Gill's final 3-pointer that made it 54-36 with 14:29 left.
Bryon Allen capped 9-2 run with a pair of free throws to make it 69-63, but the Dukes answered with a 7-0 run capped by a Mason layup that built the lead back to 13 with 2:06 to go.
George Mason would get no closer than 11 the rest of the way.
DU, which went 11-of-21 from the 3-point arc, shot .667 in the second half on its way to finishing at .527.
The Dukes outrebounded the Patriots 42-27.
"I think we're really playing good basketball down the stretch right now when its really important to" said Ferry. "Anything can happen right now. You gotta get in there, you gotta play and you gotta play one game at a time."
Duquesne will leave for Brooklyn on Tuesday.
The victory upped DU's road record to 7-6 ... it is just the fifth time since 1955 that Duquesne has won seven or more road games.
This is the third time since 1971 that the Dukes have posted a winning road record (2009 & 2011 are the others).
Duquesne's largest lead was 18 (54-36) with 14:08 remaining ... George Mason's largest lead was four (29-25) with 4:34 left in the first half ... there were 5 ties and 8 lead changes before L.G. Gill gave the Dukes the lead for good on a the first of three consecutive 3-pointers with 4:04 left in the first half.
Derrick Colter's 21 points were his most since he had 23 in the season opener vs. Abilene Christian ... Colter hit a career-high five 3-pointers (5-8) and added a career-high 8 rebounds and 4 assists in 34 turnover-free minutes.
With his four assists, sophomore Colter is now one assist shy of becoming the fifth player in school history to post 100 or more assists in his first two seasons ... Colter, who has 99 this year, handed out 156 as a freshman.
Micah Mason, who entered the game as the nation's leading 3-point shooter (.571), went 1-of-2 from the arc in scoring 11 points ... Mason is now 65-of-114 (.570) from 3-point for the season.
L.G. Gill came off the bench to score 16 points ... the Virginia native missed his first two shots before hitting his last five, including four from 3-point (4-6 from the arc overall).
No. 10 seed Duquesne will play No. 7 Richmond in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championship on Thursday, Mar. 13 at 6:30 p.m. The winner will face the No. 2 seed (TBD) on Friday at 6:30 p.m.