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Duquesne loses late lead at No. 19 Dayton

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Micah Mason hit seven 3-pointers but No. 19 Dayton erased a 12-point deficit in the final 5:34 to edge ‪‎Duquesne‬ 76-74 on Tuesday in Ohio.

Dayton’s comeback was capped by a 19-5 run.

It was the 20th straight home win over conference opponents for the 19th-ranked Flyers, who improved their season record to 20-3 and their conference record to 10-1, which puts them in sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10. Duquesne falls to 15-9 overall on the season and 5-6 against A-10 foes.

The game of runs was highlighted by Dayton’s 8-0 surge, which came on the heels of 11 straight points by Duquesne, which put the Dukes up 69-57. The Flyers used tight defense to turnover Duquesne on three straight possessions that cut Duquesne’s lead to four points with 3:30 remaining.

With 1:30 left in the game and Duquesne leading 70-68, Dayton guard Scoochie Smith corralled a rebound off a Derrick Colter missed 3-pointer. Smith then quickly passed the ball down the court to a slashing Kyle Davis, who made the game-tying layup before the Dukes defense had time to adjust.

Off of another Colter missed 3-pointer, Dyshawn Pierre Smith drove to the basket and then kicked the ball out to Smith, who knocked down a three from the right wing to give Dayton a 72-70 lead.
 
On Duquesne’s next possession, Flyers’ forward Charles Cooke trapped Mason to force a turnover, capping off Dayton’s dominating stretch.

Despite the late game turnover, Mason and the Dukes played a strong game.
 
It started with an efficient first 10 minutes for Duquesne as the team shot over 75 percent.  Mason scored 13 points during this stretch making all five on his shots including three 3-pointers.

A layup by TySean Powell at the 10:39 mark put Duquesne up 26-16. The double digit lead was short-lived, as the Dukes made just two field goals over the next seven minutes, allowing Dayton to cut the deficit to two points.

Cooke made back-to-back layups on the Flyers final two possessions of the half, putting Dayton up 35-33.

The competitive half concluded on an L.G. Gill slam tying the game at 35-35. Duquesne assisted on 13 of their 15 baskets. 

Colter, despite six assists, struggled shooting in the first half (1-6). Duquesne shot 47 percent from the field, while Dayton only shot 38 percent.

Dayton quickly went up 47-39 once the second half began, making five of their first six shots.

Mason stepped up from the left wing and knocked down a three, his fifth of the game, to cut the Dayton lead to one with 11:33 remaining. On the following possession, Colter drove to the basket, lowered his shoulder into a defender and rolled the ball in to give Duquesne a 52-51 lead.

Colter made a pullup three from the top of the key and then followed it up with slashing layup. Mason’s 3-pointer then made the score 66-57, forcing Dayton to call a timeout with 6:30 left. Duquesne’s 11-0 run was finalized once Mason drilled another 3-pointer on a catch and shoot from well beyond the line.

Dayton then would go on their 19-5 run to close out the game, dominated by Cooke on both sides of the ball. Cooke finished with 22 points on 8-15 shooting. along with 8 rebounds.

Mason, who didn’t play in Duquesne’s first meeting with Dayton, ended with 27 points and made 7 of 8 from beyond the 3-point line. Colter had 21 points.

Next up for the Dukes is a home matchup with UMass on Feb. 14.

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