Old Dominion Takes Duquesne, 63-54

Old Dominion took the lead midway through the first half and held off Duquesne's constant charge to pick up a 63-54 win over the Atlantic 10 Conference team Wednesday evening at Constant Convention Center in Norfolk, Va.

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Junior Damian Saunders was one swat shy of a triple double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks. It was the Connecticut native's nation's-best 11th double-double of the season.

Freshman Sean Johnson led Duquesne scoring with 17 points. Junior Bill Clark and sophomore Eric Evans each added 10 points. Evans also had six steals and four points for the 9-5 Dukes.

Evans's three-pointer at 11:06 of the first half put Duquesne up, 12-10. A fastbreak layup, off one of Duquesne's 20 turnovers, by Marquel De Lancey exactly one minute later made it 14-12, advantage the Conference Athletic Association team.

Saunders's trey 3:48 before the break knotted the score at 23-all. The Monarchs scored the final five points for a 28-23 halftime lead.

The Dukes would reduce the deficit to three points a couple times, the last at 44-41 on Johnson's layup with 9:14 to go.

The Monarchs (9-4) were paced by senior 6-foot-10 center Gerald Lee's 24 points. Kenyon Carter had nine rebounds, Darius James dished out four assists, Ben Finney had three steals and Frank Hassell blocked four shots.

The Dukes again held its opponent below 40.0 percent shooting; Old Dominion made 23-of-65 for 35.4 percent. DU made 19-of-59 for 32.2%.

ODU made three 3-pointers (18.8%) while the Red and Blue canned just two (11.1%). The Dukes had their best performance at the free throw line in a while, hitting 14-18 for 78.8 percent. Clark, whose playing time was limited because of foul trouble, hit 6-of-7 from the charity stripe.

Rebounding worked out to a 43-42 ODU advantage, 16-15 on the offensive end.

Duquesne opens Atlantic 10 Conference play next Wednesday, January 6, 2009 2010, back in Pittsburgh, Pa. at the Palumbo Center against the Richmond Spiders at 7:00 p.m.

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