Dukes Tame Nittany Lions, 66-59
Dec. 10, 2011
PITTSBURGH - Eric Evans scored 15 of his game-high 20 points in the second half as Duquesne shook off a slow start to defeat Penn State 66-59 before a crowd of 7,046 at CONSOL Energy Center.
Jerry Jones added a career-high 14 points off the bench for the Dukes who shot 51.9 percent in the second half in upping their record to 6-4.
Tim Frazier scored 15 for Penn State which dropped its third in a row to fall to 6-5.
Evans had four of Duquesne's 11 steals. T.J. McConnell added three steals and a game-high eight assists.
Duquesne, which shot 30.8 percent in the first half, forced 13 of PSU's 23 turnovers in the second 20 minutes, including six in the first 6:54 of the second half. Penn State's 59 points - including 27 in the second half - were a Duquesne opponent season low.
"We gave a great effort in the second half," said Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart who is now 2-2 all time against the Big Ten. "We were able to get our defense to turn into offense. Everybody contributed to the outcome of this game."
Duquesne hit eight of its first 10 shots of the second half in mounting a 19-7 run to take a 48-39 lead. DU trailed 39-37 when Jones ignited an 11-0 run with a layup off a pass from Evans. Evans hit a jumper and McConnell followed with a fast break layup to make it 43-39. Evans converted a three-point play and Jones followed with a fast break score to make it 48-39.
DU built the lead to 53-42 before the Nittany Lions cut it to five on a pair of Cammeron Woodyard free throws. The Dukes answered with a Mamadou Datt layup off a pass from Mike Talley followed by a B.J. Monteiro drive to make it 57-48 with 5:51 remaining. Evans added a jumper to give DU a 59-50 lead.
Duquesne went scoreless over the next 3:42 as PSU pulled to within five on a Jermaine Marshall layup with 2:44 left. Evans ended the drought on a fast break layup off a pinpoint pass from McConnell to make it 61-54 with 1:19 left.
Marshall, who finished with 12 points, cut it to four on a 3-pointer with 40 seconds left before Evans hit a free throw and Jones added two more for the final margin.
There were six ties and six lead changes in a first half that ended with Penn State up 32-29. The largest lead by either team was five by Penn State with 22 seconds left. Duquesne, which shot 30.8 percent in the opening 20 minutes, missed eight consecutive shots - including seven 3-pointers - from the 7:28 mark until Kadeem Pantophlet scored on a put back with 1:53 to go.
"The defensive effort we had at the end of the first half really saved us tonight," said Everhart.
Penn State outshot Duquesne 42.9 percent to 41.5 percent for the game. Neither team was particularly effective from the 3-point arc with PSU going 4-of-16 and Duquesne finishing 5-of-24.
Duquesne, which is in the middle of Final exams, returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 17 at Western Michigan (2:00 p.m. ET).
The Dukes are 2-2 in home games at CONSOL Energy Center.
Duquesne is 5-15 all-time against schools from the Big Ten, including a 2-1 mark at home ... this was DU's first home game against a Big Ten school since Dec. 10, 1971 (an 80-75 win over Iowa at the Civic Arena).
Jerry Jones scored 11 of his career-high 14 points in the second half ... his previous career high was 10 points set against Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 26 ... Jones' 23 minutes played were also a career high.
This was the third career 20-point game for Eric Evans ... its was his first since he scored a career-high 23 vs. Fordham on Mar. 5, 2010 (his sophomore season).
There were 10 ties and nine lead changes before Duquesne took the lead for good on an Evans jumper with 14:56 left.