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DaRon Holmes II posts double-double to lead Dayton past Duquesne, 72-62

The Dayton Flyers, behind a double-double from junior DaRon Holmes II, led from start to finish Friday night to defeat Duquesne, 72-62, at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse in Pittsburgh.

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The Flyers led 31-21 after the first 20 minutes of play. Each team scored 41 points in the second half. Holmes put up 33 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to help move Dayton to 13-2 overall (3-0 in the Atlantic 10).

The win is UD’s 10th straight.

The game was played before a sellout crowd of 3,724 but couldn’t deter Dayton, which led from start to finish to send the Dukes (9-6, 0-3) to their third consecutive loss.

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Holmes’s 33 points was one short of his career high. Former Pitt player Nate Santos added nine points, eight rebounds, and two assists.

Duquesne’s leading scorer, Dae Dae Grant (18.6 points per game), did not score until there was 5:35 left in the game. He finished with a team-high 14 points.

The Dukes pulled to within, 45-41, with 8:40 to play but Holmes responded with a 3-pointer and a dunk within 60 seconds to take the Flyers to a 50-41 lead.

He scored 14 of the next 16 Flyer points to help push the lead out to 14 points, 61-47, with 4:01 remaining.

Dayton posted a 13-2 lead in the game’s first six minutes. Duquesne fought back to cut the deficit to six. UD took command once again and went to halftime with a 10-point lead.

The game was ESPN’s first A-10 Friday Night Showcase of the season.

UD, the preseason favorite in the A-10 in the annual vote of the league’s coaches and selected media returns home for two games.

They will host Saint Louis on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 8 p.m. ET, and Rhode Island on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 12:30 p.m. ET. Both games will be played at the UD Arena.

They will be broadcast on WHIO Radio. They will also be carried here at WHIO.com.