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February 17, 2010BOX SCORE
It looked as if the Charlotte 49ers were going to cruise to victory against Duquesne as they held a 10 point lead with 17 minutes and 15 seconds to play. However, the Dukes capitalized on the Niners inability to protect the basketball and used a key 22-3 run to propel them to an 83-77 victory at Halton Arena. The Niners have dropped two games in a row and for the first time this season they lost when leading at the half.
Shamari Spears and An'Juan Wilderness scored four points each in the first four minutes to give the Niners (18-7, 8-3) an early 12-9 lead. The Dukes (14-12, 5-7) took a three point deficit and turned it into a four point lead on a goaltend. The Niners responded with seven straight points capped by Shamari Spears fade away jump shot to give the Niners a 25-20 advantage, their largest lead of the first half.
DiJuan Harris' steal and layup at the end of the first half gave the Niners a 39-35 advantage heading into the locker rooms despite the Dukes shooting 43.8 percent from the field. The Niners scored 20 points in the paint and, 11 points off Dukes turnovers, and 18 second chance points in the first half.
B.J. Monteiro scored the opening basket of the second half. The Niners responded with seven straight points capped by Derrio Green's 3-pointer which forced Dukes Coach Ron Everhart to call a full timeout just under two minutes into the half.
Harris' pull up jumper gave the Niners a 50-40 lead with 17 minutes 15 seconds remaining. From that moment forward the Dukes dictated the tempo of the game.
Aided by strong pressure defense which created six Niner turnovers the Dukes went on a 22-3 run over the next 8 minutes and 45 seconds to take a 62-54 lead which was capped by Bill Clark's layup.
Damian Saunders started that run with two steals which resulted in four quick points for the Dukes to cut the deficit to six. "He got two in a row and that was a big turning point for us," said Dukes Head Coach Ron Everhart.
Eric Evans made one of this two free throw attempts to put the Dukes up 72-67 with 2 minutes and 51 seconds left in the game. Spears would hit two free throws to close the gap to three points but on the ensuing possession Bill Clark found a cutting Monteiro in the lane who hit the layup to put the Dukes back up by five points.
It looked as if Monteiro's basket would preserve the Dukes victory but Saunders turned the ball over at halfcourt and on the ensuing Niner possession Ian Andersen hit a 3-pointer with 25.9 seconds remaining to cut it to a 79-77 Dukes advantage. However that was as close as the Niners would get as the Dukes hit four free throws to ice the game.
"We executed very well down the stretch," said Everhart.
The Dukes scored 18 points off of 10 second half Niner turnovers. They also had 22 assists on 30 field goals. Monteiro led the Dukes with 19 points. Clark scored 18 points while Saunders added 11 points, six blocks, four assists, and four rebounds for the Dukes. Spears scored a game high 20 points and game high 12 rebounds for the Niners. Harris added 15 points and four assists but had eight turnovers. Chris Braswell notched his seventh double-double of the season with 10 points and 15 rebounds.
"It's disappointing to lose at home," said Niners Head Coach Bobby Lutz. "They did the things they needed to do to win tonight."
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