Dukes Cruise to 84-55 Win over High Point

Duquesne's men's basketball team used a smothering defense to power its offense on the way to an 84-55 win over High Point in the finale of Friday's season-opening doubleheader at the Palumbo Center.

Duquesne was led by sophomore Damian Saunders' career-high 21 points. Classmate Bill Clark tied his best with 16 points and senior Aaron Jackson added 14 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 free throws. The rest of team was 8-of-17 ( Three Dukes, Jackson, Jason Duty and Melquan Bolding, each had six rebounds. Jackson led all players with seven assists against one turnover. Saunders had a game- and career-best six steals and game-best three (of DU's 4) blocks. High Point was credited with five swat-aways. A.J. was on the court for a team-high 27 minutes.

Up 8-5, Duquesne put together an 18-0 run for an early 21-point lead. Pittsburgh-guy Eugene Harris (played 33 mins.) hit a trey to cut the deficit to 34-15 only to see the Dukes rack up the final nine points for a 43-15, 28-point lead at the break.

The Dukes made the first two baskets of the second half and led 47-15. High Point was able to just get within the 26 points and spent most of the half trailing by 30. The spread got to 37 points.

Harris had 15 points and senior Melvin Crowder added 10.

The Dukes had a 42-24 rebounding edge, 14-5 on the offensive end, and shot 52.6 percent from the floor and 38.1% from beyond the arc. High Point was held to 35.3% from the floor; they hit at a .472 rate during their 17-14, 2007-08 season.

The Panthers hit 36.4 percent from 3-point range, most coming in the second half when open shots were somewhat easier to get. HPU had 25 turnovers, one more than the Red and Blue.

In the earlier matchup, Duquesne's women's basketball team took Morehead State, 83-57.

(Note: Dave Saba reports DU's largest lead was 39 and HPU only got within 28 in the second half. Probably correct; earlier info from my scribbled notes ... :-))

The Dukes return to action next Thursday, November 20, 2008, when they travel to Loretto, Pa. for a 7:00 p.m. game with long-time rival Saint Francis.

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