PITTSBURGH – Ovie Soko had 22 points and eight rebounds while Tra’ Vaugh White added 14 points to help Duquesne put away Appalachian State, 79-55, Thursday night.
Leading by six early, the Dukes (7-5) closed the first half on a 31-10 run, coasting to a 49-22 advantage at the break. Desmond Ridenour, Micah Mason and White each hit 3-pointers during the run and Soko capped the surge with three free throws and a layup.
“That’s the best first half of basketball we’ve played since I’ve been here,” said second-year head coach Jim Ferry. “We’ve tried to play this way all year, but we’ve never had all of our pieces. This was the third game we’ve had our whole team. It’s taken us a while to get to this point. I think everyone is kind of getting into their roles now.”
Mason played his high school basketball at Highlands, and spent his freshman year at Drake, before transferring to Duquesne. Mason was granted immediate eligibility because of issues with with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, a gluten sensitivity.
Duquesne won its fourth consecutive game, which is the Dukes’ longest since an 11-game streak during the 2010-11 season.
Duquesne shot 46.8 percent from the field and had three players score in double figures, with Dominique McKoy chipping in 10 points and six boards. Soko was 8 of 11 from the free throw line.
Appalachian State (4-9) shot 31.3 percent and was outrebounded 52-33. They were paced by Tab Hamilton with 18 points on 7-of-21 shooting, and Jay Canty and Chris Burgess each contributed 12.