La Salle wins overtime thriller, Duquesne rolls

By Stephen Hewitt

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After a three-point advantage at halftime on Sunday afternoon, the Duquesne men’s basketball team pulled away in the second frame to stay undefeated in Atlantic 10 play, beating Dayton 82-64 at the CONSOL Energy Center.
Senior forward Damian Saunders led all scorers with 19 points to catapult the Dukes (15-5, 7-0 A-10) to a first-place tie with Xavier and its best 20-game start to a season since the 1971-72 team opened the year 16-4.
It was Saunders and senior guard Bill Clark – who boasted 17 points of his own – who led a strong attack to break open the game in the second half, leading DU to a 19-8 run that put the game out of reach.
Freshman T.J. McConnell and junior B.J. Monteiro also contributed double-figures in points for the Dukes, adding 15 points each.
Junior forward Chris Johnson led the Flyers (15-7, 3-4 A-10) with 13 points, while senior forward Chris Wright posted a near double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.
The loss puts the Flyers in an eighth-place tie with St. Bonaventure and La Salle, as they look to turn things around when they play both of those schools this week.
DU will look to extend its winning streak to 11 games and put its perfect conference mark on the line when it hosts George Washington and takes a road trip to face off with the Bonnies this week.
          La Salle edges Charlotte
After its chances of winning seemed unlikely down six with just over a minute left in regulation, La Salle defied the odds to push it to overtime before ultimately defeating Charlotte in double overtime, 91-86, for its third consecutive victory.
Five players scored in double-figures for the Explorers (11-11, 3-4 A-10), including 17 points from both senior Jerrell Williams and junior Earl Pettis.
Freshman Cole Stefan tied the game with 7.8 seconds left in the first overtime by netting a 3-pointer and LSU took the momentum into the second extra period to move into a tie for eighth place in the conference.
Sophomore KJ Sherrill led the 49ers with 24 points, including going 14-for-18 from the foul line and notching 13 rebounds.
For Charlotte, the loss marks its fourth-straight loss and places them 12th in the standings. The road doesn’t get any easier, however, as games against Xavier and GWU lie ahead for the 49ers.
La Salle will try and build on the momentum gained against Charlotte with home games against Temple and Dayton later this week.
Woes continue for Saint Joe’s
After a solid 3-2 start to its season, including good wins against the likes of Fairfield and Rutgers, it has gone downhill for Saint Joseph’s.
The latest suffering in what has been a very disappointing season for the Hawks (5-16, 0-7 A-10) came with a 72-54 blowout loss to the hands of Temple.
The loss marks SJU’s (15-5, 5-2 A-10) eighth-straight defeat and its 14th loss in its last 16 games.
Temple, led by Scootie Randall’s game-high 17 points, used a 12-0 run in the first half to go up 23-10 with eight minutes remaining in the first frame. SJU would never cut its deficit to single digits for the remainder of the contest.
The lone bright spot for the Hawks, as he has been all season, was sophomore guard Carl Jones, who paced the team with 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting.
Jones – who boasts 17.9 points per game – will need to continue his dominant form as SJU searches for its first conference victory this week with games against Richmond and Massachusetts.

Stephen Hewitt can be reached at [email protected]