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Duquesne knocks off Green Bay

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Dukes pick up much-needed win behind McConnel's 20

Duquesne played a near flawless second half - hitting 15-of-17 shots, including 8-of-9 from the 3-point arc - in pulling away for an 81-71 win at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Wednesday night.

T.J. McConnell, who scored 18 after intermission, led five Dukes in double figures with 20 points. Mike Talley had 17, Sean Johnson scored 16 and B.J. Monteiro and Damian Saunders added 11 points each for the Dukes who snapped a two-game losing streak in moving to 4-3.

Rahmon Fletcher led Green Bay (4-5) with 22 points.

Duquesne, which assisted on 21 of 24 field goals, shot 57.1 percent for the game. The Dukes connected on 15-of-24 3-point attempts. Green Bay shot 48. 3 percent, including 4-of-16 from the 3-point arc.

“We shot it really well against a very good basketball team,” said Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart. “We were willing to make the extra pass. When you shoot it that well, it makes for a very good night.”

UWGB jumped out to a 7-2 lead before Johnson tied it with a layup and 3-pointer. Neither team led by more than four before Saunders, who was 3-of-3 from the 3-point arc, put the Dukes up 25-19 with 3:08 left in the half. Green Bay cut it to 31-28 on a Daniel Turner jumper six seconds before halftime.

The Phoenix tied it at 36-36 on a Turner jumper 2:30 into the second half and trailed by just five with 6:56 to go before Johnson converted a traditional three-point play to up the lead to eight at 63-55. A minute later, with the shot clock winding down, McConnell launched a contested 3-pointer that bounded high off the rim and dropped through the net as the shot clock buzzer sounded to give DU an 11-point lead. UWGB would get no closer than eight the rest of the way.

Duquesne hit 8-of-10 free throws over the final 1:03 to seal the win.

Saunders, who played a game-high 39 minutes, added nine rebounds, five assists, three blocks and a career high-tying six steals.

“Saunders was tremendous tonight,” said Everhart of the 6-7 senior who had five steals in the first half. “He was all over the place. He’s always focused and he always competes and that rubs off on the other players.”

Five players combined for DU’s eight second-half 3-pointers.

Four players hit three or more 3-pointers led by Talley who was 4-of-5. Saunders, Monteiro and Johnson had three 3-pointers each.

Senior guard Bill Clark, who entered the game ranked second nationally with 3.8 3-pointers made per game, was saddled by foul trouble all evening. Clark, who was 0-of-3 from the arc, scored all five of his points in the final 2:52.

Duquesne hosts West Virginia (6-2) on Sunday, Dec. 12 at 7:05 (EST) in its first home game at CONSOL Energy Center.

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