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Robert Morris Finishes off Dukes, 64-60

 

 

Dec. 6, 2011

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PITTSBURGH - Lijah Thompson scored a game-high 17 points as Robert Morris used a game-closing 7-2 run to pull away for a 64-60 win over Duquesne at the Palumbo Center.

Eric Evans and B.J. Monteiro led Duquesne (5-4) with 16 and 13 points respectively.

Russell Johnson and Velton Jones chipped in 15 and 13 points for RMU (7-2) which is off to its best start in school history.

Duquesne, which led 32-28 at the half, never trailed in the second half until Russell Johnson - who missed his first four 3-point attempts - drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing to put the Colonials up 57-56 with 3:14 left.

DU answered with an Andre Marhold put back before Thompson began RMU's game-closing run with a pair of free throws. Monteiro missed a 3-pointer and Jerry Jones missed a put back before Thompson scored again to make it 61-58 with 30 seconds left.

Sean Johnson, who was held to four points - 13 below his average, scored on a layup with 14 seconds left. Velton Jones was quickly fouled and converted a one-and-one to make it a three-point game with 10 seconds remaining.

Evans, who went 3-of-6 from the 3-point arc, shot an air ball from the left corner that was rebounded by Coron Williams who hit the front end of a one-and-one with three seconds left for the final margin.

"We just flat got beat tonight," said Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart. "Robert Morris played hard. They are tough kids. I thought we played well until the final 2:29. We had our chances and didn't take advantage."

DU turned it over once and missed three shots in the final two minutes.

There were three ties and eight lead changes in a first half that ended with Duquesne up 32-28. Leading scorers Jones of Robert Morris (17.0 ppg.) and Johnson of Duquesne (17.9 ppg.) combined for five points and six turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.

The largest lead by either team was six by Robert Morris at 14-8. Neither team led by more than four over the last 10:34.

The two teams were nearly even in every statistical category except free throw shooting where Robert Morris was 15-of-18 and Duquesne finished 6-of-13.

T.J. McConnell had a game-high 8 assists for DU. Jerry Jones added a career-high 7 rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench. Andre Marhold posted his second consecutive double-digit rebound game with 10.

Duquesne returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Penn State at CONSOL Energy Center at 7:00 p.m. The game will not be televised. It will be the first time since 1971 that a Big Ten school will face a Dukes team in Pittsburgh.

NOTES

• The Dukes are now 25-7 in non-conference home games over the past five seasons, including a 25-6 mark at Palumbo Center.

• This is the first time since 1983-84 and 1984-85 that Robert Morris has defeated Duquesne in back-to-back games in the 22-game series ... RMU won 69-63 last year at Sewall Center ... DU leads the series 15-7 ... two two have split the last eight.

Sean Johnson, who entered the game averaging 17.9 ppg., went 2-of-7 in scoring four points ... the four points ended a double-digit scoring streak that spanned 11 games dating back to last season ... Johnson had scored at least 13 points in every game in 2011-12 prior to the RMU game ... Johnson, who entered the game 38-of-42 from the foul line, missed a pair of technical free throws in the first half ... he was coming off a career-high 25 point game vs. Tennessee Tech on Saturday.

• Guards Eric Evans and Mike Talley, who entered the game a combined 9-of-47 from the 3-point arc, combined to hit 5-of-12 vs. RMU ... Evans, who was 4-of-27, hit 3-of-6 and Talley, who was 5-of-20, hit 2-of-6.

Jerry Jones pulled down a career-high seven rebounds, including six offensive, in 19 minutes ... his previous career-best was five (twice).

Andre Marhold finished with 10 rebounds, giving him 21 in DU's past two games .... he had 24 total rebounds in Duquesne's first seven games.

• Duquesne, which assisted on 17 of 24 field goals, committed just 10 turnovers ... RMU finished with 12 assists and 13 turnovers.

 

 

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