Dukes lose to Saint Louis in double overtime, 79-75

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Duquesne came close to snapping out of its three-game losing streak before falling to Saint Louis tonight at the A.J. Palumbo Center, 79-75 in an Atlantic 10 Conference matchup.

The Dukes (9-8, 0-3), who haven't won since Dec. 22, have played a school-record five overtime games already this season.

Damian Saunders led the Dukes with 23 points and 17 rebounds, earning his 14th double-double of the season, a mark that is first in the country.

Kwamain Mitchell led the Billikens in scoring with 19 points; he had just two points at the half.

Standout sophomore swingman Melquan Bolding played just five minutes for the Dukes -- all in the first half -- as he is fighting off an illness and missed practice on Tuesday.

A Bill Clark 3-pointer with 9.1 seconds left in the first overtime -- the first one he attempted on the night -- sent the game to a second overtime.

Saint Louis then scored the first seven points in the second overtime.

The Dukes took a 31-23 lead early in the second half, but didn't put the Billikens away, allowing Saint Louis to hang around, fight back and grab a 41-39 advantage midway through the second half.

Saint Louis made that 43-41 with 7:26 left as they used balance throughout, getting production from just about everyone who made the trip from Missouri.

At the final media timeout, which came with 2:54 remaining, the Billikens held a 50-47 lead. At that juncture, the Dukes had 17 turnovers to 7 assists.

The Dukes forced Saint Louis into a key five second call with 49.5 seconds remaining and the Billkens ahead, 52-50.

From there, Duquesne's Sean Johnson tied it with a layup at 52-52 with 35 seconds left and Saint Louis held for the last shot.

Cody Ellis' elbow jumper just before the buzzer caromed off the rim, sending the game into overtime.

It was virtually even in the early going.

Duquesne took a 27-23 halftime lead in a game that was back and forth for much of the opening 20 minutes.

In that first half where there was little separation, the Billikens started with a 6-2 lead, Duquesne fought back to make it 13-13, then took that four-point advantage into the half.

Saunders scored 8 points in the first half to pace the Dukes while Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus used 10 players in the first 20 minutes, getting points from eight of them.

Duquesne now faces a week off before playing at Rhode Island on Wednesday.


Colin Dunlap can be reached at cdunlap@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1459.


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