James’ triple-double leads Dukes past St. Joe’s 102-88
PITTSBURGH (AP)—Shawn James had a rare college triple-double with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocked shots and Duquesne wore down fatigued Saint Joseph’s with its quickness and pressure defense during a 102-88 victory Wednesday night.
Kojo Mensah scored 19 points, Gary Tucker and Aaron Jackson added 18 points each and Damian Saunders scored 14 as the Dukes (14-7, 4-4 in Atlantic 10) repeatedly frustrated the Hawks (15-6, 6-2) with a full-court press that resulted in turnovers, poor shots and fast break chances.
Pat Calathes had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Garret Williamson added 17 points, but the Hawks’ six-game winning streak ended. The Hawks had won 11 of 12 overall and had beaten Duquesne 10 consecutive times, including an 89-41 rout in Philadelphia last season.
When Duquesne guards Mensah, Tucker and Jackson weren’t creating offense, James—the nation’s leading shot blocker two seasons ago at Northeastern before transferring—was dunking and blocking shots during the first triple-double in Duquesne history.
Saint Joseph’s played its second game in three days—it beat Philadelphia rival Villanova 77-55 on Monday—and its fourth in eight days and it showed as Duquesne took control with a 19-0 run late in the first half.
Duquesne started the run with a 27-25 lead with 4:57 remaining in the first half and ended it exactly four minutes later with a 46-25 lead. Damian Saunders hit a pair of 3-pointers during the run and James dunked off a steal and hit two free throws.
It was a major turnaround for the Dukes, who had lost two in a row and were coming off their worst performance of the season, a 74-59 loss Saturday to a St. Bonaventure team it had beaten 83-67 earlier in the season.
Saint Joseph’s, falling out of a tie with Xavier for the Atlantic 10 lead, played without its second leading scorer as 6-9 Ahmad Nivins, who averages 14.2 points, who stayed in Philadelphia with an ankle injury. His absence showed as Duquesne blocked 15 shots, forced 16 turnovers and held a 36-31 rebounding edge.
Duquesne, closing in on its first winning season since 1993-94, is 10-2 at home, only the third time since the 1980-81 season it has won 10 or more games on their home court. The Dukes were 10-4 in 1980-81 and 12-3 in 1993-94.