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Colter leads Dukes to rout of LaSalle

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Derrick Colter’s 20-point second half helped Duquesne improve to .500 in Atlantic 10 play Tuesday night, as the Dukes outlasted La Salle 87-60 at the Palumbo Center.

PITTSBURGH -- “I thought that was a better win than some people might think just because of (our) total contrasting styles,” head coach Jim Ferry said.

In their first game since their infamous 30 hour bus ride home from Virginia, Colter’s 27 points were the highlight of Duquesne’s (14-7, 4-4) whiteout win. Ferry said that the team wasn’t going to let the bus ride be an excuse, but a sloppy first half kept the Explorers (5-13, 1-6) in the game despite going with a slow-paced attack. Micah Mason and Eric James both logged double-doubles to give the Dukes their third win in four games.

L.G. Gill carried Duquesne’s offense early, scoring seven early points to give the Dukes a 9-7 advantage seven minutes in. After falling behind 15-12, Micah Mason sank a pair of threes and scored eight consecutive Duquesne points to make it 23-19 with 6:39 to go.

Both teams came into Pittsburgh looking justifiably tired, with La Salle playing Sunday and the Dukes still trying to find their legs. The shooting suffered as a result, as Duquesne opened 7-21 and La Salle 7-24 before going into the half hitting 37.5 and 26.5 percent of their shots, respectively.

“I thought at the first media (timeout) our legs were blown out,” Mason said. “After that, we got our feet up under us.”

Despite being able to hold the Explorer’s best offensive threat Jordan Price to just 3-14 from the field, the Dukes didn’t build a six point lead until the clock read 2:39, and they took that six point lead into the half, 32-26. Gill and Price went into the half with nine points and Mason with eight.

The Explorers stuck around early in the second half, pulling to within three with 15:31 to play after Price made a layup. It was one of the few highlights for Price on the night, as the A10’s second leading scoring did get 21 points but only shot 7-24 from the field and 4-7 from the line.

With the game within grasp for La Salle, Gill gave the Dukes their second spark of the game after sinking a triple to make it 43-37. The Dukes went on a 10-2 run to build a lead back before their offense exploded. The Dukes didn’t miss a shot from the 12 minute mark to just 12 seconds remaining, with TySean Powell slamming a couple of dunks and Rene Castro nailing a pair of threes to cap it off.

“We were seeing each other, and guys were hitting shots in the second half,” Mason said. “They had to speed their game up because they were down, so it helped us out.”

James ended the night with 11 points and 15 boards, while Mason had 14 points and 10 assists. Duquesne shot 46.4 percent from the field while holding the Explorer’s to just 30 percent, and they also won the battle on the glass 54-37.

Duquesne will travel to Saint Louis Saturday to face the Billikens at 6 p.m.. The Dukes won their earlier matchup at the Palumbo Center on Jan. 13 81-71.

1. James’ 15 rebounds are a new career high.

2. This was Mason’s first career double-double.

3. The win was the Dukes’ third consecutive home win. It was also the third straight home game Ferry wore a different colored suit jacket. After a traditional black jacket in the 81-71 over Saint Louis, Ferry wore red for the red-out in the 95-88 win over St. Bonaventure and white Tuesday for the whiteout.

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