1/8/2022 | 12:00 PM ET
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Jan. 08 (Sat) / 12:00 PM ET
Leon Ayers III
scored a career-high 24 points and
came off the bench to add a career-best 16 in leading Duquesne (5-7) to a convincing 76-54 win over
(5-4) on Sunday afternoon at Akron, Ohio St. Vincent-St. Mary LeBron James Arena.
The Dukes, who were the first team to score more than 66 against the Anteaters this season, also got a 12-10 double-double from
Kevin Easley Jr. Toby Okani
added eight and seven rebounds respectively for the Dukes, who outrebounded UCI 40-26.
DU, led by a career-high four 3-pointers from Acuff, went 9-of-19 from the 3-point arc against a
team that entered the game ranked third nationally in 3-point percentage defense.
There was one tie and three lead changes early before Duquesne ended the first half with a 12-2 run to create some separation.
An Okani corner 3-pointer gave the Dukes their first double digit lead at 31-21 with just under two minutes left in the half.
Rotroff, who scored all six of his points in the first half, followed with a fast break layup and Ayers III hit a shot in the lane. Acuff added his second 3-pointer at the first half horn to make it 38-23.
UCI pulled to within nine on a 3-pointer with just over nine minutes left as Duquesne opened the second half 3-of-13.
Ayers III, who scored 19 in the second half, hit a tough foul line jumper following a DU timeout to move the lead back to double digits.
UCI again cut it to nine and Ayers III answered with a 3-pointer to make it 54-42 at the under eight timeout..
Acuff hit his career-high fourth 3-pointer and Easley Jr. followed with another three to make it 64-47.
The DU lead reached as many as 25 in the closing minutes.
Duquesne completes the non-conference portion of the schedule when it hosts Wofford at UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Dec. 22 at 3:00 p.m. (ESPN+).
First-year Mercer transfer
scored 19 of his career-high 24 points in the second half. Ayers III previous career-best was 23, reached once at Mercer and accomplished twice this season (vs. Bradley and American). Ayers, who went 8-of-8 from the foul line, added six rebounds and four assists. Leon Ayers III
hit a career-high four 3-pointers in scoring a career-best 16 points in 23 minutes off the bench. Acuff's previous scoring high was 12 vs. St. Bonaventure at last year's A-10 Championship. His six rebounds were one shy of his career best. Tyson Acuff
(12-10) posted his third double-double of the season and fifth of his career. Kevin Easley Jr. The starting lineup of
, Kevin Easley Jr. , Tre Williams , Leon Ayers III & Primo Spears was the seventh different combination this season. Jackie Johnson III This was the Dukes' second-ever meeting with a Big West school (DU defeated CSUN, 97-74, in the first round of the Iowa Realty Invitational on the campus of Drake University on Nov. 30, 2007).
This was the third time in the past four seasons that the Dukes have played a non-conference game in Akron. DU defeated Radford twice previously (Nov. 17, 2018 at LeBron James Arena & Dec. 14, 2019 at Ellet High School).
Duquesne (13) had a streak of five consecutive games with 10 or fewer turnovers snapped.
Duquesne's largest lead was 25 at 76-51 with :34 left ...
UC Irvine's largest lead was four, at 7-3 ... there was one tie and three lead changes before gave the Dukes the lead for good on a put back with 13:30 left in the first half ... Kevin Easley Jr. UC Irvine led for 3:34 ... Duquesne led for 34:48.