Posted at: 11/09/2012 11:23 PM
By: WNYT Sports & UAlbany Athletics
A thunderous dunk by junior John Puk, with 47 seconds remaining, put the exclamation point in UAlbany’s win over Duquesne, 69-66, on Friday, Nov. 9 at SEFCU Arena. The Great Danes start the season 1-0 for the first time since the 2006-07, which was the last time they appeared in the NCAA Tournament.
Senior guard Mike Black paced the Great Danes with 15 points and four assists on the night. Puk had arguably his best performance of his career with a career-high 14 points and eight rebounds on seven-of-nine shooting in just 17 minutes of play. Sophomore forward Sam Rowley had a career-high 11 points and seven rebounds.
Duquesne (0-1) had two players in double-figures in the game. Guard Derrick Colter led the Dukes with 17 points on five-of-12 shooting from the floor and six-of-11 from the charity stripe. Quevyn Winters had the game’s only double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Great Danes outshot the Dukes on the floor, 45.9 percent (28-61) to 37.9 percent (22-58), and from behind the arc, UA 36.8 percent (7-19) to DU 25.0 percent (7-28). Duquesne held a slight edge over UAlbany in rebounding, 39-35.
UAlbany (1-0) used a 7-1 run to go up by nine, 44-35, its largest lead of the game to start the second half with 16:13 remaining. The Great Danes used a Jayson Guerrier three, a Blake Metcalf layup and a steal, which resulted in a Rowley layup for the run.
The Dukes came back and got their first lead of the second half, 52-51, with 8:31 remaining in the game. Duquesne used a 15-7 run in a span of eight minutes. Center Martins Abele, who played just four minutes, scored all five of his points during that stretch to spark the Dukes run.
Both teams would trade baskets for the next three and half minutes. The game would be tied four times during that three and half minute stretch before a layup by Black and a jumper by Puk gave UAlbany a four-point lead with 3:48 remaining.
Then Duquesne’s Andre Marhold hit a jumper to cut the deficit to two, 64-62. Colter followed up Marhold’s jumper with his only three-point basket of the night to give Duquesne a one-point lead, 65-64, with 2:29 left.
Black, with ice in his veins, put the Great Danes back up, 67-65, with his second three-pointer of the contest. Puk followed up, with the dagger, by taking two hands and slamming down the dunk for the game.
UAlbany opened up the game with an early two-point lead, 15-13, with 13:00 minutes left and never looked back in the first half. The Great Danes extended their lead to eight, 24-16, from a jumper by junior guard DJ Evans to cap the lead.
The Dukes would tie the game at 24 all, using an eight-point run. The run was sparked by Colter getting to the line and hitting the front end of a one-and-one. The Great Danes took back the lead and held on to a three-point lead to finish the half.