Duquesne dumped in first round
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AMHERST, Mass. -- Coach Ron Everhart and the Dukes will have to wait until next year.
Ninth-seeded Duquesne lost a fast-paced, hotly contested Atlantic 10 opening-round game against No. 8 Massachusetts, 92-83, denying Everhart his 100th win with the Dukes and the program its first tournament win since 2009.
"It was a great college basketball game and I'm proud to have been a part of it," Everhart said. "UMass was the better team tonight and I wish them luck."
The Dukes led for portions of the game, but they failed to convert on key opportunities down the stretch as the Minutemen pulled away.
"We were trying to play our game and drive to the basket, but they're a team with a lot of length and I think that affected some of our shots," Dukes forward B.J. Monteiro said.
Eric Evans and Jerry Jones led the Dukes with 16 points apiece and Monteiro added 13. T.J. McConnell and Sean Johnson each had 12 points.
Unlike in the first matchup between these two squads this season, an 80-69 Duquesne win, the Dukes were unable to contain Chaz Williams and Raphiael Putney, who went for 21 and 20 points, respectively.
"I think the difference was the deflections and pressure we were applying to the ball wouldn't turn into a steal the way it would in the first game," Everhart said. "We didn't create as many turnovers as we did the last time."
Jaavorn Farrell also posted a career-high for the Minutemen with 20 points.
After the Dukes took an early 12-7 lead, the Minutemen ran off to a 23-15 lead thanks to a 16-2 run.
The Dukes were able to respond with a 13-4 run, capped by Jerry Jones' 3-pointer from the top of the key with 6:57 remaining in the half to pull even at 33-33.
The Dukes trailed, 51-48 at the half after McConnell hit a turnaround jumper at the buzzer.
"That was in the back of my mind because there have been times this season when those two points at the end of the half have come back to haunt us, so I was a little frustrated by that," Massachusetts coach Derrek Kellogg said.
The second half was a back-and-forth affair with six lead changes in the first seven minutes, but after McConnell made a layup on a feed from Evans to give Duquesne a 62-61 lead, Massachusetts jumped back out in front on five consecutive points from Williams.
The Dukes didn't go away and took the lead on McConnell's layup with seven minutes remaining, 73-71.
Kadeem Pantophlet's 3-pointer and Mike Talley's basket pushed the Dukes' advantage to 78-73, but the Minutemen stormed back and retook the lead, 82-78, with just more than 3:30 left in the game behind Farrell's bucket and four consecutive free throws from Williams.
"We're both running teams who were playing our game, getting the ball out in transition, so it was a back and forth game all game," Evans said.
"But they executed down the stretch and made a couple of buckets that we didn't make."
Monteiro fouled out with 1:14 remaining in the game, meriting a technical along the way after punching the base of the basket, then was almost hit with a soda bottle hurled from the Massachusetts student section.
Down the stretch, the Minutemen converted on 8 of 10 of their free throws to seal the game.
• Dayton 67, George Washington 50: Devin Oliver scored a season-high 19 points and Dayton (20-11) defeated visiting George Washington (10-21) for the second time in four days. Coming off a 75-59 victory against the Colonials March 3, Dayton jumped out to a 31-17 halftime lead.
• La Salle 80, Richmond 72: Ramon Galloway had 17 points to pace four double-figure scorers for La Salle (21-11) in a win against visiting Richmond (16-16). Earl Pettis had 15 points for the Explorers.
• Saint Joseph's 80, Charlotte 64: Carl Jones scored 23 points and Halil Kanacevic had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead Saint Joseph's (20-12) against visiting Charlotte (13-17).
First Published March 7, 2012 12:00 am