Duquesne senior Bruce Atkins shoved, pushed and occasionally elbowed his way inside for 24 points, 20 in the second half, as the Dukes scored the final 15 points of the game to defeat George Washington tonight, 76-63.
The 6-foot-7 Atkins was a dominant factor inside throughout the night. He ventured into the key almost at will in the final seven minutes after Colonial big men Mike Brown (6-9) and Steve Perry (6-5) had fouled out.
George Washington is 11-9 overall, 5-3 in the Eastern Eight. Dusquesne is 9-8 and 3-5.
"Atkins played passably early because he's been in foul trouble in past games very early," Duquesne Coach Mike Rice said. "But he must be physical to play well and when he gets physical it catches on with the others."
George Washington led, 34-29, at the half, building that lead to 49-39 early in the second period as Perry scored six quick points. Atkins then took control, moving inside for numerous layups and making 10 of 12 free throws. Atkins led all rebounders with 12.
After four baskets cut the Dukes' deficit to 49-47, tempers flared as Atkins knocked down George Washington's Oscar Wilmington with an elbow underneath. Atkins and Brown exchanged words seconds later, and soon other players also came onto the court.
"I thought the brief tussle brought the crowd into the game and that helped a great deal," Rice said. "We were starting to come back and the crowd made us keep going from that point."
After order was restored, GW's spark was gone and Atkins took control. After Brown and Perry fouled out, the Duquesne senior scored 11 points.
Brown and guard Wilbert Skipper led George Washington with 14 points apiece.