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Duquesne can't overcome rebounding woes in 64-63 loss at Dayton

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Dayton survived a last-minute Duquesne charge and dominated the Dukes on the glass by an astounding 48-22 margin, including 16-3 on the offensive boards, as DU's NCAA Tournament hopes took a blow with a 64-63 loss to the Flyers.

Dayton 64 - Duquesne 63
University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH

In a Saturday afternoon tilt between Atlantic 10 Conference clubs clinging to NCAA tournament hopes, Dayton emerged with a white-knuckle 64-63 win over Duquesne at University of Dayton Arena. The Dukes (17-8, 9-3) held a six-point lead with 4:33 to play and led 58-57 with 1:26 left, but freshman Juwan Staten made a lay-up to give Dayton the lead and added three more points from the foul line in the game's waning moments as the Flyers (19-9, 7-6) exacted revenge for a January drubbing at the hands of Duquesne.

Duquesne scored 25 points off 19 Dayton turnovers, but the undersized Dukes were shoved around inside. Dayton, leading the A-10 in rebounding margin, dominated the boards. The Flyers crashed the glass 48 times, compared to 22 for Duquesne. The Dukes had just three offensive rebounds, while Dayton had 16. Consequently, Duquesne scored just two second-chance points. Dayton, meanwhile, had 20.

The Dukes surged ahead 58-52 after Mike Talley stole the ball from Dayton's Paul Williams, passed to Bill Clark, and Clark found Damian Saunders for a fastbreak lay-up. The Flyers then went on a 10-0 run, however. Chris Johnson hit a lay-up and a 3-pointer, Staten drove inside to put Dayton on top, Williams hit a pair of free throws, and Staten hit one of two from the line to make it 62-58 Flyers with 28 seconds remaining.

Saunders grabbed the defensive rebound on James' missed second shot, and Sean Johnson hit a fastbreak 3-pointer to pull Duquesne within a point at 62-61 with 23 seconds left. Clark fouled Staten at the 18 second mark, and Staten, converting just 61 percent of his foul shots entering play Saturday, knocked down two crucial free throws to stretch Dayton's lead to three.

T.J. McConnell hit a jumper with six seconds to go to make it 64-63 Dayton. While the Dukes broke up a Flyers inbounds pass, Dayton's Chris Wright did the same to Johnson with 3.6 seconds left, extinguishing Duquesne's hopes of a comeback win on the road.

Clark never left the court for the Dukes, scoring a team-high 17 points. The senior forward shot 6-of-14 overall, including 5-of-12 from 3-point range. Johnson had 14 points off the bench, Saunders scored 13 while also playing all 40 minutes.

McConnell had six assists and a pair of steals for Duquesne, but he made only two of eight shots while scoring seven points. B.J. Monteiro (2-for-8) and Talley (1-for-4) also scuffled from the field while scoring five points apiece. Monteiro, averaging 16 points over his past eight games, failed to crack the double-digits for the first time since January 15 versus Temple.

The Dukes, 330th nationally in free-throw shooting, hit 12-of-19 (63.2 percent) foul shots. Dayton shot 16-of-22 (72.7 percent) from the stripe.

Devin Searcy and Chris Johnson both scored 14 points for Dayton. Searcy, a 6-foot-10 senior averaging less than four points per game prior to Saturday, had a double-double with 11 rebounds. Johnson added eight boards. Staten, a four-time A-10 Rookie of the Week and preseason All-Rookie Team selection, contributed 13 for the Flyers.

Wright had a quiet afternoon offensively, as Dayton's leading shot-maker played just 15 minutes due to foul trouble and scored four points. But the 6-foot-8 senior made his presence felt close to the rim with nine rebounds. Six-foot-9 Josh Benson had eight points and six rebounds.

With 17 points on Saturday, Bill Clark moved past Bruce Atkins (1,533 points) for ninth place on Duquesne's all-time scoring list. Fellow senior Damian Saunders' 13 points helped him leapfrog former teammate Aaron Jackson (1,428 points) to become the 13th-most prolific scorer in Dukes history.

Had the Dukes downed Dayton, they would have set a school record for A-10 road wins in a season, with five. With four conference road wins in six games, the current team is tied with the 1981 and 2009 editions of the Dukes. Finishing off the Flyers would have also tied a school record for conference wins in a season. The 1981 and 1991 squads had ten conference victories.

FG%: DUQ 41.2, DAY 42.3
FT%: DUQ 63.2, DAY 72.7
3-PT: DUQ 40.9, DAY 33.3
RBS: DUQ, 22, DAY 48

DUQ- Clark 17; DAY Searcy, Johnson 14
Rebounds: DUQ- Saunders 5; DAY Searcy 11
Assists: DUQ- McConnell 6; DAY Wright 2
Blocks: DUQ- Saunders 3; DAY Benson, Searcy, Wright 1
Steals: DUQ- McConnell, Talley 2; DAY Johnson 2

Having lost three of their past four following an 11-game win streak, the Dukes return to the Palumbo Center Wednesday to host Rhode Island at 7 p.m. The Rams (16-10/7-5) are led by senior Delroy James. The 6-foot-8, 220 pound forward averages 17.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Dayton doesn't step on the court again until next Sunday, when the Flyers face conference-leading Xavier at 1 p.m. at University of Dayton Arena.

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