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Duquesne knocks off No. 19 Temple

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Bill Clark had 22 points and Damian Saunders & B.J. Montiero each narrowly missed recording double-doubles as Duquesne knocked off No. 19 Temple 78-66 at the A.J. Palumbo Center Saturday afternoon.

In a contest pitting the Atlantic 10 Conference's stingiest defense against its most prolific offense, Bill Clark racked up 22 points as Duquesne dominated 19th-ranked Temple for a 78-66 victory Saturday afternoon at the A.J. Palumbo Center. With Eric Evans, Mike Talley and Damian Saunders also scoring double figures and Saunders and B.J. Monteiro crashing the boards, the Dukes (11-5/3-0 Atlantic 10 Conference) tallied their sixth consecutive win of the season.
Duquesne improved to 2-9 versus nationally-ranked teams under coach Ron Everhart. The Dukes' other win over a ranked squad during Everhart's five-year tenure came February 7, 2009, versus Xavier.
"This was a great win for our program, and a great win for our kids," said Everhart. "Our guys played with a lot of character. I thought our chemistry was good all the way around."
Ranked in the top 20 nationally in scoring, Duquesne shot 47.7 percent versus the Owls, who entered the day 15th in the nation in scoring defense. Clark shot 5-of-9 while converting all 10 of his free-throw attempts. Evans, a junior guard making his first start of the season for the Dukes after missing 10 games recovering from foot surgery, put up 13. Freshman guard Mike Talley chipped in 11 points. Saunders (10 points, 9 rebounds) and Monteiro (9 points, 10 rebounds) just missed double-doubles while leading Duquesne to a 35-29 boards advantage.
Freshman T.J. McConnell led the Dukes with 18 points in Wednesday's win over St. Louis, but he came off the bench for just the second time in his brief college career. McConnell sat for the game's first 10 minutes after arriving late for Saturday's shoot around. He had only 2 points in 26 minutes, but he did distribute the ball with four assists.
The Dukes buried the three-time defending A-10 champion Owls (12-4/3-1 A-10) early on, holding leads of 10-0, 19-1, and 22-2 on the strength of Clark and Talley's play. Temple clanged its first 14 shots, failing to register a field goal until there was 8:18 left in the first half. Duquesne led 40-23 at half-time, sinking 66.7 percent of their shots to Temple's 16.7 percent. Leading scorer Ramon Moore and  first-team all-A-10 selection Lavoy Allen put up goose eggs for the Owls in the first half.
While the Owls mounted a 6-0 run to begin the second half, the Dukes answered with an 8-2 surge of their own. Temple couldn't recover from the first-half throttling, never narrowing the points deficit to the single digits.
Moore, in foul trouble from the get-go, bounced back with 18 second-half points. However, he was the only player to reach double digits in scoring for the visitors, as Temple shot 30.9 percent overall from the field.
"Duquesne played better," said Temple head coach Fran Dunphy. "They were hungrier and tougher in every sense of the word. My hat is off to them. They were much better than we were today."
Scootie Randall, Aaron Brown and Khalif Wyatt scored nine points apiece for the Owls. Juan Fernandez, who missed Temple's past two games with a bone bruise in his left knee, came off the bench and added eight points. Playing with a brace on his knee, the 6-4 Argentine was often subbed out on defense. Allen logged 35 minutes, but the 6-9 senior was held to six points and five rebounds.
The Dukes' win over Temple was game number 300 at the A.J. Palumbo Center, which opened in 1988 and underwent major renovations in 2006 and 2010. Damian Saunders, Duquesne's all-time leader in blocks and steals, made his 100th career start. At 3-0 in A-10 play, the Dukes tied their best ever start in conference play. Duquesne also started 3-0 in the A-10 during the 2008-2009 season, during which they made the NIT.
When Duquesne wins, they win big. All 11 of the Dukes' W's have come by a double-digit margin.
FG%: DUQ 47.7, TEM 30.9
FT%: DUQ 73.2, TEM 70.3
3-PT: DUQ 37.5, TEM 25.0
RBS: DUQ 35, TEM 29
Scoring: DUQ- Clark 22; TEM- Moore 18
Rebounds: DUQ- Monteiro 10; TEM- Brown 6
Assists: DUQ- McConnell, Monteiro 4; TEM- Allen 3
Blocks: DUQ- Saunders 3; TEM- Allen 2
Steals: DUQ- Saunders 2; TEM- Randall 2
The Dukes aim for their seventh straight win of the season, traveling to La Salle for a 7 p.m. game Wednesday night. The Explorers also feature a high-octane offense, ranking second in the A-10 in points per game, but they place dead last in PPG against. Temple heads home to take on Pennsylvania at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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