PITTSBURGH — Duquesne men’s basketball sophomore guard Eric Williams Jr saw that teammate Tavian Dunn-Martin had missed a layup in traffic and knew an offensive rebound would be critical for his team, but he was one step ahead of that.
In similar fashion to Duquesne’s last game against Fordham, Williams with there with the dunk which put his team in front by two possessions.
Duquesne was able to make enough free throws down the stretch to secure an 85-84 victory Saturday over Saint Joseph’s at the Palumbo Center.
A total of six Duquesne players achieved a double-digit points total led by redshirt sophomore center Michael Hughes’s 17 points and eight rebounds.
Redshirt sophomore forward Charlie Brown Jr scored 28 points, his highest career conference game output.
This was Duquesne’s highest conference point total in a regulation game under Keith Dambrot.
Saint Joseph’s opened the first half on a 22-7 first half run but as Duquesne was coming back in the game, Pierfrancesco Oliva went down screaming almost immediately in pain.
The delay approached 10 minutes and a stretcher was quickly called. Oliva was sent to a UPMC hospital with his belongings also make the short drive.
This lengthy stoppage seemed to benefit Duquesne which was able to take its first lead of the game on a Williams jumper that came with 5:33 remaining in the first half.
Saint Joseph’s would come back, leading by as many as six points in the first half, but, Duquesne responded with a 7-0 run to close out the first half as Tavian Dunn-Martin found Frankie Hughes who made a reverse layup with six seconds remaining in the opening 20 minutes.
The game continued to provide have a back-and-forth nature to it in the second half, as both teams owned the lead in stretches.
Michael Hughes was able to take advantage of post positioning drawing fouls or making tough baskets, even through an occasional double team, which provided a difference in this game.
Dunn-Martin meanwhile finished a +22 on the game and if he was not making impact three-point shots provided a defensive spark.
Duquesne will next begin a two-game road trip which starts with a contest Wednesday evening against Richmond. Richmond defeated Duquesne is both meetings last season. Richmond defeated George Washington 76-56 Saturday for its first conference victory of the season.