Duquesne beat Western Michigan, 71-66, tonight at the Palumbo Center and did so mostly because they were able to defend in the post and rebound with the taller, stronger frontcourt of the Broncos.
The Dukes (7-5), who led 8-0 early and never trailed, led by four points at the half but opened up a double-digit lead with a 7-0 run to open the second half and they never really looked back.
The Broncos were able to pull within five a few times but it seemed as if every time they threatened, someone from Duquesne -- usually either Sean Johnson or Derrick Colter -- hit a big 3 pointer to stop the momentum.
The Dukes tied a season-high with 12 3-pointers in a season-high 32 attempts and Colter finished with a career-high 25 points, the most by a Duquesne player this year.
Duquesne led 36-32 at the half thanks to the work of Colter and Johnson as the two combined for 25 of the Dukes 36 points. Colter was especially hot early as he made 7 of his first 9 shots, including two 3-pointers, and he added two rebounds as well.
The Dukes also played excellent half-court defense against the Broncos as they forced nine first-half turnovers.
Duquesne will go on the road for the next two games -- at Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday and then at Penn State on Dec. 29 before the Dukes begin Atlantic 10 play at Fordham Jan. 9.
Johnson had four 3-pointers and finished with 18 points and Jeremiah Jones, who was ejected for a flagrant foul, added 11.
Duquesne was outrebounded 44-41 but given the size advantage of the Broncos the Dukes really did an excellent job of holding their own on the glass.
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Paul Zeise: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1720