Saúl Berríos-Thomas | Layout Editor
The Duquesne men’s basketball team came out aggressive Wednesday night and secured a win against the George Washington Colonials. The Dukes won by a score of 78-62 and improved to 8-14, 3-8 in the Atlantic 10. The Colonials dropped to 17-7 (7-4 A-10).
Dukes Coach Jim Ferry felt this was an important game for his team’s season.
“I thought this was a fantastic win for our team and a fantastic win for our program,” he said.
The team was focused in on the Dukes loss to George Washington on JAn. 24 in Washington D.C.
“Eighteen days ago we were down 36 to the same team at their place,” Ferry said.
Junior forward Jeremiah Jones echoed those sentiments.
“We just talked about what they did to us last time. They absolutely dominated us on the offensive and defensive glass. Our focus in practice was to make sure we rebounded well and we played tougher than we did when we played at GW,” he said.
Freshman forward TySean Powell and junior guard Jordan Stevens did not play due to what Ferry called a violation of “team rules.” They will be available on Saturday as long as “they take care of what they have to take care of,” according to Ferry.
The Dukes came out strong on offense and defense. They held the Colonials to 21 first half points on 8-of-39 shooting. The first three baskets of the game by the Dukes were a layup by Jones, a 3-pointer by junior guard Derrick Colter and a three by junior guard Micah Mason. That gave the Dukes an 8-2 lead, a lead they would never surrender.
With a short bench Ferry needed Mason and Colter to fill the minutes. Mason had a great game in response. He led the Dukes in scoring with a career-high 24 points. He was attacking the basket, 7 of his 13 attempts came inside the 3-point line. Mason finished with 4 assists and 5 rebounds in his 35 minutes.
Mason noted that his performance was a reprieve from his early season struggles.
“I have been struggling a little bit with my shot but coach just keeps telling me to stay aggressive and shoot the next one. That’s what I did tonight,” he said.
Colter had a strong game as well. He scored 18 points and added 2 assists in 38 minutes. Colter knew the team would need to step up with a shorter bench.
“Coach said just be very aggressive and stick to our principles and keep working the ball around. Everybody did their part,” he said.
Sophomore center Darius Lewis played well. With Powell out Lewis played the most minutes of his career (28). He used those minutes to get the most rebounds of his career. He finished with 7 points and 12 rebounds. He also played smart down the stretch. He picked up his fourth foul with 4:14 left in the game, but did not commit another one, which allowed him to be on the court when the final buzzer sounded.
Jones had a big game for the Dukes as well. He had 10 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. With two minutes left in the game Jones grabbed an offensive rebound, but then the ball went out of play. The Dukes struggled to get someone open for the inbounds pass and Ferry was forced to call a timeout. Following the timeout Jones, who was inbounding, saw sophomore forward L.G. Gill cutting into the lane. He gave him a perfect pass, which allowed Gill to finish with an easy layup.
Ferry talked about Jones’ effort.
“Jeremiah is the leader of this group. He is our toughest guy. He is a defensive leader,” he said.
Gill started the game shooting 0-of-4, but Ferry told him to keep shooting.
“Everybody told him to keep shooting. I told him, the coaches told him, but most importantly his teammates were telling him,” he said.
He kept shooting and finished strong. He had 10 points, 3 rebounds and added 2 assists and a steal.
Ferry believes that Gill can be a key asset for the Dukes.
“When L.G. plays well, we have a chance to win,” he said.
Freshman forward Jordan Robinson was also used heavily off of the bench in relief of Lewis. He had 6 points, a career high 6 rebounds and a block in 10 minutes. This was his first meaningful game action in conference play.
The Dukes will now head to Amherst, Mass. to take on the University of Massachusetts at 4 p.m. on Saturday.