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Duquesne rips Seton Hill 96-71 in season opener

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Darius Lewis, Derrick Colter and Micah Mason each score 15 in lopsided win

PITTSBURGH - The Duquesne Dukes men’s basketball team opened their 100th year of play with a dominating 96-71 win over Seton Hill at the A.J. Palumbo Center Friday night.

“We started off a monumental year the right way,” junior center Darius Lewis said.

Lewis led the way 15 points and 11 rebounds to give the Dukes a win in the opening game of the Gulf Coast showcase. L.G. Gill added 11 points with nine boards, while the starting senior backcourt of Micah Mason and Derrick Colter added 15 points each.

The Dukes had trouble getting started offensively, but a layup and one by Colter provided a spark, and Duquesne went on a 16-0 run that was capped on an Eric James layup to make it 20-4 with 10:29 remaining in the half.

The Griffins tried to pull back into the game, starting with a 9-0 run and concluding with a three-pointer by freshman guard Sean Downes to bring them within six, with the Dukes up 25-19 with 5:57 left in the half. But Colter and Micah Mason nailed shots from beyond the arc to retake momentum and control of the game, coasting into the half with a 45-28 lead.

After being held to a 31.4 field goal percentage in the first half, the Griffins did improve offensively after the break, matching the Dukes’ attack throughout most of the second half. Forward Noah Davis had a dozen points in the second portion of the contest to give him 15 on the night.

“We got a little lax defensively,” Duquesne head coach Jim Ferry said. Ferry later added that defense will be a point of emphasis this season and that Duquesne’s constant substitutions played in a role in a 43 point Griffin second half.

Duquesne did not let Seton Hill back into the game though, with Lewis leading the way, scoring eight and grabbing six off the glass before being pulled.

“My teammates did a good job of finding me,” Lewis said.

James shined in mop-up time, scoring 10 of his 14 in the second half.

Despite ending just just 6-20 from behind the arc, Duquesne shot 54.7 percent on the night thanks to 54 points in the paint. Seton Hill was held to just 38 percent on the night while being outrebounded 45-32.

The Dukes return to the Palumbo Center Monday at 7 to square off against New Orleans in the second game of the Pittsburgh half of the Gulf Coast showcase.

1. Duquesne improved to 83-17 all-time in regular season openers. They are 92-8 in home openers.

2. The Dukes thrived in the paint, posting 24 points in the first half and 30 in the second. The Griffins could not match either half’s performance, only scoring 22 on the night.

3. Duquesne attempted to set the world record for most people singing Happy Birthday at a basketball court. It was unclear whether the 943 in attendance was enough to set it. Lewis and Mason said they did not sing along.

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