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Duquesne holds on to beat Western Kentucky

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Duquesne jumped on Western Kentucky early and held on late to defeat the Hilltoppers, 81-73, in the fifth-place game of the Gulf Coast Showcase at Estero, Fla.

Derrick Colter had 24, including a big three-point play with just over a minute left, and Jeremiah Jones added a career-high 17 for Duquesne.

The Dukes, who finished the three-day event 2-1, are off to their best start since 2009-10 at 5-1.

Justin Johnson led Western Kentucky with 21 points.

DU, which hit six of its first nine shots in building a 14-0 lead, saw its 18-point halftime lead whittled to seven in the closing moments before Colter’s three-point play made it 79-69. WKU briefly made it a six-point game in the final minute before Colter iced it with a pair of free throws.

Micah Mason added 14 points - including four 3-pointers - and TySean Powell scored 10 off the bench for DU. Jones had nine rebounds. Mason had a game-high five assists and three steals.

WKU did not score its first field goal until the 14:14 mark. DU, which held the Hilltoppers to 31 percent shooting in the first half, upped the lead to 22 on a Colter 3-point with just over three minutes to go before settling for a 45-27 lead at intermission.

WKU hit nine of its first 11 shots of the second half - including five 3-pointers - to pull within nine with 11:22 left.

The Hilltoppers pulled to within seven before Jones and Mason hit 3-pointers with just over eight minutes remaining.

Duquesne shot 48.4 percent, including 11-of-29 from 3-point. Western Kentucky shot 53.6 percent in the second half to finish at 42.1 percent.

Duquesne returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 1 when it hosts Mississippi Valley State at 7:00 p.m. at A.J. Palumbo Center.

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