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Colter leads Dukes over St. Joe's

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Derrick Colter scored 22 points to rally Duquesne from a 12-point first-half deficit to their first Atlantic 10 win of the season, as the Dukes stopped St. Joe's 71-68 at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

PITTSBURGH, PA - After losing by 26 at Dayton Saturday, Duquesne (6-7, 1-1) returned to the A.J. Palumbo Center and completed the third-biggest comeback in head coach Jim Ferry’s tenure, storming back from a 12-point first half deficit to win their Atlantic 10 home-opener.

“I’m really proud of our guys,” Ferry said. “We got down 12 in the first half, and this year, when that has happened in the past, we’ve kind of crumbled. And we didn’t do that.”

The Hawks came out of the gate fast, claiming a quick lead. The Dukes prevented St. Joseph’s from pulling away early, but six points off of turnovers in the first 10 minutes gave the Hawks an early double-digit advantage. After a 3-pointer by junior forward Isaiah Miles, the Hawks had a 12 point lead with 6:30 left in the half.

A layup from senior forward Dominique McKoy, who produced on both sides of the ball in the first half with eight points and five boards, started the Dukes’ rally.

“We didn’t give up, we didn’t hang our heads when we got down,” McKoy said. “We just kept fighting.”

Duquesne’s defense held the Hawks to just two more points in the half, and following a 3-point bucket from guard Micah Mason, the Dukes went into halftime down just two, 36-34. Mason scored all nine of his points in the first half.

The Dukes did not lose any momentum at the half and continued to pressure the Hawks. Including the final six minutes of the first half, Duquesne went on a 23-4 run and took a 45-38 lead with 14 minutes left in the game. After trading blows with the Hawks over next several minutes, Colter, L.G. Gil and Jeremiah Jones all hit 3-pointers during a 10-0 Dukes run. Duquesne was up 69-56 with 2:55 remaining.

“I shot it with confidence, and it went in,” Gil said. “It was a great moment for a shot like that, so I’m just grateful that it went in.”

But after coming back from a double-digit deficit, the Dukes had to hold off a late St. Joe’s rally. DeAndre’ Bembry hit a pair of treys, and due to four Duquesne turnovers, the Hawks found themselves down just three with the ball and 30 seconds to go. But with the game on the line, McKoy came up big again, getting a block on a shot from Bembry with 2 seconds remaining to clinch the win.

“It just got nutty, but I thought our kids still kept their composure to finish the game,” Ferry said.

Colter scored 15 of his game-high 22 in the second half. McKoy ended up with 13 points, six boards and a pair of blocks.

For St. Joseph’s, Bembry lead the attack with 18 points, but the team only shot 41.2 percent from the field and 24 percent from 3-point range. Duquesne made 50 percent of their field goals and 55 percent of their shots from behind the arc.

Duquesne will stay at home for another Atlantic 10 game against Rhode Island Saturday.

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