Dukes In A-10 Champs Following Charlotte Win

Well, folks, we all can breathe now. Duquesne is headed to Atlantic City next week for the 2008 Atlantic 10 Conference Men's Basketball Championships. The deciding factor was Charlotte's 77-61 win over George Washington Thursday night in North Carolina. GW was playing without one of its stars.

Maureece Rice, last season's leading scorer for the Colonials, was dismissed from the basketball team, GW announced shortly before tonight's game. For more, please click here .

George Washington (9-16, 5-10 A-10) was up by seven, 18-11, with 7:15 left in the first half. Charlotte's 13-0 run put the 49ers ahead for good. The halftime score was 29-25 in favor of the hosts.

In the second half, GW charged back from a 46-35 deficit and got within one, 56-55, on Damian Hollis's jump shot with just under five minutes left in the game. Charlotte (17-12, 8-7) closed the game with a 22-6 run for the 16-point victory.

George Washington's loss guarantees Duquesne (16-12, 6-9) a slot in the A-10 tournament. Now DU joins 10 other teams vying for the best slot possible in next week's single elimination event.

Lamont Mack led four Charlotte players in double figures with 17 points. An'Juan Wilderness and Mack each had eight rebounds. Michael Gerrity had seven assists vs. three turnovers. Phil Jones was credited with four blocks and Leemire Goldwire had four steals.

GW's Rob Diggs had 16 points, Wynton Witherspoon 14, and Noel Wilmore scored 13 points. Xavier Alexander led all players with 14 rebounds and Diggs grabbed 10. Johnny Lee, a second year walk-on who started his eighth game of the year, had six assists vs. three turnovers.

The Colonials close the regular season schedule Saturday at Massachusetts (20-9, 9-6), still with a chance to get into the tourney. The 49ers travel to Rhode Island (21-9, 7-8) in their last pre-tournament contest. And Duquesne hosts Saint Louis (16-13, 7-8) Saturday afternoon on senior day.

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