@DuqMBB Downs Cleveland State, 78-71
Nov. 27, 2016
PITTSBURGH - Mike Lewis II scored a career-high 20 points and Josh Steel added a career-best 13 off the bench to lift Duquesne to a 78-71 win over Cleveland State in a Bluegrass Showcase game at Palumbo Center.
Darius Lewis added his second career double-double (13-10) for the Dukes, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Duquesne took its largest lead at 61-43 on a pair of Eric James free throws with 9:40 left, only to see Cleveland State score the next 18 points to tie it on a Demonte Flanigan bucket with 5:18 left.
DU led by one when Lewis II hit a jumper and Steel followed with a pair of three throws to make it 72-67 with 2:43 to go.
CSU would get no closer than four the rest of the way as Duquesne got baskets from Emile Blackman and Darius Lewis followed by a pair of free throws from Rene Castro to make it a nine-point game with 1:06 left.
The Dukes, who broke out of a three-game 15-of-65 3-point slump by hitting 6-of-14 from beyond the arc, held Cleveland State to 38.5 percent shooting.
Steel (three 3-pointers) and Lewis II combined for five of the six 3-point makes, as DU finished at 49.1 percent from the field.
There were three ties and 12 lead changes in a first half that ended with the Dukes on top, 33-30. DU closed the half with a 9-2 run fueled by a James 3-pointer and a pair of buckets by Darius Lewis.
DU briefly took a nine-point lead with just over four minutes into the second half, before CSU answered with a 7-0 run.
The Dukes then got a 3-pointer and layup from Steel and another three from Mike Lewis II to take a 52-43 lead with 11:39 left.
James' free throws that gave the Dukes their 18-point lead completed a 12-0 run.
Duquesne returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 30 when it hosts UMBC (4-1) at 7:00 p.m. at Palumbo Center (A-10 Network).
Freshman Mike Lewis II set new career highs for points (20), rebounds (5) and steals (2) in a team-high 36 minutes.
Josh Steel's 13 points eclipsed his previous career high of 11 set last year vs. UMass ... his three 3-pointers tied his career high set in that UMass game ... it was the second career double-digit scoring game for the sophomore.
Duquesne broke out of a three-game, 15-of-65 (.231) 3-point shooting slump by hitting 6-of-14 from the arc vs. the Vikings.
DU head coach Jim Ferry is now 3-0 vs. Horizon League schools, with all three wins coming while at Duquesne ... the others were 84-74 over Youngstown State at home in his fifth game at DU (11/21/12) and 96-92 (OT) over Milwaukee in last year's Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Fla. (11/24/15).
There were four ties and 12 lead changes - all but one tie - with 5:18 left - occurred in the first half ... Cleveland State's largest lead was four points at 28-24 with 3:17 left in the first half ... Duquesne's largest lead was 18 (61-43) with 9:21 left ... Duquesne led for 28:10, Cleveland State led for 9:47.