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Duquesne cruises past UMass-Lowell

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Mason's 17 leads balanced Dukes attack

Micah Mason had 17 points to lead a balanced scoring attack as Duquesne snapped a four-game losing streak with a 79-63 win over UMass-Lowell at the AJ Palumbo Center on Saturday afternoon.

The win pulls the Dukes to within one game of .500 at 4-5.

“I thought our guys came back and played with a lot of confidence,” head coach Jim Ferry said. “(They) played to their strengths and we played really hard and competed.”

Ferry shook up the starting lineup in order to generate the team’s best offensive performance in five contests. The River Hawks were unable to snap their two game losing streak, dropping them to 6-5. Their 10-day layoff between games showed, as they came out rusty. Duquesne was able to take advantage of their rust and build a big first half lead and coast down the stretch.

The Dukes’ offense got a huge boost early with the shooting of junior guard Micah Mason, who had been in a slump the last two games. Moving him away from the point and more into his shooting guard role from last year seemed to make a difference, as he made both of his early shots from beyond the arc, keeping Duquesne knotted early 10-10.

“It took some pressure off of me,” Mason said. “It just let me catch my shots and rhythm and knock them down.”

This set the stage for a 8-0 scoring run for the Dukes, and Duquesne would not stop there. With five different players scoring at least five points, Duquesne was able to shut down the River Hawks on both sides of the court, going into the half with a 40-24 advantage.

UMass-Lowell had no answers for Duquesne’s zone 2-3 defense, going into the locker room making only one third of their field goal attempts and shooting just under 31 percent from 3-point range. The Dukes, who shot just over 23 percent from beyond the arc in their loss Wednesday to Saint Francis, made seven of their opening 11 shots from downtown, with Mason leading the way with three. Duquesne was also able to out-rebound their opponents in the first half 16-14 and put up 14 fast break points to none for the River Hawks.

UMass-Lowell was unable to claw back into the game, with Duquesne continuing to shut down the River Hawks in its best defensive performance since the season opener against Bluefield State. Mason remained on fire in the second half, as he ended his day with a team high 17 points, shooting 6-7 from the field and nailing five triples. Duquesne got contributions from almost everyone who saw time on the court, with four players reaching double-digits and the bench scoring 36 points. Eleven Dukes scored in all.

For UMass-Lowell, guard Jahad Thomas led the way with a game high 19 points, but several of those buckets  came when Duquesne played its back-ups and walk-ons at the end of the game.

Freshman center TySean Powell was in the starting lineup today after heading to the locker room early with an injury against Saint Francis. He was given several opportunities around the basket early, but after failing to convert early and getting into foul trouble, big-man Jordan Robinson stepped in, scoring 10 points and blocking a pair of shots. 

After being out-rebounded by 16 against Saint Francis, Duquesne grabbed 37 boards to UMass-Lowell’s 27. Senior forward Dominique McKoy led the team with six rebounds in his return to the starting lineup. The Dukes ended the game shooting 51.8 percent from the field and over 57 percent from 3-point range while holding the River Hawks to 41.5 percent on field goal attempts. Jordan Stevens and Derrick Colter both had time at the point instead of Mason today, and they both ended with 10 points. Stevens also had seven dimes to Colter’s three.

“I knew (Colter) would get our tempo back, playing the way we wanted to play,” Ferry said. “I knew D.C. would get us going, playing fast, which what was lacking.”

Duquesne will be off until the 28th, when they will host Maryland Eastern Shore with a 2 p.m. tip-off.

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