Dukes Pull Away From Minutemen, 81-63
Feb. 16, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. - A 22-2 run in the first half and a 14-1 second half run propelled Duquesne to a 81-63 victory over UMass in Atlantic 10 action on Wednesday night at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen cut a 22-point deficit down to nine with 13:37 left to play before the Dukes, led by a double-double from Damien Saunders (14 points, 13 rebounds) pulled away. UMass drops to 13-11 overall and 5-6 in A-10 play, while Duquesne goes to 17-7 and 9-2 in the A-10.
Jesse Morgan scored a career-high 14 points to lead three Minutemen in double figures. Terrell Vinson netted a season-high 12 points and Raphiael Putney just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Saunders was one of five Dukes that scored in double figures, led by Bill Clark (16) and T.J. McConnell (15). The Dukes shot 12-of-32 from 3-point range in the game, led by Clark's four.
The teams combined for 41 turnovers, with UMass turning it over 23 times and Duquesne 18.
The Minutemen shot 35.9 percent from the floor, including 3-of-14 from beyond the arc.
The Minutemen used their defense to create offense early in the second half as Putney and Morgan had back-to-back buckets off steals and another Morgan lay-up at the 13:37 mark pulled UMass within nine, 46-37, but the Dukes responded. Saunders scored seven straight points, capped off by a dunk on a fastbreak with 11:06 left that resulted in a UMass timeout and pushed Duquesne's lead to 17, 58-41.
UMass closed a 22-point first half deficit by outscoring the Dukes, 15-6 over the final 4:46 to go into halftime down 13, 38-25. Morgan came off the bench to trigger the spurt with a pair of 3-pointers. Morgan and Javorn Farrell led UMass with six points each in the first half.
The Dukes took control with a 22-2 run between the 16:25 and 7:42 marks of the first half to open up a 26-6 lead. T.J. McConnell led the way during the run with nine of his 10 first half points, which led all scorers. Duquesne shot 6-of-19 from 3-point range in the half.
UMass shot 33.3 percent in the first half and turned the ball over 11 times. The Dukes shot 39.4 percent with five turnovers.
The Minutemen return to action on Saturday when they travel to Kingston, R.I. to take on the Rhode Island Rams in a 2 p.m. game at the Ryan Center.
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