Dukes Take Charlotte, 76-71, in A-10 Opener

Duquesne, behind senior Aaron Jackson's second 30-point game and double-doubles from sophomores Bill Clark and Damian Saunders, outlasted Charlotte to open the Atlantic 10 Conference schedule with a 76-71 win Wednesday night at the Palumbo Center on the Bluff. The Dukes, who have won five straight, are now 10-4, 1-0 in the league.

o Box Score
o Jackson Goes Over 1,000 Points in 100th Game
o Duquesne 1,000 Point Scorers


Duquesne had the lead for the most minutes but couldn't shake Charlotte which was without two important players because of injury. The Niners made use of their size advantage, at times, but couldn't overcome the Dukes' pressure play.

Senior Aaron Jackson, the A-10 Player of the Week, tallied 30 points on 10-for-17 shooting including 4-of-8 from three-point range. Jackson also had six assists, two rebounds, a steal and his first block of the season. (He scored 36 in the 94-75 win at Radford last month)

Sophomore Bill Clark recorded the second double-double of his career with 15 points and a career-best 14 rebounds. Classmate Damian Saunders hit his third doubles of season and career with 12 points and 11 rebounds to go along with four assists and two blocks. Junior Jason Duty, via three treys, scored 10 points and had three assists and two rebounds.

The teams traded leads at the start until Jackson's trey put the Dukes up 11-9 with 14:25 to go in the half.

    Less than a minute later, he swished a free throw for his eighth point of the night and 1,000th of his career. The Connecticut native is 30th overall at Duquesne with 1,022 career points.

With 8:52 left in the period, Jackson's layup gave the Red and Blue their largest lead of the half, and the game, 20-13. The Niners regained the advantage on Ian Anderson's fourth three-pointer to make it 28-25 with 4:59 on the clock.

Duquesne regained their seven-point edge with a 10-3 run, 35-28, only to see the visitors charge back and tie the game, 35-35, with seven seconds remaining on an improbable four-point play from Charlie Coley's bank-in, shot put-type 3-pointer ... and one.

Clark canned a trey for Duquesne's initial second half lead, 43-40, with 17:46 left. Rashad Coleman's 3-pointer tied the game at 48 (15:03). Duty got the edge back with an extra-pointer of his own 20 seconds later.

Anderson's fifth, and final, trey returned the ad to Charlotte, 55-54, 11:53 on the clock. Freshman Malquan Bolding scored five-straight points and Jackson hit another three as Duquesne once again held a 7-point edge, 62-55, at 9:25.

Charlotte wasn't done by a long shot as Coleman's trey returned the lead ot the visitors, 65-64, two minutes later. Phil Jones's layup made the margin three, which Saunders matched for another tie. Javarris Barnett's exclamation-point dunk gave Charlotte the edge one last time, 69-67, with 5:19 to go.

It took two minutes for the next score, a Saunders' fastbreak dunk, and then another two for Jackson's basket that put the Dukes on top for good, 71-69.

Charlotte was led by Coley's 17 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Anderson and Lamont Mack scored 15 points apiece. Coleman and Dijuan Harris each dished out six assists for the 5-8, 0-1 squad.

Duquesne leaves the Pittsburgh area for first time since December 10th when they head to southwestern New York for a Saturday, January 14, 2009, 4:00 p.m. game against surprising St. Bonaventure in the Reilly Center. The Bonnies also won their season opener tonight, 78--65, on the road at Fordham to raise their record to 10-4, 1-0, also. The A-10 preseason poll picked the Dukes for 12th and SBU, 13th.

Notes

  • Charlotte was without sophomores Charles Dewhurst and An'Juan Wilderness. Wilderness is scheduled back in the lineup this weekend but Dewhurst has been lost for the season.
  • This was Duquesne's first ever Atlantic 10 Conference win against Charlotte which joined the league for the 2006-07 season.
  • Aaron Jackson, who was elbowed in the side during the first half and asked to be removed from the game for a few minutes in the second, has played in 100 straight games.
  • Jackson, Clark and Bolding each took over the scoring for extended periods. Jackson had eight straight Duquesne points, and 10 of the team's 12 as he hit and exceeded 1K scoring in the opening half. Clark scored Duquesne's final eight first half points and Bolding had five in the middle of the second.
  • Duquesne, averaging 68.2 percent on free throws, got to the line for 24 attempts, but made just 14 (58.3%)
  • The Dukes were edged on the boards, 41-40, for the first time in five games.
  • Stats can tell how a game was played - this one was done well as the assist - turnover numbers demonstrate: Duquesne 18/8 for a 2.25 ratio and Charlotte 20/12 (1.67).
  • Charlotte Coach Bobby Lutz, in the 599th game of his coaching career, was called for a technical in the second on a play that resulted in a DU score with bodies scattered from basket to basket.
  • The Dukes held Charlotte to 0-for-6 shooting in the final four minutes.
  • Coach Ron Everhart joined the walking wounded after getting run over in yesterday's practice when Chase Robinson was, err chasing, a loose ball.


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