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Colter, Duquesne top Western Michigan

| Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, 9:50 p.m.

Duquesne's Derrick Colter might hang onto his Atlantic 10 honor a little longer.

Colter, the conference's reigning rookie of the week, scored 25 points, and senior Sean Johnson added 18 in Wednesday night's 71-66 nonconference victory over Western Michigan at Palumbo Center.

The Dukes (7-5) jumped to an 8-0 lead and never trailed. Colter and Johnson combined for 25 of the Dukes' first 29 points, including 16 by the freshman. Against an opponent with size and inside scoring, the Dukes made them run.

“We had to attack them with our quickness,” Dukes coach Jim Ferry said.

“We couldn't play a slowdown game with these guys. They would have just beat us up.”

Colter's 25 points were the most by a Dukes player this season, bettering the 21 scored by Jerry Jones against Appalachian State.

Shayne Whittington had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Broncos (7-4) of the Mid-American Conference. The 6-foot-10 junior had averaged just 9.6 points before making 8 of 16 shots Wednesday. Nate Hutcheson, the Broncos' leading scorer (13.6 ppg), made just 1 of 12 shots and scored only seven points.

Western Michigan began the second half by making two of its first 16 shots.

Jeremiah Jones added 11 points for the Dukes, but the freshman was ejected with 3:19 left for a flagrant elbow that knocked down Hutcheson.

“That was a really, really physical game,” Ferry said. “... but no matter what, you've got to play with poise.”

Despite a size disadvantage, Duquesne was only slightly outrebounded, 44-41.

The Dukes shot a season-high 32 3-pointers and made 12. Johnson made a pair of key 3-pointers midway through the second half with the Dukes leading by only three.

The first, near Duquesne's bench, was with 9:47 left. The second, atop the key, was with 8:22.

“(The Broncos) were big, they used their size and they guarded to the 3-point line,” Ferry said.

“They didn't extend. ... The biggest shot of the game was the three Sean made in front of our bench.”

Colter and Johnson combined for 25 first-half points. Colter had 16 points, making 7 of 9 first-half shots. Johnson had nine points. They combined for four 3-pointers.

Another 3-pointer by Colter capped a brief 8-2 run by Duquesne midway through the first. With 9:33 left, the basket gave the Dukes a 23-15 lead.

Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at charlan@tribweb.com.

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