After a disappointing loss to Pitt Wednesday, the Duquesne Dukes returned to their winning ways, defeating the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles 77-67 Saturday at the A.J. Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh.â†µ
The Dukes were paced by Sean Johnson, who scored a career-high 25 points, eclipsing his previous high of 24 set back on November 19 against Akron. Johnson has been a reliable source of offense all year for Duquesne, as he has scored at least 13 points in every game this season. B.J. Monteiro also had a great offensive night, chiming in with 18 points.â†µ
The Golden Eagles challenged the Dukes for most of the night, as Duquesne was only leading 32-28 at the half. The Dukes appeared to have put a stranglehold on the game, beginning the second half with a 14-2 run. The Eagles would not go quietly, as they were able to cut a 17-point defect down to eight before a T.J. McConnell three-pointer brought the momentum back Duquesne's way, sparking an 8-2 run. The Eagles would still cut the Dukes lead down to eight twice more, but Duquesne would not let them get any closer.â†µ
The inability for the Dukes to take total control concerned head coach Ron Everhart.â†µ
"I wasn't excited about the way we executed throughout both offensively and defensively," he said. "I felt we made the plays we needed to make down the stretch."â†µ
Tennessee Tech was paced on offense by Kevin Murphy who scored 18 points while giving the Duquesne defense fits at times by hitting contested jumpers.â†µ
With a rebounding margin ranking among the worst in the nation at -12.0, the Dukes saw a rare solid night on the glass, outrebounding the Golden Eagles 37-33. Andre Marhold brought down a career-high 11 rebounds.â†µ
Next up for the Dukes will be the Robert Morris Colonials, a team that should prove to be a tough test given their performance so far this season. Look for the Dukes to come out hungry to avenge their 69-63 defeat to the Colonials last season.