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Mason and Colter lead Dukes to big win over George Washington

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Behind a career-best 24 point performance from Micah Mason, Duquesne pulled off a wire to wire upset at the A.J. Palumbo center against George Washington, 78-62.

PITTSBURGH, PA - “I’ve been struggling a bit with my shot, but coach keeps telling me to stay aggressive and shoot the next one, and that’s what I did,” Mason said.

Duquesne came into the game short-handed after guard Jordan Stevens and center TySean Powell were both suspended for violating team rules. The Dukes got strong production from centers Darius Lewis and Jordan Robinson, as well as the entire backcourt, in their absence.

The story of the first half was George Washington’s inability to sink a basket. After opening only 1-15 from the field, the Colonials were unable to find their groove, going into the half 8-38. George Washington also struggled from behind the arc, going only 2-11, after making nine 3-pointers in the first half of their 74-59 win over Duquesne 18 days ago.

“I think last time we played at GW, they came and punched us in the mouth,” forward Jeremiah Jones said. “Today, I thought we were the aggressor.”

Duquesne started off strong, making five of their first six field goals to grab an early 12-4 advantage. The Dukes would cool down offensively, going into the half only 13-29 from the field and 3-10 from behind the line. Behind 12 first half points from Mason, though, Duquesne had a comfortable 33-21 at the game’s midpoint.

The lead could have been larger, but George Washington was able to create extra opportunities with offensive rebounds. The Colonials grabbed 11 offensive boards in the first 10 minutes and 17 total in the first half. The Dukes found an answer off the bench in 6-8, 250 lb. freshman forward Jordan Robinson, who had half a dozen points and rebounds in the first half after being used sparingly throughout the season.

The Colonials finally started hitting some shots at the start of the second half, making five of their first seven attempts from downtown. Duquesne also started to struggle at the line, making only one of its first six free-throws, letting George Washington cut the lead to 49-42 with 10:32 left to go in the game.

Duquesne regained momentum thanks to a dunk and a 3-pointer from L.G. Gill. Mason hit another 3-pointer from the corner shortly after to extend the lead to 15 with 6:30 remaining. From there on, Duquesne was able to coast to the win.

“I’m proud to coach those guys,” head coach Jim Ferry said. “Guys just rallied around each other...that’s special. That’s where you see guys care, and they were ready.”

Duquesne shot over 50 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from 3-point range while holding George Washington to just 31.9 and 28 percent, respectively.

Derrick Colter had 18 points for the Dukes, while center Darius Lewis posted a career high 12 rebounds. Robinson did not score or grab a rebound in the second half, but his first half performance was enough to post career highs in both categories. Kevin Larsen led George Washington in points and rebounds with 16 and 11.

Duquesne improves to 8-14 and 3-8 in Atlantic 10 play while George Washington falls to 17-7 and 7-4. Duquesne travels to Massachusetts this Saturday. Stevens and Powell are both expected to play.

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