Dukes Lose Heartbreaker At URI, 75-73
March 10, 2003
Kingston, Rhode Island - Duquesne saw it's 2002-03 campaign come to a close on a score by Rhode Island's Howard Smith with 1.6 seconds left in the game as the Rams won the first round Atlantic 10 Championship game 75-73 Monday night at URI's Ryan Center. Kevin Forney led five Dukes in double digits with 14 points.
The Rams grabbed a quick 9-2 lead and took advantage of Duquesne's turnovers, getting 12 points on eight DU miscues, for a 23-14 lead at the second media timeout at the 11:59 mark. A Bryant McAllister jump shot and two free throws by Forney closed the first half with URI up 37-29.
The Dukes, revived during the break, came out with a 13-8 run to cut the lead to 46-42 before Lazare Adingono hit a three-pointer to get the edge back to 49-42. But again the Dukes retaliated with a 13-5 run, capped by Forney's score and Duquesne's first lead of the night at 55-54. Brian Woodward sank two free throws to get the lead back at 56-55 in time for the third media timeout of the closing stanza with 7:49 left in the game.
Forney hit a three to tie the score for the first time at 58-58 and Jimmy Tricco hit two free throws to knot it again at 60-60. Two three pointers put the Rams back up 66-61 before Simplice Njoya and Brad Midgley each dropped two free throws to tighten the game at 68-65. Tricco hit a three for the third tie at 68-68. McAllister's jump shot and two free throws gave the Dukes the lead back at 72-68 as Rhode Island called a time out with 1:08 on the clock. Simplice Njoya made one of two free throws to extend the lead to 73-70 with 28.5 seconds left in the contest. However, Rhode Island rebounded Jon Clark's missed foul shot and got the ball to Brian Woodward who banked in a three point attempt that knotted the score at 73-73. Rhode Island was awarded the ball after Njoya's shot was off the mark to set up Smith's heroics.
In addition to Forney, Tricco had 13 points, McAllister and Ron Dokes 12 each and Elijah Palmer 10 points. Forney's production moved him into 23rd place on DU's all-time scoring list with 1,099 career tallies.