PITTSBURGH — Just a few days ago, the Duquesne men’s basketball team lost a close game to Davidson but Wednesday night at the Palumbo Center, with another tit-for-tat contest, the result went in a different direction.
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It was clear that Duquesne had some peaks and valleys in its conference opener, a Saturday road setback to Davidson.
Duquesne was able to make plays down the stretch to secure a 66-61 victory over Atlantic 10 opponent Fordham.
Sophomore guard Eric Williams Jr led all scorers with 16 points and also grabbed 13 rebounds, good for his fifth double-double of the season. Redshirt sophomore forward Marcus Weathers added 12. Freshman forward Amari Kelly came off the bench and scored a career-high 11 points.
Fordham was led by freshman guard Jalen Cobb’s 16 points.
Dambrot had his concerns that Duquesne would overlook Fordham, after all last years game at the Palumbo Center between the two teams was the worst effort all of last season.
In the first half, Duquesne was 9-for-12 on its two-point shots it also held Fordham’s leading scorer, freshman guard Nick Honor to two points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field.
Honor finished the game with 11 points but upon being guarded by Sincere Carry and Tavian Dunn-Martin was 5-for-17 from the field.
Fordham did not record any bench points in the opening half, but timely threes from senior forward David Pekarek put the Rams right back in the thick of the game.
One advantage Fordham had in this game was its offensive rebounding which was a 15-7 advantage, partially aided by a 36.4% shooting clip. The Rams also had a 17-7 second chance points margin.
Duquesne did benefit from Fordham’s poor free throw shooting as the Rams went 2-of-8 from the line, all but one of which came from freshman forward Onyi Eyisi.
Meanwhile Duquesne took 23 free throws compared to Fordham’s eight.
Duquesne will play host to Saint Joseph’s in the team’s next game, one which will tip off Saturday at 4 p.m.