Duquesne season ends with Dukes tangled, again, in Spiders' web

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

Terry Allen scored 27 points and Kendall Anthony added 23 as No. 7 seed Richmond shrugged off four-game skid to drown Duquesne, 76-64, in their Atlantic 10 tournament second-round game Thursday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Spiders’ venom proved, once again, to be too much for the 10th-seeded Dukes (13-17), who saw their season come to an abrupt and disappointing halt in Brooklyn. Duquesne entered the tournament riding a wave of confidence from playing its best ball of the year in this past month.

Richmond (19-13) was the last team to really rout the Dukes, winning 75-58 at Palumbo Center Feb. 12, and this one played out in a very similar fashion from the opening tip. The Spiders jumped out to a quick 17-3 lead in the first one, and a 16-7 lead this time around.

Sophomore guard Micah Mason, who had recorded point totals of 11, 20 and 22 in the three previous games, was sent to the bench early with two fouls.

Mason finished with zero points. It was the second time this season he played but was held scoreless, and, consequently, only the second time he was held without a 3-point make.

Mason shot 0-2 from 3-point range and closed the season with a .560 (65 of 116) 3-point shooting percentage — the top mark in Division I this season and the best since 1992. That percentage shatters the Duquesne record of .441 set by Courtney Wallace in 2000-01 and ties Bucknell’s Mike Joseph (1988) for the 10th-best 3-point shooting percentage among qualified shooters in NCAA history.

Richmond led, 32-26, at halftime but quickly expanded its advantage. The Spiders opened the second half on a 13-4 run to take a 15-point lead with less than 14 minutes left on the clock.

Duquesne got into uncharacteristic foul trouble after the break and, in total, committed 14 second-half fouls. By the eight-minute mark, the Dukes trailed 57-38, and there was no coming back.

Duquesne trailed by as many as 20 points down the stretch but fought back in the final minutes before stomaching the 12-point loss to bow out of the tournament.

Senior forward Ovie Soko, an all-Atlantic 10 third-team honoree, had 23 points and 13 rebounds in his final game in a Duquesne uniform. Soko left his mark in his one and only season as a Duke by leading the conference in scoring (18.2 points per game) and finishing sixth in rebounding (7.8 rebounds per game).

“It’s a bittersweet feeling knowing that it could be coming to an end, but that’s just part of the journey,” Soko said earlier in the week. “This is a chapter that’s coming to a close soon, but that’s why you just have to leave it all out there.”

Duquesne coach Jim Ferry’s second season on the Bluff comes to a close with a 13-17 overall record (5-11 in Atlantic 10 play). That’s an improvement of five wins over the 8-22 2012-13 campaign.

Stephen J. Nesbitt:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.

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