Mountaineers Edge Dukes, 68-63
Dec. 13, 2008
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Darryl Bryant scored 18 points and West Virginia overcame a 12-point deficit by holding Duquesne without a basket for 11 minutes and controlling the backboards to rally for a 68-63 victory Saturday night.
Bryant scored all but six of his points in the second half as the Mountaineers (7-2), playing without injured guards Alex Ruoff and Joe Mazzulla, surged back to defeat Duquesne (5-3) for the sixth consecutive season.
Devin Eubanks had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Wellington Smith scored 12 and John Flowers had 10 rebounds as West Virginia outrebounded the Dukes 53-31, a major key during the Mountaineers' second-half surge.
Before that, Duquesne went without a basket from the 2:22 mark of the first half when B.J. Monteiro scored, during an 11-0 Dukes run that gave them a 33-21 lead, until Aaron Jackson hit a driving layup with 11:22 left.
West Virginia outscored Duquesne 27-6 while turning the 12-point deficit into a 48-39 advantage, then held on after Duquesne cut it to 60-58 on Jackson's basket with a minute remaining.
The key basket may have been Smith's drive as the buzzer sounded to end the first half, after two Jackson free throws restored Duquesne's double-digit lead at 35-25. Smith's basket started a 14-0 run in which Bryant scored twice, Kevin Jones hit a 3-pointer and Eubanks' putback made it 39-35.
Duquesne missed its first 13 shots in the second half and didn't score until Jackson's free throw with 12:50 remaining.
With the two injured guards out, Bryant, a freshman, played a season-high 36 minutes after not playing more than 27 minutes until Saturday. His previous scoring high was 16 against Longwood. Eubanks, another freshman, has 44 rebounds in his last three games.
Jackson, coming off a 36-point game against Radford, scored 19, Damian Saunders had 16 and Bill Clark had 13 for Duquesne, which shot only 38.9 percent (21-of-54) -- though that was better than West Virginia's 37.1 percent (26-of-70).
The Mountaineers, bouncing back from a 68-65 loss to No. 23 Davidson, overcame some horrendous shooting at times -- they were 3-of-23 from 3-point range -- to hold off an undersized and freshman-laden Duquesne team that has played No. 3 Pittsburgh and No. 7 Duke among its last four games.
West Virginia, playing on the road for the sixth time in seven games, was especially dominant on the offensive boards, holding a 26-9 advantage that gave the Mountaineers repeated second and third chances and negated a Duquesne press that worked well during the first half.