Leading up to the game, Galloway said the Explorers (3-1) discussed the long losing streak, particularly the last two years when they held late leads only to see the Wildcats come back and win.
This time, Villanova (3-3) led by as many as 11 early in the second half and by 66-62 with 36.3 seconds left in regulation. But Duren sank two free throws and, after Villanova's Ryan Arcidiacono made one of two from the line to keep it a one-possession game, Duren knocked down a trey with six seconds left.
The Wildcats took another four-point lead in overtime, 74-70, on a basket by Mouphtaou Yarou with 2 minutes, 24 seconds remaining, but they did not score again. Galloway hit a free throw and Rohan Brown a layup to narrow the deficit to one.
After a 'Nova turnover, La Salle coach John Giannini called a timeout and diagrammed a play for Duren to go backdoor. The Explorers ran it to perfection, with D.J. Peterson passing to a wide-open Duren cutting to the basket for a layup with 18.2 seconds left, the last of his 23 points.
Steve Zack, who grabbed 14 rebounds and carried the Explorers inside after Jerrell Wright fouled out, made a pair of free throws with six seconds remaining. JayVaughn Pinkston then raced upcourt but went to the hoop instead of pulling up to try to tie the game.
"It means everything," Duren said of the win. "I think besides the nine or 10 years that we had the losing streak, it was very important to get this win and crack that losing streak and make everybody forget about the last two years."
The Wildcats again had turnover issues. They committed 18, leading to a whopping 29 points by the Explorers, with point guards Arcidiacono, a freshman, and Tony Chennault, a transfer in his first year, accounting for nine.
"Both our point guards struggled, and I think that was a big part of the game," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "Their guards did a great job of pressuring our guards and not allowing them to get us into our offense."
Yarou led the Wildcats with 20 points, and Pinkston added 19.
Contact Joe Juliano at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @joejulesinq.