- Freshmen Tydus Verhoeven
and Eric Williams Jr.
combined for 41 points to lead Duquesne to a 76-69 win over Saint Louis at Palumbo Center.
Verhoeven scored a career-high 21 and Williams Jr. posted his Duquesne freshman record-tying 11th double-double (20-11) in helping the Dukes snap a six-game losing streak.
Mike Lewis II added 10 points for DU, which shot a season-high 56.5 percent against a SLU defense that entered the game ranked second in the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage defense at 41.9 percent.
Verhoeven and Williams Jr., who scored Duquesne's first 16 points, hit back-to-back baskets to give the Dukes a 28-16 lead.
SLU got back in it when Jalen Johnson, who finished with 18 points, was fouled on a 3-point attempt and converted all three and Davell Roby followed with a layup off a DU turnover.
Williams hit his third 3-pointer to make it 31-23 before the Billikens closed the half with a 6-1 run to make it 32-29.
Lewis II hit three 3-pointers for DU and Johnson hit four for SLU in the first nine minutes of the second half that saw the Dukes maintain a 51-45 lead.
SLU hit four consecutive shots, the last of which was a 3-pointer by Aaron Hines, to take its first lead since the 16 minute mark of the first half at 57-55. Javon Bess, who led Saint Louis with 20 points, hit a pair of shots during the mini-run.
Williams Jr.'s first bucket of the second half, a 3-pointer from the wing, gave the Dukes a 62-60 lead with 2:32 left.
It was a lead Duquesne would not relinquish.
Verhoeven, who entered the game shooting 44 percent from the foul line, added four free throws to make it a six-point game with under two minutes remaining.
Williams Jr. tied Bruce Atkins (1978-79) for most double-doubles by a freshman with a put back that made it 68-62.
Hasahn French cut it to four on a tip-in, before Tarin Smith buried a pair of free throws and Kellon Taylor followed with a steal and score to put the game out of reach.
Duquesne completes the regular season at Massachusetts on Saturday, Mar. 3 at 8:00 p.m. (NESNplus).
- The win was Duquesne's 13th at home this season (13-6). The 13 wins are the most in the 30-year history of Palumbo Center and are also the most at home by a DU team since 1980-81 (14-2 at Pittsburgh Civic Arena).
- Duquesne shot a season-best .565, including 7-of-14 from 3-point, against a Saint Louis defense that entered the game second in the A-10 in field goal percentage defense at .419.
- Tydus Verhoeven went 7-of-7 from the field in scoring a career-high 21 for the Dukes. It was his second career double-digit game. The point total was his highest since 12 vs. Robert Morris on Nov. 19. The 6-8 forward added to his DU freshman record for blocks in a season (67) with four. He also had three assists and a season-high two steals. His 67 blocks already rank eighth on Duquesne's career list.
- Eric Williams Jr., who went 4-of-6 from the arc, broke the DU freshman record for 3-pointers in a season. Williams Jr.'s 66 "3's" are three more than the previous record of 63 set by Mike Lewis II last season. Williams Jr. currently ranks fourth on the freshman list for total points (442) and second in total rebounds (265).
- Williams Jr. (20-11) posted his 11th double-double, tying the DU freshman record for double-doubles in a season set by Bruce Atkins in 1978-79.
- With his three 3-pointers, Mike Lewis II (82) passed Tom Pipkins (79 in 1996) & Derrick Colter (80 in 2016) to move into the fifth spot on the DU list for 3-pointers in a season. Tony Petrarca (1990) and Micah Mason (2015) are tied for fourth on the list with 88 each. Mason holds the school record with 118 in 2016.
- Duquesne's largest lead was 12 at 28-16 with 4:03 left in the first half ... Saint Louis's largest lead was three, the last of which came at 60-57 with 3:58 left ... Duquesne led for 31:39 and Saint Louis led for 5:43 ... the game was tied for 2:33 ... there were three ties and five lead changes before Williams Jr.'s 3-pointer gave Duquesne the lead for good with 2:37 left.