Niners Rebound for 83-78 Win Over the Dukes

Charlotte came back from a 10-point second-half deficit as Duquesne, despite a strong shooting performance, dropped an 83-78 Atlantic 10 Conference road decision to the 49ers Saturday afternoon at the Halton Arena in North Carolina.

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Duquesne grabbed the lead with less than seven minutes gone in the game and held it until the final minute of regulation. Charlotte made critical buckets in the final minutes that tied the match only to see Duquesne answer and get back on top, that is until only seconds were left to play.

A layup -- and one -- knotted the game one last time, at 76-76, with 1:20 on the clock. Duquesne senior Kristi Little, who scored 20 points, missed a layup and Charlotte's Ashley Spriggs made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe for the hosts' first lead, 77-76, in over 32 minutes.

The next time down the court, Little was fouled driving to the basket and hit both attempts, separated by a UNCC timeout, as Duquesne went back on top, 78-77. Charlotte canned a bucket on their next possession and rebounded Little's contested shot to secure the win.

Junior Keri Pryor, who was 9-of-14 from the floor including 4-5 from 3-point range, led the Dukes with 22 points. Sophomore Samantha Pollino had 13 points and five rebounds and junior Rachel Frederick added 12 points. Little dished out eight assists for the Dukes, who are now 13-10, 3-5 in A-10 competition. The defeat ends a two-game mini-winning stretch.

Game Play

Charlotte, which rushed out to a 7-2 lead, was overtaken when Little sank a layup for a 10-9 Duquesne lead, 13:24 from halftime.

Shannon McCallum stole the ball and scored on the fastbreak to get the 49ers within one, 24-23, 5:44 on the clock.

Duquesne answered with a 9-2 run for an eight-point, 33-25, lead with just under three minutes remaining only to have Charlotte, which had been 1-5 from long range, hit a pair of treys at the end of the period and cut the halftime margin to 35-33.

Both teams shot over 40 percent (DU 41.2%; CH 44.3%) in the first 20 minutes with each hitting 42.9% from beyond the arc, the Dukes doubling the 49ers' production with six three-pointers.

Duquesne scored the first four points of the second half. They re-took an eight-point lead, 51-43, following three-pointers from Frederick and Pryor, and then raised it to 10, 58-48, following Kelly Britcher's trey with 11:38 on the clock.

Charlotte used a full court press to cut the advantage to 58-54 following Traci Ray's three-pointer.

Pittsburgh native Aysha Jones canned a three and then scored on a fastbreak to erase a five-point lead and tie the score at 63-63 with 6:41 to go.

Charlotte tied the game again at 65 and 67 but couldn't get the lead. Frederick and Pollino hit buckets to give the Dukes a 71-67 advantage with just over four minutes left.

Jones's drive to the basket got the Niners within one, 74-73, two minutes later. Little made two free throws to up the margin to 76-73. McCollum's traditional three-point play knotted the game again, 76-76, 80 seconds remaining.

Ashley Spriggs, fouled on a putback attempt, made 1-of-2 from the line for a 77-76 lead, the hosts' first since 13:25 of the first half.

Little hit a pair of free throws for a 78-77 edge, 36 seconds remaining. But McCallum's basket off an inbounds pass with 14 seconds remaining gave Charlotte a 79-78 lead. Little's contested drive was unsuccessful.

Jones hit two free throws and McCallum scored as time was expiring for the five-point decision.

Jones tied her career-best with 28 points. McCallum scored 23 and Ray contributed 11 points before fouling out in the final two minutes of the game. Danielle Burgin, easily the tallest player on the court at 6-foot-5. had 11 rebounds for the Niners who outrebounded DU, 40-26.

The victory extended Charlotte's winning streak to eight games and raised their record to 17-6. The Green and White remain locked in second place, 8-1 in the conference, behind nationally-ranked Xavier.

The Dukes next host Saint Louis (10-12, 4-3) on Wednesday, February 11, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. at the Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh.

Notes

  • Duquesne shot 50.8 percent from the floor (31/61) and made 10 of 22 shots from beyond the arc (45.5%).
  • Charlotte, at 49.3% and 42.9% (3s), was 11-of-16 from the charity stripe. Duquesne made 6-of-8; Little was 5-of-6.
  • Duquesne had only four fastbreak points.
  • Charlotte had allowed their opponents just 59.1 ppg. Duquesne's 78 points bettered the Red & Blue's season average of 69.1 ppg.
  • It was a reunion of sorts for Charlotte's leading scorer, junior guard Aysha Jones, who played with Duquesne junior forward Eve Pyle at Oakland Catholic High School.
  • The referees used pink whistles in recognition of breast cancer month.
  • An offensive foul called on UNCC's Danielle Surgin was reversed to a blocking foul on Rachel Frederick after a discussion between two of the refs. Shannon McCallum put back Aysha Jones' miss to make the score 61-58 Duquesne, 8:08 left in the game.


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