Mike Brown made four free throws in the final minute to withstand a furious Duquesne rally and give the Colonials a 68-62 victory in the Atlantic 10 season finale for both teams last night at Smith Center.
The Colonials (13-14 overall, 4-10 conference) will play Duquesne (6-8, 12-15) again Monday night in Pittsburgh in the opening round of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
GW led, 49-40, with 10 minutes to play, but failed to make a field goal over the last 8:34. In that time, Duquesne outscored the Colonials 20-13, and pulled to within 62-60, on Terry Teachout's three-point field goal with 2:21 to play.
But the Colonials got six points in the final minute on Brown's free throws and two by Mike O'Reilly.
"We had trouble making free throws early in the year, but we've been hitting them lately," said GW Coach Gerry Gimelstob, whose team made 21 of 25 free throws.
The Colonials, who had lost four straight, played without leading scorer Troy Webster. Four others who played were slowed by injuries.
GW was led by Brown with 21 points and nine rebounds. The Dukes got 21 points from Billy Searles and 11 from 6-foot-8 center Joey Myers, who fouled out with two minutes remaining.
Duquesne had trouble in the first half with the Colonials' aggressive man-to-man defense, turning the ball over six times. GW opened a 25-11 advantage with 7:33 remaining in the half on three straight jumpers from the left corner by freshman Darryl Webster and a running one-hander by Ron White.
Duquesne ran off an 11-2 string, backed by four points each from Teachout and Searles, to pull to 27-22. But GW got a followup jumper from Chester Wood and two free throws each from Craig Helms and O'Reilly for a 33-28 halftime lead.
The Colonials increased their advantage to 10 seven minutes into the second half on a followup tip-in by Brown. From there, however, Duquesne methodically cut into the lead.