Duquesne’s (6-22, 1-15) losing streak extended to 15-straight games on Wednesday, but for one of the few times during the losing streak, nobody can question the effort of Duquesne. Despite playing a George Washington team (12-16, 8-8) that beat Duquesne 73-52 just two weeks ago, Duquesne took George Washington to triple overtime while on the road.
Duquesne got off to a familiar start as they only managed to score one basket in about the first six minutes. From the start of the game to the 14:22 mark, Duquesne shot 1-9 and trailed 9-2. After that, they were consistent and even managed to take the lead in the first after two free-throws by Jackie Johnson III made it 15-14 with 10:44 left in the first half.
Neither team managed to get a lead larger than five points for the remainder of the first and despite shooting 2-13 (15.4%) from the three-point line, Duquesne entered halftime only down by two, 30-28.
Similar to the first half, neither team managed to pull away in the second. The largest lead of the second half was only seven points, a 45-38 lead by George Washington with 11 minutes left in the game. Seven points was the largest lead of regulation, which George Washington also achieved early on at 9-2.
Duquesne remained in the game but trailed by six at 54-48 with less than five minutes (4:47) left. A 7-1 run though would tie things up at 55-55 with 1:42 left. Primo Spears fouled Brendan Adams, who made both free throws to make the score 57-55 with a little over a minute (1:19) left. Just 20 seconds later through, Davis Larson hit a clutch three-pointer to make it 58-57.
That three by Larson was also his first basket of the night. Both teams then hit a few free throws and the game went into overtime tied, 59-59.
George Washington began to pull away with a 68-62 lead, but a 6-0 run by Duquesne tied things up at 68-68. With 12 seconds left, Brayon Freeman found James Bishop who hit a three-pointer to make the score 71-68. Duquesne would not go down without a fight though, as Larson hit his second three-pointer of the game with five seconds left in overtime to tie things up at 71-71 and extend the game.
In second overtime, it was Duquesne who pulled ahead early. They took a 79-74 lead with approximately two minutes (2:03) left in the game. George Washington tied things up at 79, then Duquesne hit two free throws to make it 81-79 with 44 seconds remaining. A Larson foul on Adams with 15 seconds left, sent George Washington to the free throw line. Adams hit both and the game headed to yet another overtime, tied 81-81.
With both teams tired, the five-minute third-overtime period had more points scored than any other five-minute stretch in the game. 29 points were scored in the final five minutes, but a 9-2 run towards the end of the period separated the two teams and George Washington pulled away with the nail biting 98-93 win.
It is a tough loss for Duquesne, who never trailed by more than seven points in the game. Impressively, their defense generated 19 turnovers on George Washington. Duquesne won the turnover battle, only turning the ball over eight times in the seven-quarter game.
Besides Larson’s two clutch three-pointers late in the game, Johnson (30 points) and Spears (25) also showed up on the offensive side of the ball. For Johnson, that was a career high. Kevin Easley played an excellent game on defense, grabbing 11 rebounds and generating six turnovers.
Duquesne’s last chance to end the losing streak will be this Saturday at home against La Salle. Senior Night will kick-off at 2:00 p.m.