Dukes Snap George Mason's Home Win Streak at 18 with 75-64 win
Dec. 21, 2011
FAIRFAX, VA. - Sean Johnson came off the bench to lead four players in double figures with 14 points as Duquesne ended George Mason's home win streak at 18 with a 75-64 win at the Patriot Center.
Ryan Pearson and Vertrail Vaughns led George Mason (7-4) with 13 points each.
Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart, unhappy with Duquesne's effort in an 85-71 loss at Western Michigan on Saturday, shook things up with a starting lineup that included three sophomores - McConnell, Mike Talley and Jerry Jones - along with true freshmen Kadeem Pantophlet and Mamadou Datt.
It was the first career start for Jones, Pantophlet and Datt and first start of this season for Talley.
Datt responded with career highs for both points (8) and rebounds (9) in a career high 29 minutes.
"We've always had some obstacles to overcome at Duquesne ever since I got there," said head coach Ron Everhart in addressing his lineup change. "The last thing I ever want to be is a coach who has a `cool' basketball team. I thought our last game was the first time in a lot of years, maybe ever since I've been here, that we came out and were too cool to play hard. I felt we needed to send a message to our elder statesmen and I think they received that message pretty well."
All five of the starters scored in the first 4:45 as the Dukes took a 13-10 lead on a Datt dunk at the 14:53 mark.
The Dukes took the lead for good on a McConnell 3-pointer with 12:56 left. DU led by as many as 15 in the half that ended with the Dukes up 40-31.
Mason scored the first eight points of the second half to pull within one on a Pearson layup with 16:29 to go. Mike Morrison missed a dunk off an inbounds pass that would have given GMU its first lead since early in the first half and the Dukes made them pay.
Johnson rebounded the miss and fed McConnell for a layup and Monteiro followed with a steal and found McConnell at the top of the key for a 3-pointer that built the lead to six.
George Mason briefly cut it to four before DU went on a 10-0 run keyed by a pair of Johnson 3-pointers to take a 55-41 lead with 10:41 to go. George Mason never got closer than eight the rest of the way as Evans closed the door with four free throws in the final 1:07.
"One of the things we talked about during timeouts was stay tough, be resilient" said Everhart. "We have a drill we do every day at practice called the ironman - its pretty tough. Players have to dive for loose balls, then jump up and take charges all in one drill. One of our players said before the game, `Coach, this is going to be a 40-minute ironman.' We kept talking about that during timeouts."
Mason, which entered the game leading the Colonial Athletic Association in rebound margin at +4.6 was outrebounded 32-28. The Dukes registered 12 steals in forcing 22 Patriot turnovers and went 8-of-16 from the 3-point arc with Johnson going 3-of-4.
Duquesne shot 46.4 percent to 48.1 percent for George Mason.
Duquesne breaks for Christmas before returning to action against Bowling Green on Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 7:00 p.m. at the Palumbo Center.
George Mason's last home loss was on March 16, 2010 to Fairfield (101-96) in the opening round of the CIT ... the last time GMU fell by at least 10 points at home was in February 2007 against Old Dominion ... the 18-game home win streak was tied for the 10th longest active streak in NCAA Division I.
DU has yet to drop back-to-back games this season ... the Dukes are now 1-3 on the road in 2011-12 ... the win snapped a four-game series losing streak.
Duquesne now has three wins over teams that appeared in last year's NCAA tournament: Akron (at a neutral site), Penn State (at CONSOL Energy Center) and at George Mason.
Duquesne started a lineup of freshman Mamadou Datt, freshman Kadeem Pantophlet, sophomore Jerry Jones, sophomore Mike Talley and sophomore T.J. McConnell ... it was the first career start for Datt, Pantophlet and Jones ... it was the first start this season for Talley ... all five starters scored in the first 4:45.
Freshman forward Mamadou Datt eclipsed his previous career highs with eight points and nine rebounds ... he entered the game with 11 points in 11 games with never more than two in a game ... his previous career high for rebounds was five set in the opener at Arizona and tied in the second game of the season against Green Bay ... Datt had six points and six boards at the half.