Owls End the Dukes Tourney Run, 69-64

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ -- Dionte Christmas scored 29 points as Temple spoiled Duquesne's first Atlantic 10 Championship final appearance since 1981 with a 69-64 win. The win, which secured the Owls' second consecutive Championship title, prevented the Dukes from earning their first NCAA tournament bid since 1977.

Box Score

Aaron Jackson led Duquesne with 20 points. Damian Saunders added 15 points and 10 rebounds and Bill Clark finished with 13 points for DU.

Sergio Olmos had 14 points and nine rebounds and Lavoy Allen added a gamehigh 14 boards for the Owls who outrebounded the Dukes 41-30.

There were four ties and four lead changes in a first half that ended with an 8-2 Temple run that put the Owls up 42-37 at the break. Christmas hit 6-of-9 high arching 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes to pace TU.

Temple opened the second half with a 5-0 run to take their first double-digit lead at 47- 37 at the 18:43 mark.

The Dukes pulled to within five on a Saunders layup with 4:48 left before Ryan Brooks hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game to put Temple up 65-57. Saunders made it a two possession game with a jumper before the Dukes missed four consecutive shots - including three from close range - and two free throws over the next three minutes before Christmas, who was named the tournament's outstanding player for the second straight year, hit a pair of free throws with 51 seconds left to up Temple's lead to 67-59.

Temple, which shot .458, was 11-of-27 from the 3-point arc with Christmas and Brooks accounting for all 11 field goals. Duquesne shot .431 and was 9-of-27 from the arc. TU outscored DU 19-9 in second chance points.


  • Aaron Jackson and Melquan Bolding became the first Dukes since 1994 to earn a spot on the All-Championship Team
  • Bolding was just the tenth freshman in tournament history to be named All-Championship
  • DU set a championship record with 40 3- pointers made and 101 attempts easily breaking the old marks of 33 and 77 set by Saint Joseph's in 2006
  • Jackson's 79 points tied the second-highest point total in Championship history
  • Bill Clark's 30 free throw attempts were a tournament record
  • Damian Saunders 13 blocks tied the second-highest in Championship history

Posted on DuquesneSports.net, 4/2/09