Aaron Jackson, who had 20 points in the first half, was 15-of-17 from the floor including a sizzling 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. He also had four rebounds, a team-best five assists, one steal and one turnover in 38 minutes of play.
Duquesne had 12-point leads in the first half and increased the margin to 17 in the second only to see Radford put together an 18-6 run and get within five, 71-66, with 7:16 left to play.
Saunders hit a pair of free throws and a refreshed Jackson canned a 3-pointer to get the comeback in motion. Duquesne outscored the Highlanders 23-9 in those 7+ minutes
Freshmen Eric Evans and Melquan Bolding also scored their season-highs of 15 and nine points, respectively. Sophomores Damian Saunders and Bill Clark also hit double figures with 11 and 10 points. Saunders had six rebounds and two blocks. Bolding led the team with three steals.
The win stopped a two-game losing streak and raised the Dukes' record to 5-2.
If anyone hadn't read the pregame stories on these teams, the first 30 seconds told what to expect. Jason Duty answered Kenny Thomas's trey with one of his own for to chance Radford's only lead to the games' only tie at 3-3.
Bolding scored the next seven Duquesne points in less than a minute-and-a half. The Atlantic 10 Conference All-Rookie team member scored all his nine points, half of the Dukes' 18-12 lead, before the first media timeout (14:35).
Evans came off the bench and canned a try giving the Red and Blue an 11-point lead, 32-21, with 7:23 left before the break. The Dukes had a 12-point edge three times, the last, 49-37, on Jackson's 18th point. DU took a 50-41 edge to the locker rooms.
Radford scored the first four points of the second before Jackson resumed his hot hand with his 22nd point, tying his sophomore career bests (versus La Salle and Northern Arizona).
The Dukes extended their advantage to as many as 17 points, 65-48, only to see the Highlanders' cut the score to 71-66 on Thomas's jump shot with 7:16 left.
Jackson, who got the wind knocked out by Thomas as he was scoring, returned to the game and hit a pair of treys to give Duquesne an 81-70 lead with 4:37 to go, setting up the 19-point victory.
Junior 6-foot-11 center Artsiom Parakhouski, a former JUCO All-American, had 14 points on 6-for-17 shooting and a game-best 20 rebounds. The taller Highlanders outrebounded Duquesne 50-30, 23 of that number came on the defensive end of the floor.
Martell McDuffy led with 21 points. Thomas and Joey Lynch-Flohr added 14 and 12 points, respectively, for 3-5 Radford. Pittsburgh native Amir Johnson dished out eight assists. Lynch-Flohr was credited with a team-high three blocks.
Duquesne next takes on the Big East's West Virginia Saturday, December 13, 2008, at the Palumbo Center at 7:00 p.m.
- Duquesne took a charter plane to Radford as a number of players have final exams tomorrow morning at 8:45. Much better than a 6-hour (or more) bus drive each way.
- Sophomore David Theis wasn't with the team. He will be available for the WVU game.
- The Dukes had 22 assists and just seven turnovers and hit an impressive 54.5 percent from the floor and 46.2% (12-26) from three-point range. Also made 10-of-12 from the charity stripe (83.3%).
- Expect similar size problems in the next game with West Virginia, which outrebounded Davidson last evening 51-28 with 23 offensive boards.
- Radford was without 6-foot-6 forward Jamar Jenkins and 6-3 guard Aaron Austin because of injuries. In addition, Chris McEachin is not playing this semester to concentrate on academics and Nick McFarlin announced yesterday he had decided to transfer.
- Duquesne used just eight players.
- Thomas was called for a technical while Oliver Lewinson was shooting a pair of foul shots. Jason Duty swished the Ts; Lewinson missed both of his.
- The game was played at Peters Hall, which is serving as RU's temporary home while the Highlanders' regular place to play - the 5,000 seat Deadmon Center - undergoes a $15.7 million renovation.