Coach: Duquesne b-ball team stuck overnight on snowy highway

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Duquesne University's men's basketball team was stuck overnight on the snow-closed Pennsylvania Turnpike as traffic stoppages stretched back miles in a massive snowstorm climbing up the East Coast.

Coach Jim Ferry said the team bus got stuck around 9:15 p.m. on Friday and hadn't moved since.

''We haven't moved one inch in 12 hours,'' he told The Associated Press on Saturday morning.

Ferry said his players are running out of the leftover pizza they bought on the way home from an 86-75 win over George Mason on Friday.

''We're getting pretty hungry,'' he said. ''We hope it starts moving pretty soon.''

Pockets of motorists were stuck in the westbound lanes of the turnpike south of Pittsburgh, Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo said. Some of those pockets stretch two or three miles.

Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement the backup was caused when trucks failed to climb hills. First responders are driving ATVs to reach the stranded motorists, Wolf said. The National Guard also has been called out.

''The safety of Pennsylvanians is my top priority, as many areas across Pennsylvania have been hit hard by this storm, which features heavy snow falling at a fast rate,'' Wolf said. ''First responders from multiple state, county and local agencies are working together to address issues and ensure people are safe.''

Ferry said his players have remained in good spirts, passing the time with jokes and watching movies such as ''Invincible.''

''But you got to remember we have some big guys, so it's hard to sleep on a bus like this,'' the coach said.

The team sped out of Fairfax, Virginia, on Friday afternoon, escaping the storm's bullseye only to become stranded in Western Pennsylvania.

''We played the game. We won. We got on the bus. We were making great time,'' Ferry said.

Saturday was supposed to be on an off day for the team, with their practice regimen resuming on Sunday before the next game on Tuesday. But the plan will likely change, Ferry said.

''We just got to get these guys home and get them stretched out and get them some food,'' he said. ''Right now we're worried about the kids.''


Associated Press reporter Ron Todt contributed to this story.

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