Emile Blackman scored 17 points while Mike Lewis II added 15 as the Dukes held on to beat Fordham at Rose Hill Gymnasium in the Bronx. It is their first win in an A-10 opener since the 2014-2015 season.
The Dukes dominated the majority of the first half, stretching their lead to 40-28 at halftime. But as it has gone for much of this season, their lead slowly began to evaporate as the second half went on. The Rams were able to grab their first lead of the game with 3:48 to put them up 65-64. Unlike previous outings, the Dukes would not let this game slip away.
With 2:06 left, Lewis drained his only three pointer of the night to put the Dukes back up by one, 67-66. Roughly a minute and half later, Lewis came up big again, this time on defense, getting a steal with 21 seconds remaining with the Dukes up three. Lewis and Blackman went 6-6 from the line in the final seconds to seal the win for Duquesne.
What was most impressive by the Dukes in tonight’s victory, which extends their win streak to four, was their dominance on the glass. They completely manhandled the Rams in rebounding, 59-32. Even more impressive was the difference in offensive boards with the Dukes collecting 20 to the Rams 6. Though they have been led in rebounding this season by Nakye Sanders and Darius Lewis, who tallied 9 and 6 boards a piece, it was another Duke leading the battle on the glass tonight.
Kale Abrahamson, who missed the first 9 games of the season with a broken hand, busted out for a huge game off the bench. Abrahamson, a transfer from Drake, posted his first career double double, scoring 12 points and adding a career high 10 rebounds. He did struggle from three, going only 2-7 on the night, but if Abrahamson can produce this kind of stat line off the bench, it can go a long way in how well this team does in conference play.
The Dukes will continue A-10 conference play Wednesday night when they play host to the VCU Rams at 7 pm. VCU comes into the game 11-3 and 1-0 in A-10 play. They hold non-conference victories over St. Johns and LSU.
The Sports Now network is growing! Check out our two new sites: PittsburghHockeyNow.com for the best Pittsburgh Penguins news and opinion and PiratesTalkNow.com for the latest on the Pittsburgh Pirates.