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Duquesne men knock off La Salle in three overtimes

| Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, 3:33 p.m.

In a hard-fought Atlantic 10 matchup that resulted in three overtimes and featured 33 lead changes, Duquesne found a way to separate itself and pull away from La Salle to earn a 101-94 victory Saturday at A.J. Palumbo Center.

While there were many moments throughout the marathon contest when the potential for a hero presented itself, it was Dukes guard Mike Lewis II who eventually answered the call. Lewis scored 11 of his team's 13 points in the third overtime to help Duquesne (13-5, 4-1) earn its ninth consecutive home win.

It is the Dukes' longest home winning streak in 18 years. The Dukes were 1-7 against La Salle in the past eight meetings, and it was just their second win over the Explorers since January 2011.

Through regulation and the first two overtimes, Lewis II, who averages 15.6 points, tallied 14 points. In the third overtime, the sophomore found his stroke to finish with a team-high 25 points.

“My conditioning helped,” he said. “I actually felt more comfortable shooting the ball in the third overtime than I did in regulation just because after practice, when we work out, I'm tired already.

“I credit my teammates though. I know Jordan (Robinson) set a couple of great screens to get a guy off me so I could get some free space.”

The Dukes had seven players log at least 20 minutes and had five score in double figures for the first time this season.

Junior Tarin Smith added 21 points and five assists, and center Chas Brown chipped in 12 points. Eric Williams Jr. and Robinson finished with double-doubles, as Williams scored 10 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Robinson collected 13 points and 12 rebounds.

“I thought it was a great college basketball game,” Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot said. “Obviously, we had chances to win in regulation. We didn't shoot very good free throw-wise.

“They had chances, obviously, to win it in the first overtime, which was a miraculous comeback (by us), which was a tribute to our guys' resiliency and how they believe in themselves.”

Dambrot's team trailed by six points with 50 seconds remaining in the first overtime before mounting a furious comeback that culminated with a Kellon Taylor tip-in to tie the score at 81-81 with six seconds remaining.

For La Salle (7-11, 1-4), Pookie Powell scored a game-high 26 points. Freshman Jamir Moultrie had 17 points, and Amar Stukes finished with 16 for the Explorers.

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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