By Colin Dunlap | 5:43 p.m. Wednesday
Made it to the Civic Arena. Ray Fittipaldo picked me up at the PG headquarters and we made the short drive over.
A quick shot from courtside:
UPDATE 6:21 p.m: Just went and grabbed a bite to eat. By the way, decent amount of people already making their way into the Civic Arena. I would anticipate a good crowd. By the way, a warning for anyone reading this blog: The amount of posts will probably be a little lighter than on Sunday against Radford. I have a tight deadline tonight and, with night games, the story I have to get into the newspaper (remember that thing) takes priority.
Oh, and by the way, you see the craziest things just laying around the catacombs of the Civic Arena. Case in point:
6:31 p.m.: Just had a nice little chat with Melquan Bolding, who was standing under the bucket as his team went through warmups. Great kid. He said it is "killing" him not being out there tonight. Onto the news with him, though -- he showed me where he had his cast removed on his wrist, he said that he started some cardio workout stuff and has also been doing some basketball-related things with his other hand. He made a point, a big point, to tell me he is ahead of schedule in his rehab.
6:59 p.m.: Curly Neal is here for some reason. Oh, and the game is about to start.
7:08 p.m.: Great start for the Dukes. Two Bill Clark 3s.
7:12 p.m: And 3-ball from Bill Clark. 9-5 Dukes. Also, pretty decent crowd:
7:20 p.m.: The Dukes are effectively going up and down, taking the pace at Pitt and leading, 17-10. Now, with a short bench, how long can this keep up? We will see. For now, though, it is an effective tactic. Everhart has gone to Peggau and Sean Johnson for a short spell. As I wrote before the game, the Dukes must get something -- even if it is "hold the fort down" minutes -- from a couple bench guys.
7:28 p.m.: ****ALERT*****
Peggau just scored back to back buckets.
7:31 p.m.: Saunders just got his second foul with about 8 1/2 left before half...Everhart chose to leave him in. Let's see what happens. This could be a huge turning point. Dukes are up 21-14.
7:37 p.m.: Peggau...A10 player of the week?
7:40 p.m.: How about this...The Dukes have done all of this - taken a 28-18 lead - and are sort of taking this game to the Panthers and a 3-point jumper from Saunders wuth about 4 minutes left before halftime was his first points of the game.
7:45 p.m.: With 2:41 left before the half and the Dukes up 29-17, Pitt is shooting 26.3 percent. Know this -- it is because Duquesne is playing very good defense. It isn't like Pitt is missing a ton of open looks. Instead, the Panthers have to work for what they are getting.
7:51 p.m.: Dukes up 33-20 at the half. Huge 3 from Clark just before the horn. Some stats: Pitt is shooting 26.1 percent; Dukes shooting 48 percent. Clark is 4 fror 6 from 3-point range with 15 points.
8:11 p.m.: Dukes opening it up a little, up 16 right now -- 40-24. I have a feeling, though, Pitt has a big run left in them. Not saying Pitt will cut it real close, but the Dukes will have to fight them off until the final horn, no question.
8:18: p.m. Back up to 13 -- the lead that is. If Duquesne does not get greedy -- and stays out of foul trouble -- they have this. Two huge variables, though.
8:23 p.m.: Not a good time for the Dukes to go cold. Pitt is outscoring then,16-10, this half.
8:28 p.m.: Because the Dukes have gone cold from deep lately, Pitt is going to try to make the shoot 3's, going into a zone...not often you see Pitt in a zone.
Also, bad news, Saunders gets his fourth with 10:23 left -- very bad news. And he fouled a jump shooter. Dukes 45-39.
8:35 p.m.: I have to write a sidebar off this game. Ray Fittipaldo is writing the game story and Gene Collier is writing a column. I need to find an angle -- I might write about Peggau. Seriously.
8:42 p.m.: For the first time tonight, Gary McGhee made a real difference -- and he cut it to 51-46. He had a nice spin move dunk and-1 on the baseline.
8:47 p.m.: 51-48 Dukes, 4:33 left...I have to start writing a story...
8:55 p.m: Instant Classic? Sure looks like it. Saunders is out. Teams are throwing shot for shot at each other. McGhee had a HUGE dunk and-1. Knotted at 53 with 2:03 left. Great atmosphere, great game. As a writer, though, I am rooting for one thing -- NO overtime.
9 p.m.: Everhart just called two TOs in a row. 32.3 second left, tied at 53. Who will be the hero?
9:04 p.m.: Well, Eric Evans didn't want to be the hero. We are going to overtime. 53-53.
9:16 p.m.: No one wants to win. The crazy part about this game -- as it is tied with 2 second remaining in overtime -- is that it has been a comedy of errors over the past 10 minutes of clock time. There have been opportunities for both sides, but no one wants to do anything with them. Case in point (as we head to a second overtime) is the Dukes' last possession in OT...Peggau throws up a heave from halfcourt. Have to get something better. I know the picking are slim, but you have to get it to a person who can run a little.
9:27 p.m.: Doesn't look good for the Dukes. Down 6 with 2 minutes left in the second OT. The shooting right now for the Dukes' guards is 4 for 24. Yikes.
9:29 p.m.: Done. Start the bus. Dukes down by 7, with 54.5 left in the second OT. Monteiro fouled out. Great effort, but fouls wore the Dukes out -- and an inability of their backcourt to shoot it.