Dukes Battle West Virginia but Lose, 68-63

Duquesne missed its first 13 shots of the second half while West Virginia came back from an eight-point halftime deficit for a 68-63 road win over the Dukes Saturday night at the Palumbo Center.

GameTracker | Box Score

Senior Aaron Jackson, who had 36 Wednesday at Radford, led Duquesne with 19 points, three rebounds, four assists and a steal. The Connecticut native stayed through all 40 minutes, going 5-of-8 from the floor, made his only three-pointer and canned 10-of-12 from the free throw line

Sophomore Damian Saunders scored 16, blocked two shots and had a team-best seven rebounds. Classmate Bill Clark added 13, 11 coming in the first half, had five rebounds and tied Jackson with four assists.

David Theis, also a soph, who hadn't played in the last two games because of a kidney bruise tallied eight points, three rebounds, one steal and one block in 34 minutes of action.

Duquesne, which shot 55 percent at Radford, hit 39% tonight and was outrebounded, 53-31. WVU corralled 26 offensive boards to DU's nine. Duquesne had a slight turnover edge, 14-15.

The Dukes, up 22-21 with 4:51 left in the first half, ran off 11 straight points to take a 33-21 lead with 1:45 remaining. West Virginia got the halftime deficit down to 35-27, the final bucket coming off an inbounds pass with 1.4 seconds left before the break.

The Dukes shot 40 percent in the opening 20 minutes, including 4-of-11 from beyond the arc, and made 11 of 12 from the charity stripe.

West Virginia outrebounded the hosts 23-14, 11 on the offensive boards which led to 11 second chance points; DU's were good for two. The Mountaineers shot 35.5% in the first half but hit just one of 11 from three-point range.

The visitors, aided by 10 offensive rebounds, scored the first 12 points of the second half to take a 39-35 lead. At the first media timeout (14:36), WVU already had 17 second half rebounds! (DU had a respectanble seven.)

Jackson hit the first of two free throws to repeat what he did in the first half, score Duquesne's first points. At the start of the game, Jackson scored after 29 seconds of play. In the second, that point came after 430 seconds had passed. Saunders traditional three-point play and two back court WVU turnovers as DU pressed qwas good for a 7-0 Duquesne run to get the Dukes's deficit to 48-46. The Mountaineers answered with a 10-2 run that put the score at 56-48 and 7:33 to go.

Jackson's trey with 4:38 to go,knotted the score at 56-56. Unfortunately Duquesne didn't get back on top. Wellington Smith's tip put the Big Esst squad back on top, 58-56.

Jackson's five points and Saunders' tipin of his own miss got the score to 66-63, with 4.4 seconds remaining.

Darryl Bryant led West Va. with 18 points. Devin Ebanks, who scored 15 points, and John Flowers each had 10 rebounds. Smith was credited with four blocks to go along with 12 points.

Duquesne continues their four-game home stand against Old Dominion, Wednesday, December 17,2008, at the Palumbo Center at 7:00 p.m.

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