Red and Blue Bow to Patriots, 80-70
Dec. 20, 2003
Jai Lewis scored 19 points and Tony Skinn came off the bench to add 13 in leading George Mason to an 80-70 win over Duquesne at the Palumbo Center. Elijah Palmer scored 20 points for Duquesne in a losing effort.
Duquesne took a 22-17 lead on a layup by Kieron Achara with 8:43 left in the first half, before Skinn answered with a 3-pointer to begin a 10-0 George Mason run. The Patriots took the lead on a Gabe Norwood 3-pointer with 6:54 left in the first half and never trailed the rest of the way.
Duquesne briefly cut the lead to one on another Achara layup, this time with 14:37 left in the second half, but George Mason responded with a 9-0 run to build a 10-point cushion at 57-47 with 11:30 remaining. DU rallied to within six on a pair of Ron Dokes free throws before Skinn answered with a pair of free throws and an assist to Mark Davis to help GMU build its lead back to nine. Duquesne could get no closer than nine the rest of the way.
George Mason took advantage of 14 first half Duquesne turnovers to build a 38-34 halftime lead. The Patriots also hit 31-of-38 free throws, while Duquesne struggled from the line, hitting just 16-of-27. Palmer, who went 9-of-9 from the field, and guard Bryant McAllister, who finished with 17 points, were the bright spots for the Dukes. Jimmy Tricco, who came into the game averaging 14.3 points per game, scored just 2 on 1-of-9 shooting. George Mason leading scorer Mark Davis also struggled, going 3-of-9 from the field for 9 points before fouling out with 8:32 left.
Lewis controlled the game in the paint, hitting 7-of-10 from close range while the elusive Skinn scored 7 of his points from the free throw line (7-of-10). Duquesne, which shot 48.1 percent from the field, hit only 2-of-13 from the 3-point arc. The Dukes finished the game with a season-high 20 turnovers. GMU didn't fare much better, shooting 46.0 percent from the field, 20.0 percent (3-of-15) from the 3-point arc. The Patriots also committed 20 turnovers.
NOTES: Duquesne missed the front end of three one-and-one free throw attempts ... there were a total of three ties and five lead changes in the first half ... George Mason led from the 6:54 mark of the first half on ... the 9-of-9 performance by Palmer upped his season field goal percentage to a team-best 58.3%.
Duquesne head coach Danny Nee: "This was very disappointing. We felt we were making progress with the games at West Virginia and at Akron [both overtime losses]. I thought we could make a statement. It just didn't happen. "When you get off to a bumpy start, you get a negative current through the team. You try to stop it by trying to find the right combination of players. There is not a player who did not try to do things the right way. Missed free throws and 14 turnovers in the first half were just fateful."
Duquesne forward Elijah Palmer: "We didn't give ourselves a chance to win at the end because we turned the ball over and missed free throws. We can't afford to give up that many turnovers, especially on our own court. The missed free throws and turnovers are correctable. We need to correct it real soon."