George Washington, which had lost five straight after starting the season at 6-2, played inspired basketball and used its size advantage. They pretty much took control in the final six minutes of the first half.
The Dukes' resilience was impressive. After dropping behind by as many as 13 points, 41-28, DU cut into that margin to make the deficit seven, 41-34, at the break.
Rejuvenated after halftime, the Dukes charged out of the locker room and cut the edge to one point (41-40), saw GW's lead get back to five (45-40), cut it to one again (47-46), then trailed by 11 (63-52), then by 10 (70-60), climbed back to within one (76-75), trailed by one (77-76), tied at 77, then up by three (80-77) for good.
Substantially outsized inside, the Dukes still had an eight-rebound advantage (33/25) when the final whistle blew. Duquesne used 19 offensive rebounds for 22 second-chance points. GW, which shot 63.8 percent (30-47) from the floor and 80.0% (8/10) from beyond the arc, got six points on putbacks from the 17 misses.
The Dukes improved on the first half shooting by 8.4 percentage points overall and 28.2 points on trey attempts. They finished at .410 and .464, respectively, and made 13 three-pointers for the second game in a row.
Duquesne scored 30 points off the Colonials' 19 turnovers while GW got but two off the Dukes' 10.
The Duquesne men's basketball team, down by as many as 11 points in the second half, came back for an 88-83 win over George Washington, Wednesday evening at the Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh. The victory, the seventh-in-a-row, raises the Dukes' record to 12-4. And the squad is 3-0 in conference play for the first time in school history.
George Washington, using a game plan that focused on their size advantage, put together a 17-1 run over a six-minute period in the first half, and had a seven-point lead at the break.
The Colonials increased their edge to 11 points in the second half only to see Duquesne close the game with a 24-10 run for the five-point victory.
The Dukes were led by freshman Melquan Bolding, a preseason pick for the Atlantic 10 Conference all-rookie team, who scored a career-high 26 points including 4-of-9 from 3-point range. He also had six rebounds.
Senior Aaron Jackson and sophomore Bill Clark each had 14 points, freshman Eric Evans, who made 7-of-8 from the charity stripe, added 13, and sophomore Damian Saunders tallied 11 points. Jackson and Saunders each had eight rebounds and four assists, Jackson had two steals and Saunders blocked a pair of shots. Jackson also finished 7-of-8 on free throws.
Senior Rob Diggs, an A-10 preseason second team pick, had 25 points and eight points for George Washington (6-8, 0-2), which lost its sixth straight.
Duquesne, which led wire-to-wire in last season's 92-67 win over George Washington, scored the first basket, a three-pointer by Bolding, and took an early 19-13 lead via Melquan's putback.
But the Colonials' game plan of attacking Duquesne's defense with drives and passes inside was working. Trailing 25-21, George Washington put together a 17-1 run capped by Noel Wilmore's three straight treys for a 38-26 lead with 2:57 left before the break. GW got its largest spread, 41-28, 30 seconds later.
The Dukes scored eight points following the final media timeout via Jackson's three free throws, one as the complement on a traditional three-point play, and Evans' trey with 16 seconds on the clock. The score at the half was 41-34.
Bolding hit a pair of treys to start the second half and get the Dukes within one, 41-40. Clark's second three-pointer of the period returned Duquesne within one, 47-46, before Bill was hit with his fourth foul, an offensive call on a drive with a kick-out pass.
GW answered with a 13-4 run and built their lead back to 60-50. But Duquesne wasn't going to let GW win that easily.
Evans hit both ends of a 1-and-1 to cut the margin to two, 73-71. Shortly thereafter, Jackson hit a trey, made possible by offensive rebounding, for Duquesne's first lead, 76-75, since 6:47 of the first half. Hollis jump shot tied the score at 25-25 a second later.
Saunders made 1-of-2 from the line to tie the score at 77-77. After a David Theis block on a GW point-blank shot, Damian canned a trey for an 80-77 Duquesne edge with 2:49 left to play.
GW would never catch up after that, though they did get to within one twice, both times via Diggs free throws. Evans and Jackson hit six-of-six from the line in the final minute to seal the win.
The Colonials also put five guys in double figures. In addition to Diggs, Wilmore had 14, Wynton Witherspoon 13 points and three blocks, Damian Hollis 11 and Tony Taylor scored 10 points. Reserve guard Johnny Lee had seven assists.
Duquesne has a Saturday home game with Dayton before taking a two-game road swing to Saint Joseph's and Fordham. Nearly 60 former Duquesne men's basketball players - spanning five decades - are scheduled to be on hand for the Jan. 17 game (7:00 p.m. tip) as part of DU's "Player Reunion Night."
The Flyers survived a scare from the visiting team from the Bronx tonight and won, 72-71, to raise their record to 15-2, 1-1 in league play. The winning basket came with five seconds left.
Duquesne closes the regular season schedule at Dayton on Sat. Mar. 7th.
- Aaron Jackson suffered an injury, reportedly a bruised right hip. He was being examined by the team doctors.
- The start of the game was at 7:22 p.m. -- the referees arrived late because of the snow.
- Duquesne, whose full court press has forced a number teams to call timeouts in the first 15 games, had the table turned tonight as they needed to use two to avoid five-second calls.
- Eric Evans was the first sub for Duquesne, Oliver Lewinson the second. David Theis and Ma href=http://duquesne.scout.com/a.z?s=420&p=8&c=1&nid=3951558>B.J. Montiero also saw eight and nine minutes, respectively.
- The Dukes' seven-game winning streak is the longest since 1980-81 (seven-game streak on the way to a 20-10 NIT finish). DU also has a six-game home winning streak.
- The 12-4 start is the school's best since the 1979-80 squad which started at 12-3, (18-10 NIT).
- Duquesne's trapping press following Evans' trey at the end of the first half kept the Colonials from getting more than 10 feet into the offensive end. The pressure forced a panic timeout with about a half second left in the half.
- Bill Clark was playing with the flu. He fouled out with 6:01 left in the game.
- Duquesne committed just three TOs in the second half.
- GW has won 22 of the last 26 games in the series. Duquesne has won the last two.
- GW announced before the game that Xavier Alexander, a 6-foot-7 sophomore guard who was the third best rebounder for the Colonials, had withdrawn from school and will transfer.