Buzzer beater brings hope to Duquesne basketball

Julian Routh | News Editor

The course of an entire season can change in four seconds.

Four seconds is all it took for Derrick Colter to run the length of the floor and sink a desperation three-pointer at the buzzer to shock conference rival St. Bonaventure 83-81 Saturday evening at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Four seconds is all it took for the Dukes to get their first lucky break. Their first bit of true excitement in a season ridden with bad breaks.

From any way you look at it, this one felt good.

“I knew we had it the whole time,” a chuckling Jim Ferry said.

A bit of irony from Ferry, perhaps, considering the bleak uncertainty surrounding the team entering big games and big moments. Up until Saturday evening, it was all fool’s gold.

There was the City Game against Pitt at the end of November, when the Dukes managed to shake off an ugly start to pull within four points at halftime, only to be blown out in the second half.

There was the homecoming game against La Salle earlier this month, when the team, fresh off a five-game winning streak, treated the packed and loud Palumbo Center crowd to a close first half, followed by 20 minutes of collapse.

And, of course, there was the game last week against No. 19 Saint Louis, when Duquesne had the lead entering the final minute, but ended up losing.

So, with all that in mind, Ferry’s confidence in his team holding on against the Bonnies this weekend was more hopeful than reasonable, even if it was rooted in humor.

In fact, it would have been hard for anyone to be confident in the Dukes’ ability to pull off the win over St. Bonaventure.
Especially after watching Colter miss a pair of must-make free throws that would have given the team a one-point lead with 5.5 seconds left.

“That was what made me mad,” Colter said.

The Dukes were lucky Colter got mad, because there comes a time when you get sick of buying into fool’s gold, and no one wanted to buy it Saturday. As the game looked more and more like it was headed toward another disappointment, there was no reason in sight why Duquesne should have won.

But they did.

“I think the younger guys especially can learn from this game. Just stay with it,” Soko said. “If you keep doing the right things, the luck will happen to tip your way.”