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Duquesne Outlasts George Mason, 59-51, in Low-Scoring Affair

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As the Duquesne men’s basketball team takes a dive into the state of Virginia to close out its road campaign, a Saturday matchup against George Mason held significant postseason implications.

Coming into the contest with both teams dead even in conference play at 7-8, it was Duquesne that outlasted George Mason for a 59-51 victory to cushion themselves in a first-round bye situation.

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Fighting through 10 different lead changes in the second half, the Dukes utilized a late run and free throws from Dae Dae Grant to seal it in a grueling contest.

Grant led the Dukes with 13 points. Jimmy Clark III added 12 points and four rebounds, while Fousseyni Drame registered 10.

Without two of their key starters – Keyshawn Hall, who averages a team-leading 17.2 points per game, and Ronald Polite III – the Patriots needed Darrius Maddox to step up and he did so with 22 points on four triples.

George Mason (18-11, 7-9) manufactured a 14-2 lead as a silent Duquesne (18-11, 8-8) offense went six minutes without a point before David Dixon finally ended the drought at 11:26 of the opening frame.

It was the 3-point shooting futility that harmed the Dukes in the first half, hitting just 11 percent (1 of 9) from beyond the arc.

As expected, Maddox took responsibility in the absence of the Patriots’ leading scorer as he put together an 11-point first half, including a key triple to push the lead to 12. No other Patriot reached double figures.

Despite scoring the second-lowest total in the first half this season, a 7-1 stretch in the final two minutes allowed the Dukes to stick around, only trailing by three at the break.

It didn’t take Duquesne long to finally leap ahead as the Dukes took their first lead of the contest at the 18:39 mark as Tre Williams hit Dusan Mahorcic with a hook pass in the low post as Mahorcic finished the play with the bucket to make it 25-24.

After the Dukes took the lead, it opened up a flurry of lead changes between the two squads. Amari Kelly rose up to throw down a dunk for the Patriots before Drame and Grant pushed the Dukes back ahead yet again.

Duquense climbed to its biggest lead by four after Grant buried a 3-pointer, but the Patriots once again responded with a Maddox triple and Woody Newton jumper.

A variety of lead change once more kept the game hanging in the balance, but at the most important moment of the game, Duquesne strung together an 8-0 run.

Drame threw down a dunk, along with key layups from David Dixon and Clark III to help push the Dukes ahead for good.

The Dukes will close out their road slate against VCU on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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