Duquesne holds off Appalachian State 73-72
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Appalachian State came all the way back from a 19-point deficit, but could not close out Duquesne and fell 73-72 to the Dukes in front of 741 fans at the Holmes Center Tuesday.
The Mountaineers slept walked through a first half that saw Duquesne take a 47-28 lead with 1:28 left in the half. Appalachian State led briefly, but watched the Dukes make 7-of-12 3-point shots in the first 30 minutes.
Duquesne also finished the game with 16 offensive rebounds, and scored 19 points off 18 Appalachian State turnovers.
“I’m not a stickler for numbers, but some stats are pretty glaring,” Mountaineers coach Jason Capel said. “It’s a perfect elixir for our 1-5 start, turning the ball over and being outrebounded.”
The Mountaineers (1-5) lost their fifth straight game after a season-opening victory over NAIA Montreat. Appalachian State plays four straight road games, starting at Missouri on Saturday, before returning for a home game against Presbyterian on Dec. 22.
If the Mountaineers play as listlessly as they did in the first half against Duquesne, they’ll be in for a long four road games.
“I thought we lost the game because of our effort in the first half,” Capel said. “Our lack of execution and most importantly our lack of energy in the first half. The only difference, the only adjustment we made in the second half was we played harder.”
If they play with the sharpness and the intensity they did in the second half, they’ve got a chance as ending their losing skid. Appalachian State’s rally actually began when the Mountaineers closed out the first half with a brief 5-0 run to pull to 47-33 at halftime.
The Mountaineers continued to outscore Duquesne 39-26 in the second half. Appalachian State shot 57.7 percent in the final 20 minutes, but Duquesne made key plays in the final minute of the game that pushed the Dukes to the victory.
“We put ourselves in a position to win the game,” Capel said. “If we play that was consistently for a whole game, we have a double-digit win instead of a one-point loss.”
Appalachian State took its first second-half lead on a Nathan Healy 3-pointer, which put the Mountaineers in front 57-56 with 9:08 left in the game. But the Mountaineers could never build a lead bigger than three points the rest of the game.
They also never fell behind by more than two points until the final 14.3 seconds of the game. Michael Obacha made a layup off a Healy assist with 47 seconds left in the game to put the Mountaineers in front 70-68, but Duquesne struck back with a 3-point dagger from Quevyn Winters with 34.2 seconds left that put the Dukes in front 71-70.
Duquesne got a huge stop on Appalachian State’s next possession when Tab Hamilton’s shot didn’t fall. The Dukes got the rebound, and Jerry Jones drained a pair of foul shots to put Duquesne in front 73-70.
Jay Canty drove to the basket for a layup with 5.1 seconds left and fouled Jones on the inbounds pass. Jones missed both foul shots, but Healy could not get a good grip on the rebound and time expired.
“I think we’re better than 1-5,” Capel said. “I don’t think our record is indicative of who we are as a team. These lessons we’ve learned are going to pay off down the road.”
Healy led the Mountaineers in scoring with 21 points, while Hamilton scored 19 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Canty scored 15 and dished out 10 assists.
“We lost this game in the first half,” Hamilton said. “We have to come out in the beginning with more energy.”
Jones led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field. Kadeem Pantophlet added 11 points and seven rebounds.
Duquesne 73, Appalachian State 72
Marhold 3-8 2-7 8, Pantophlet 4-8 1-1 11, Abele 2-2 0-0 4, Colter 1-9 4-4 6, Johnson 1-5 0-0 2, Torres 1-4 0-0 2, Binny 1-2 0-0 2, Jerry Jones 8-10 3-6 22, Winters 3-7 0-0 9, Jeremiah Jones 2-8 2-2 6. Totals 26-63 12-20 73.
Appalachian State (1-5)
Obacha 1-1 1-2 3, Healy 9-14 0-0 21, Canty 6-14 2-2 15, Hamilton 7-17 0-0 19, Trice 0-3 1-2 1, Baskin 0-0 0-0 0, Burgess 3-5 0-0 6, Spagnolo 0-1 0-0 0, Okam 3-3 1-1 7. Totals 29-58 5-7 72.
Halftime score—Duquesne 47, ASU 33. 3-point goals—Duquesne 9-26 (Jerry Jones 3-5, Winters 3-5, Pantophlet 2-6, Torres 0-1, Jeremiah Jones 0-1, Johnson 0-3, Colter 0-4), ASU 9-20 (Hamilton 5-7, Healy 3-6, Canty 1-4, Trice 0-1, Burgess 0-2). Rebounds—Duquesne 39 (Marhold 9), ASU 30 (Hamilton 7). Assists—Duquesne 15 (Colter 7), ASU 18 (Canty 10).