PITTSBURGH — Eastern Kentucky freshman forward Tre King prepared to do what he likely had dreamed his entire life, take two free throws with the game on the line.
When King’s second free throw missed towards the left end of the rim, Duquesne men’s basketball redshirt sophomore center Michael Hughes grabbed the rebound and heaved the ball as the overtime game clock expired.
As the final buzzer sounded, EKU coach A.W. Hamilton yelled at the officials for not recognizing a foul attempt.
Hughes quickly ran back to the handshake line as Duquesne defeated Eastern Kentucky by an 85-84 overtime score Saturday at the Palumbo Center.
HIGHLIGHTS: Dukes Complete Comeback Against Colonels in OT; Win 85-84 pic.twitter.com/yxad6stOWJ
— Duquesne Basketball (@DuqMBB) December 22, 2018
Duquesne sophomore guard Eric Williams Jr led all scorers with 21 points and completed the double-double with 14 rebounds, playing 44 of a total 45 minutes.
During two separate occasions in the first half, Duquesne led by 10 points, but it was EKU which led by 12 points with 1:03 remaining in regulation.
With Duquesne down 12 points, the team was able to find a spark heading to the locker room, intensifying its defense and being the beneficiaries of a flagrant foul call.
Frustration set in for Duquesne as EKU’s lead reached double digits and on a missed three from Tavian Dunn-Martin, head referee Tony Chiazza ruled possession going to Eastern Kentucky. Williams Jr clearly disagreed with the call and after though a couple of teammates attempted to hold their starting guard back, the brief conversation resulted in a technical foul.
Dambrot disputed the call which activated a media timeout and a couple of Duquesne players escorted its second-year coach back into the huddle. During the media timeout, Duquesne sent assistant coach Rick McFadden briefly over to speak to Chiazza. The original call stood and EKU made both free throws from the exchange.
Duquesne was able to come back as Frankie Hughes fed Williams Jr from close range for a three-point basket which gave the Dukes its first lead in 17:43 of game action.
EKU was unfazed by this change and regrouped after calling a timeout, holding Duquesne’s offense in check and a Kelvin Robinson dunk placed Eastern Kentucky up by two points.
Duquesne was playing without Sincere Carry who fouled out with 4:11 remaining in regulation. Carry’s 24 minutes played, were one off from matching a season-low.
Despite this, Duquesne rallied in a similar fashion to the Penn State game, with Williams Jr making two free throws which tied the game. Duquesne then had a defensive stand when EKU senior forward Nick Mayo’s three-point attempt fell long.
In the overtime period, Williams Jr made the winning basket with 14 seconds remaining.
Eric Williams Jr. is $$$$$$!
Dukes win 85-84 over EKU in OT. What a game at the Palumbo Center. Wow. pic.twitter.com/GL7CEfZBqA
— A10 Talk (@A10Talk) December 22, 2018
Duquesne concludes its nonconference schedule Dec. 31 against NJIT, in a contest which will tip off at 2 p.m. This season is the fourth consecutive in which Duquesne has finished .500 or better in its non-conference slate.