Duquesne rallies to top St. Francis (Pa.)
College Football Videos
LORETTO — Halfway to a tough shooting night, Duquesne's Ovie Soko embraced his coach's advice to stop worrying.
“He always tells me, ‘Just keep playing,' ” said Soko, who teamed with Tra'Vaughn White to score 29 of their combined 39 points after halftime to erase a 13-point deficit in Tuesday night's 78-71 nonconference victory over St. Francis (Pa.).
Soko, who had eight first-half points, finished with 23. White, who had two before halftime, scored 16.
“Coaches have tried to beat into my head, ‘worry about playing hard,' ” Soko said. “Don't worry about making shots. Just play hard and everything will work out.”
Soko led Duquesne with eight first-half points, but he made just two of his first eight shots, and the Dukes trailed 37-27. The 6-foot-8 senior entered Tuesday having made three or fewer shots in four consecutive games.
But Soko was 4 of 7 in the second half, including a 3-pointer. He also finished 10 for 10 from the foul line, extending his recent success there, and had 12 rebounds. In the past three games, Soko has made 30 of 34 free throws.
“He was really down at halftime, feeling like he let everybody down,” Duquesne coach Jim Ferry said. “(I told him) just relax. That's why there are two halves.”
Six points and some added aggression by Soko sparked Duquesne's final run. Two free throws and a tip-in offensive rebound by Soko forced a tie, and White's driving layup with 2:52 left gave the Dukes a 71-69 lead.
Another putback by Soko with 1:58 left pushed the Dukes' lead to four.
“I thought we played on eggshells offensively in the first half,” Ferry said. “Be yourself. Play really hard. Play really aggressively. Let's do what we do.”
Earl Brown led St. Francis (2-8), an NEC team, with 21 points on 9 of 10 shooting, and Ben Millaud-Meunier added 18 points.
Duquesne (4-5) earned its first road win this season and just the third in two seasons under Ferry.
“We've got to learn with all these young guys what it's like,” Ferry said. “To get this win right now is huge. And especially to get it the way we got it. This was a way better win than if we had won by 20. Getting down (13), down 10 at half, I think we learned a little but about our team.”
St. Francis (2-8) shot 48 percent from the field in the first half — including 7 of 16 from 3-point range — and led 37-27 at halftime. The Dukes, who shot 39 percent, were 0 for 6 from 3-point range.
St. Francis sophomore Ben Millaud-Meunier, a 6-1 reserve guard, was 4 of 4 from 3-point range for 12 points in the first half. His four shots came within a four-minute span.
When his fourth fell with 6:38 until halftime, St. Francis led 25-16. With 2:23 left, the lead was 35-22.
Duquesne used a 13-0 run to erase a 10-point halftime deficit. A jumper by Soko with 12:38 left gave Duquesne a 47-46 lead — its first since before halftime. Two free throws by Jeremiah Jones gave the Dukes a 54-46 lead with 10:27 left.
St. Francis rallied and led by four with 4:20 left. But Soko's putback and White's layup with three minutes left gave Duquesne the lead for good at 71-69.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Penguins’ best bet is on Martin
- Burnett’s stellar start paves way for Pirates’ victory over Diamondbacks
- From injuries to front office, Penguins’ season didn’t lack drama
- Spirit Airlines lifts fortunes of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
- Penguins president: General manager, coach won’t be fired
- Young defensemen make case for future with Penguins
- High risk, reward with 1st-round quarterbacks in NFL Draft
- Biertempfel: Observations from a day at the ballpark
- Pirates’ Cole reinforces status as emerging ace
- Pitt AD Barnes has enjoyed varied career in college sports
- Elites, media & character