PITTSBURGH — The Duquesne men’s basketball team was once again down double digits, this time on two separate occasions and for an eighth time, were able to come back earning an 80-73 victory over Massachusetts in front of 2,980 Palumbo Center fans.
Duquesne redshirt sophomore Tavian Dunn-Martin set career highs with his 30 points and seven made three-point shots. Dunn-Martin also matched a career high with six assists.
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Fellow redshirt sophomore Michael Hughes had 17 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Eric Williams added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Duquesne has now clinched its sixth-ever winning conference season and the 10 victories in Atlantic 10 play set the school record set in 1981, 1991 and 2011.
Carl Pierre led UMass with 15 points, 12 of which came on three-point shots. Both Rashaan Holloway (14 points and 13 rebounds) and Jonathan Laurent (13 points and 13 rebounds) contributed double-doubles for the Minutemen.
Early on, it was Duquesne controlling the pace of play as Dunn-Martin drained two three-point shots, but soon after, the shooting went cold and UMass took advantage.
The Minutemen were able to establish a rebounding advantage which it ended up winning 49-27, and opened up an 11 point lead, silencing the Palumbo Center crowd.
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Though UMass held a 34-32 halftime lead, Duquesne closed the first half on a 7-0 run led by Dunn-Martin which allowed the Dukes and its fans to gain some confidence heading back into the locker room.
UMass again held a double-digit advantage in the second half with both Dunn-Martin and Brandon Wade in foul trouble, but Duquesne made timely shots and did enough on the defensive end to draw the game closer.
When Dunn-Martin made a three with 4:18 remaining in regulation, it earned its first lead since 14:59 remained in the first half and held onto that advantage.
As the game drew closer to its conclusion, Duquesne was able to get a steal which resulted in a Marcus Weathers dunk and from there made the necessary free throws to create enough separation to earn its 19th win of the season.
Duquesne will travel to Saint Louis for a Wednesday evening rematch against the Billikens.