ST. LOUIS (AP) — Duquesne doesn’t have many wins over highly ranked teams away from home. That didn’t stop coach Jim Ferry from feeling good about his chances against No. 10 Saint Louis.
Micah Mason had 22 points, Jerry Jones added 19 and the Dukes surprised Saint Louis 71-64 on Thursday night to snap the Billikens’ school-record, 19-game winning streak.
Saint Louis (25-3, 12-1 Atlantic 10) had not lost since dropping a 70-65 decision on Dec. 1 to unbeaten Wichita State, now ranked No. 2 in the country.
“We’re one of the teams that’s been able to score against them,” Ferry said. “We knew if we just kept playing the right way, we’d be able to score, even though they’re a great defensive team.”
It was Duquesne’s first victory over a top-10 opponent on the road since defeating No. 6 Bradley 73-72 on March 5, 1962. The Dukes, a 14-point underdog in this one, improved to 5-28 on the road against top-10 teams and 25-55 overall.
Mason, who entered leading the nation in 3-point shooting percentage (.554), hit four of five from behind the arc for Duquesne (12-15, 4-10).
“There’s a reason why he’s the leading shooter in the country,” Saint Louis coach Jim Crews said. “He can knock it in and he can knock it in far and he moves.
“That kid shoots a half-court shot, he’s trying to make them and he’s going to make some, too.”
With a win, the Billikens could have clinched at least a tie for the Atlantic 10 regular-season title. But the Dukes were having none of that.
“I was just trying to be aggressive, come off the bench, give energy when my name was called,” Jones said. “Really, this team was ready to get beat and I just wanted to be a part of it and so did everybody else. We played hard and the outcome was what we wanted it to be.”
Dwayne Evans had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Saint Louis. Mike McCall Jr. led the Billikens with 18 points, while Jordair Jett (13 points) and Rob Loe (12 points) also were in double digits.
Saint Louis will try to rebound Saturday at VCU. Crew said the team will not vary its approach after losing for the first time in nearly three months.
“We do the same thing whether we win or lose,” he said. “We just try to clean up what we did wrong. We address those things we did wrong, we keep working on our fundamentals and try to get better and move on with the next team. It doesn’t make a difference win or lose. Our routine is pretty much the same.”
The Billikens appeared to be in good shape after Jett’s layup with 13:44 remaining gave them a 42-35 lead. But the Dukes took command with an 18-2 run capped by a 3-pointer and then a layup by Jones that made it 53-44 with 7:41 left.
Saint Louis fought back and had a chance to cut it to a one-possession game with under a minute remaining. Loe, however, missed a free throw and that led to Jones’ layup at the other end with 52 seconds left that made it 63-57.
The Dukes played Saint Louis tough in their first meeting, losing 76-72 at home on Jan. 22. Duquesne was up for the challenge again Thursday and showed it early as Mason hit his first two from behind the arc to help the Dukes grab a 13-8 advantage.
Mason was called for his second foul shortly thereafter and went to the bench, and the Billikens began to take advantage of his absence. Saint Louis went 1 for 7 from 3-point range in the first half, but Jake Barnett’s 3 with 44 seconds left gave the Billikens a 29-25 halftime lead.