La Salle's shaky defensive performance continued into the second half, allowing Saints forward Rob Poole to score 14 points after halftime and lead his team to a 58-49 advantage with less than 10 minutes to play.
But as the raucous fans began to sink into their seats, Duren started his coming-out party.
"It's always a good feeling when your shots start going in," Duren said. "Especially when you have a first half like I did. I couldn't throw a rock in the ocean."
With his team trailing, Duren scored 10 of his team-high 20 points during a 14-4 La Salle run to give the Explorers (2-1) a 70-66 lead with just over 41/2 minutes left.
The Saints (0-3) scored just eight points in the game's final seven minutes to help La Salle slip by with the victory.
Giannini attributed his team's late defensive heroics to its experience in close games.
"We battled through it," Giannini said. "We really willed ourselves in that last six or seven minutes, and we had great leadership both on and off the court."
The Explorers will play next at Penn State on Tuesday before heading to the U.S. Virgin Islands to play in the Paradise Jam. They open there with a matchup against Morgan State.
When asked what his team needs to improve on before taking the court again, Giannini had a definitive answer.
"Defense, defense, defense, and defense," the coach said.