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Duquesne Basketball

Duquesne Dominates UC Irvine, 76-54, in Akron



Coming off a close win in their last outing, Duquesne had no problems against UC Irvine, winning 76-54 at Lebron James Arena in Akron, O.H., Sunday afternoon.

The victory for the Dukes (5-7) over the Anteaters (5-4) was their biggest of the season and  their second in a row. The Dukes were great offensively, making almost 50% of their shots from the field and from behind the arc, as well as 90% shooting from the foul line. They also outrebounded the Anteaters, 40-26, including 17-10 on offensive rebounds. 

 UC Irvine took an early 7-3 lead in the first three minutes, but Duquesne took control of the game right afterwards.

The Dukes went on a 15-4 run to take an 18-11 lead, with first-year guard Tyson Acuff scoring seven points during the run, on a layup, mid-range jumper and a 3-pointer.

Both teams battled and the Anteaters took a 10-8 advantage to cut the lead to five at 26-21 with four minutes remaining.

Duquesne responded by going on a 12-2 run, with five different players getting on the scoring end and capped off with a 3-pointer by Acuff, who led Duquesne with 10 points in the first half.

The Dukes had big advantages in the first half on rebounds and on 3-point shooting. They outrebounded the Anteaters, 22-12, 10-2 on offensive rebounds, and shot 5-for-10 from behind the arc compared to 1-for-9. 

Duquesne continued to build on their lead by starting on a 9-2 run to lead by 18, 47-29, with 13:36 remaining. Junior guard Leon Ayers III scored four points on a layup and two free throws to lead the Dukes on the run.

UC Irvine was able to come back in the game, with a 9-0 run that cut the lead to single digits and forced Duquesne to take a timeout.

Both teams kept it close, with the Dukes taking a small 11-9 advantage with six minutes remaining. 

Duquesne was able to break away after that, going on a 14-2 run to end any chance of a UC Irvine comeback. 

Ayers was a big player for the Dukes, scoring six points on the run and ending with a team high and career high 24 points. Acuff also played well in this game, as he had a career high 16 points in the victory and sophomore forward Kenny Easley Jr. had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. 

The only big difference between UC Irvine and Duquesne in the second half was on free throw shooting, as Duquesne made all eight shots from the line and UC Irvine missed their only attempt. 

The Dukes will wrap up their non-conference schedule Wednesday, December 22 at 3 p.m., as they take on the Wofford Terriers at UPMC Cooper Field House.


Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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