Dukes Survive Scare, Defeat Arkansas-Monticello in Overtime
Nov. 24, 2009
CULLOWHEE, NC - Eric Evans converted a three-point play with 14.4 seconds left in overtime to give Duquesne a 75-72 win over Division II Arkansas-Monticello in the Cullowhee, N.C. sub-regional of the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic.
Evans scored five of his 10 points in overtime to help the Dukes pull out the win. Damian Saunders had 18 points and 16 rebounds for Duquesne. B.J. Monteiro tied Saunders for game scoring honors with a career-high 18. Bill Clark added 15 for DU.
Jeremy LaGarde scored all 17 of his points in the second half and overtime to lead Arkansas-Monticello, which went 12-of-27 from the 3-point arc.
The hard-fought win marks the third consecutive season the Dukes (4-0) have opened with four straight wins. The last time that happened was from 1960-61 through 1962-63 when DU opened 4-0, 7-0 and 5-0. Arkansas-Monticello dropped to 1-4.
"We didn't execute well enough in the second half to put them away," said Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart. "Give UAM credit, they hit some big shots. They competed really hard. We didn't contest their shooters very well."
Duquesne, which led 34-27 at the half, took an 11-point lead on a Saunders lay-up with 13:31 to go before UAM scored eight unanswered points to pull within three on a LaGarde 3-pointer at the 11:27 mark.
The Boll Weevils took the lead on another LaGarde 3-pointer with 6:08 left and went up 59-57 on a Derek Easter 3-pointer a minute later. Duquesne tied the game four times over the next 4:41 with a Monteiro free throw with 59 seconds left forcing the overtime.
DU trailed by two with 43 seconds left in overtime when Saunders hit a pair of free throws to tie it at 72-72. On Arkansas-Monticello's next possession, Saunders blocked a La Garde shot in the lane that was gathered in Evans outside the 3-point arc. Evans raced down the court, drew contact from Gil Verner, and hit the layup to put the Dukes up for good.
"Eric has been struggling," said Everhart. "But he hit that big shot at the end."
Duquesne fell behind 10-2 only to reel off 20 unanswered points to take a 22-10 lead on a Clark 3-pointer mid way through the first half. The Dukes held the Boll Weevils scoreless for nearly nine minutes during the run.
UAM, which hit six 3-pointers in the first half, connected on three in the final five minutes to pull within 34-27 at the half.
Saunders pulled down 15 of his 16 rebounds in the second half and overtime. He added four blocks and three steals in 40 minutes.
Duquesne completes play in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic sub-regional tomorrow against host Western Carolina at 7:30 p.m. The Dukes will then break for Thanksgiving before hosting Radford on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 2:00 p.m.
DU has yet to allow an opponent to shoot better than .400 from the field through four games (Nicholls State .393, at Iowa .316, vs. Binghamton .358 & vs. Arkansas-Monticello .353).
Damian Saunders double-double was the 11th of his career and fourth in as many games this season.
B.J. Monteiro's 18 points eclipsed his previous career high of 12 set last year at Dayton ... the 6-5 sophomore has scored in double digits in each of DU's past two games.