La Salle Holds Off Dukes Charge for 75-72 Win

One area of consistency this season has been Duquesne's record against the three Atlantic 10 Conference teams played twice. It's unanimous at 1-1, as today La Salle held on for a 75-72 victory over the Dukes at the Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh.

(Fordham and St. Bonaventure are the others.)

Box Score | Recap summary | Nellie King

Duquesne's (16-10, 6-7) losing streak is now three with three games remaining on the regular schedule. La Salle (13-13, 7-5) has won four straight, all after Duquesne's 101-84 road win over the Explorers on Feb. 9th. LSU is now 7-6 on the road - 5-1 in A-10 road games.

La Salle's run at the end of the first half that gave the Explorers a 41-34 lead was the biggest difference in Sunday's loss to LSU, according to Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart in his postgame radio interview.

Rebounding, Darnell Harris's clutch play at the end of the game and Duquesne's below the penalty foul total also contributed to that result. The Dukes needed five fouls in the final 1:13 before the Explorers got the bonus. Unfortunately, Harris made both with 16 seconds left.

La Salle went up by as many as 13 points, 47-36, early in the second half. The Dukes picked up their defense and got to within one on Gary Tucker's trey from the free throw line. Senior leader and A-10 Co-POTW Darnell Harris got the edge back to three with a couple free throws of his own. Freshman Bill Clark had two opportunuties to tie the game in the final 16 seconds but missed on both attempts beyond the arc.

Tucker led all scorers with 23 points, a new career mark. Tucker, who played 38 minutes for the day's Iron Duke award, was 7-of-12 from the floor- 2-of-5 from the three and 7-of-8 at the charity stripe. Six of those attempts came as a result of La Salle fouls on treys - he made five.

Aaron Jackson was Duquesne's other double-digit scorer with 11 points, 10 in the first half. Jackson had a game-best five assists. He, Tucker and Reggie Jackson each had three steals.

Shawn James had his second-straight seven-block game, extending his season total to 105, and 437 in his career. The Brooklyn, N.Y. native moved past Tennessee Tech's Lorenzo Coleman into ninth place in college basketball's career blocked shots list. Three will tie him with Emeka Okafor in eighth place.

Harris, who came into the game with a better average from the three-point range (49.8%) than overall (45.6%), was just 3-for-9 from the arc today, had 18 points. Guillandeaux added 17. Yves Mekongo Mbala had a game-best 10 rebounds. Harris, Paul Johnson and Guillandeaux each had three assists. Sherman Diaz had a pair of blocks.

Free throw shooting kept Duquesne in the game as they hit 20-of-25, 80.0 percent. DU shot 38.1% (24/63) including 20% (4/20) from three-point land while La Salle's numbers were 43.5% (30/69) and 41.7% (10/24), respectively.

The Dukes had 11 blocks to La Salle's two and led 11-6 on steals.

La Salle won the battle of the boards, 45-37. On the offensive boards, it was 17 to DU's 14 for 20 second chance points to the Red & Blue's 13.

Assists/turnovers were 17/16 La Salle and 15/12 Duquesne for 1.06 and 1.25 ratios, respectively.

The Dukes have a week off before heading to North Carolina for another Sunday 2:00 p.m. contest, this one with Charlotte (15-11, 6-6) on March 2, 2008. The 49ers snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday with an 81-64 home win over Saint Louis. Charlotte head coach Bobby Lutz became the 49ers' all-time leader with 183 wins (183-123).

Kimmani Barrett sank a three-pointer to open the scoring. It took Duquesne just 17 seconds to get their first lead, 4-3, on Aaron Jackson's fastbreak layup.

Ruben Guillandeaux, who didn't play in the earlier match, hit his first shot off the bench, a trey that tied the game at 8-8. Yves Makongo Mbala's jump shot put the Explorers back up, 10-8. Tucker's three-pointer 13 seconds later put DU on top, 11-10. The Dukes extended the lead to as many as eight, 24-16.

The Explorers tied the game, 26-26, on another Mbala three. After a couple lead changes, Shawn James's traditional three-point play knotted it again, 31-31, with 4:01 on the clock. LSU closed with a 10-3 run for a 41-34 edge at the break.

La Salle scored the first six points of the second half for their largest lead at 13 points, 47-34, with 17:47 left to play. Tucker's baseline drive got the Dukes on the second half scoreboard.

Five points via a pair of layups, and one, by Kieron Achara capped a 14-3 run that put the Dukes within 2, 50-48, with 13:39 to go. Kojo Mensah's two free throws a minute-and-a-half later got the Dukes even at 52-52, the fourth tie of the game. Reggie Jackson's free throws answered Guillandeaux' jump shot for a 54-54 tie.

Harris, who had 100 three-pointers coming into the game but missed his first six attempts, started La Salle's answer with his first trey that put LSU up for good.

    La Salle built their lead to nine, 64-55, on a Guillandeaux jump shot with 7:46 on the clock. A couple minutes later Clark's three-pointer cut the lead to 67-65.

    Rodney Green's layup (2:56) gave La Salle a 72-65 edge. Damian Saunders' layup and Tuck's free throws put the Dukes within one, 73-72, with 28 seconds left. Harris's free throws sealed the win. In the final 10+ minutes, Harris made a trio of treys, a jump shot and those two free throws.

    Note: Former Pittsburgh Pirate pitcher, Duquesne Sports Information Director and longtime analyst with Ray Goss on Duquesne game radio broadcasts Nellie King was honored during the game. Mr. King was in a wheel chair.

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