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Duquesne upsets West Virginia 60-56

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Duquesne overcame a 13-point halftime deficit and battled back to knock off West Virginia 60-56 at Consol Energy Center Tuesday night. Freshman Derrick Colter had 12 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds for the Dukes.

The Dukes overcame a subpar shooting performance in the first half to scratch out the victory.

Jerry Jones had 16 to lead the Dukes and Marvin Binney added 10.

They also improved on what they learned was their biggest downfall against Pitt the last time they appeared in the Consol: attacking the boards.

“We really played to our philosophy,” said Duquesne head coach Jim Ferry. “We talked about rebounding the basketball and being able to compete on the glass. It’s a big philosophy of ours, to rebound the basketball.”

With the exception of two tied scores, West Virginia led the game the entire first half, the largest margin being 15 with seven minutes left in the half. But the Dukes edged the Mountaineers in defensive rebounds 22-19 in the first 20 minutes of play, creating opportunities for quick transitions on the other end of the court.

A couple of missed free throws and nine turnovers kept Duquesne behind in the first half, but their persistence on defense was a huge contributing factor to their second half turn around.

“They took away our 3’s in the first half,” said Ferry. “It came down to us defending the way we’re supposed to defend.”

While the Duquesne defense held strong throughout, the offense came alive during the second half. Freshman Derrick Colter came up with pivotal points when the Dukes needed them most. After two missed free throws, Colter did not waiver, getting fouled on a made layup and sinking the extra bucket to earn Duquesne their first lead of the game. When the Mountaineers tied it up at 53, Colter responded with a reverse layup to bring the Dukes back on top.

A visibly frustrated West Virginia team missed some important shots in the last few minutes that could’ve kept them alive, but head coach Bob Huggins recognized the mistakes that were made and took full responsibility for his team’s performance.

“We had every opportunity to blow the game open,” he said. “We created offense with our defense and didn’t finish in transition. We went 1-6 on the foul line in the second half. It’s my job to fix it, and I will fix it.”

The Mountaineers made it a three-point game with 15.8 seconds left, but they were forced to commit fouls in an attempt to regain possession. West Virginia’s Gary Browne took a trip to the foul line with 4.1 seconds left and had an opportunity to make it a one-point game, but he missed both shots. Colter sealed the deal for the Dukes making one of two at the line in the last seconds of the game to put up a 60-56 victory for Duquesne.

Juwan Staten had 13 to lead West Virginia.

Colter had 12 points on the night. It was a big game for the freshman, but it was a team effort that ultimately earned the Dukes the win.

“Everyone contributed in a win like this,” said Ferry. “It’s a team win. To be down 13 and come back and win it because you held to your philosophy helps to take that next step.”

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