DURHAM, N.C. - Duke starting attack unit of Ned Crotty, Zach Howell and Max Quinzani combined for 10 goals and eight assists as the eighth-ranked Blue Devils defeated Penn State, 20-11, in men's lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,691 fans at Koskinen Stadium.
Duke improves to 4-3 on the year while Penn State falls to 0-6.
"This was a good win for us," said Duke head coach John Danowski. "I thought we got a little bit better today and that was the plan. You can't worry about any opponent other than your next one, and we came out and executed pretty well. We obviously got contributions from a lot of different players and that is by design. Now we have a short turnaround with Dartmouth on Tuesday night, so we need to put this one behind us and get ready for another test."
Howell led the way with five markers and two assists while Quinzani added four goals and one helper. Crotty, the nation's leader in assists, had one goal and five assists as Duke scored a season-high 20 goals.
Penn State's Chris Hogan and Matthew Mackrides sandwiched goals around a Howell tally to give the visitors a 2-1 lead less than five minutes into the contest. The Blue Devils then used a 5-0 run to claim a 6-2 advantage when Crotty scored an unassisted goal just 12 seconds into the second period. The two teams then traded three goals apiece before Quinzani scored twice in the final 1:34 of the half to send the teams to intermission with Duke ahead, 11-5.
Duke's Robert Rotanz found the back of the net twice to start the third period, and Justin Turri's goal at the 7:32 mark gave the Blue Devils a 14-5 cushion. Penn State responded with a 4-2 spurt and closed the margin to 16-9 early in the fourth quarter. Duke then outscored the Nittany Lions by a 4-2 count over the final 11:11 to account for the final margin.
Mackrides led Penn State with four goals while Nick Dolick chipped in two goals and one assist. Starting goalkeeper Dave Baker was credited with six saves while allowing 16 goals in three quarters.
For Duke, Parker McKee tallied a career-high three goals while Rotanz, Steve Schoeffel and Mike Catalino had two goals each. In net, Dan Wigrizer had seven saves while allowing nine goals in 45 minutes of action.
The Blue Devils host Dartmouth on Tuesday at 7 p.m. while Penn State plays St. John's next Saturday at home at 1 p.m.