The Duquesne men's basketball team earned its fourth victory this afternoon as the Dukes beat Maine, 87-73, before a crowd of 2,689 at the Palumbo Center.
The Black Bears (2-5), however, proved to be a tougher out than the score would make it appear and they pushed the Dukes to the limit.
In fact, the game was tied 37-37 at the half and Duquesne only led 74-71 with less than three minutes to play.
But Duquesne senior Sean Johonson made a layup with 2:10 to play to push the lead to 77-71, and then on the ensuing possession the Dukes forced a turnover and the Black Bears were forced to fouled and the Dukes put the game away at the free throw line by making 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch.
Jeremiah Jones and Kadeem Pantophlet each came up big for the Dukes in the second half to keep the Black Bears at arm's length.
Pantophlet scored all 14 of his points in the second half -- at one point he scored eight in a row -- and drew a big charge late and Jones, a freshman, scored a season-high 15 points and grabbed four rebounds.
Pantophlet, whose 14 points tied his career high, also sent the Black Bears home in style as he had an empthatic "GAME OVER" dunk on a fast break with 20 seconds to play and that was the final basket of the game.
Duquesne's defense was especially key down the stretch as the Dukes held the Black Bears to only six points in the final seven minutes of the game.
The Dukes (4-3) now have three days to prepare for their annual City Game rivalry with Pitt, which will be Wednesday night at Consol Energy Center.
Duquesne's P.J. Torres was ejected in the second half for throwing an elbow to the head of one of Maine's players.
Paul Zeise: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @paulzeise