Dukes Tame Tigers, 58-44

Dec. 5, 2009

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PITTSBURGH - Eric Evans scored a season-high 17 points and Damian Saunders added 15 as Duquesne posted a 58-44 win over Savannah State in the Chuck Cooper Classic presented by PNC Bank at the Palumbo Center.

The win upped Duquesne's record to 6-2. Savannah State, which lost 59-51 at Bowling Green on Thursday, dropped to 4-5.

Duquesne forced 21 turnovers in holding Savannah State to the lowest opponent point total since a 72-43 win over Albany on Nov. 14, 1998.

Evans, who was coming off a 3-of-17 performance in Wednesday night's 67-58 double-overtime loss to Pitt, hit 6-of-9 shots from the field and handed out five assists with just one turnover in 28 minutes.

"We really got an efficient game from Eric," said Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart. "We're trying to get him to understand that no matter what the numbers are, you have to be efficient."

Savannah State committed 16 turnovers in a first half that ended with the Dukes up 27-13. The Tigers went 4-of-13 from the field in scoring an Everhart Era opponent low 13 points.

Saunders had seven in the half as Duquesne outscored SSU 12-0 in points off turnovers.

Duquesne took its largest lead at 48-26 on an Evans layup with 8:15 left. Savannah State briefly cut it to 11 with just over two minutes to go as Duquesne made just one of its first eight free throw attempts of the second half. DU hit 8-of-8 from the stripe down the stretch to seal the win.

Bill Clark and B.J. Monteiro had nine and eight rebounds respectively for the Dukes. Freshman Sean Johnson scored a career-high seven points in 24 minutes off the bench.

Cedric Smith led Savannah State with nine points.

In all, twelve different Duquesne players saw action, including 11 in the first half.

"Having played six games in 13 days, I knew we were going to have trouble with our execution," said Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart. "But we sure guarded the ball."

Savannah State shot 36.0, while Duquesne turned it over a season-high 18 times and shot 45.7 percent.

Duquesne takes on its second Big East team in a week when it travels to Morgantown, W.Va. to face No. 7 (AP) West Virginia (5-0) on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 7:00 p.m. The game will be televised locally by Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh as part of the Big East ESPN360 regional package.


• Duquesne has now held seven of its first eight opponents under 40 percent from the field ... Savannah State finished 18-of-50 for 36.0 percent.

• Ten different Dukes saw action in the game's first 15 minutes ... 11 played in the first half and 12 in the game.

• Savannah State's 13 first half points were an Everhart Era low for points scored in a half ... the previous low was 15 scored by High Point in a 84-55 loss on Nov. 14, 2008.

• Savannah State's 44 points were the fewest by a DU opponent since Albany scored 43 in a 72-43 loss on Nov. 14, 1998.

• Evans' 17 points were two shy of his career high.

• West Virginia State defeated Davis & Elkins 88-81 in the first game of the Chuck Cooper Classic doubleheader.




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