RICHMOND, Va. — Sincere Carry dribbled around the three-point arc, then tested the Richmond defense.
Two defenders quickly closed in on the Duquesne guard, but not quick enough. Carry spun around, faded away and flicked his wrist. The basketball kissed the glass, then sank through the hoop.
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Duquesne had a two-point lead with less than 90 seconds to play, but Carry knew they might need more cushion. On the next trip down, he charged at the defense again, but took this drive all the way to the basket before flinging out a last-second pass to Frankie Hughes. The sophomore was wide-open and swished a three-pointer from the top of the key.
Those points — plus a handful of free throws in the final 20 seconds — were enough to give the Dukes their first win in Richmond against the Spiders since 1993. Carry scored 21 points and Duquesne won its third straight game, 74-68, Wednesday night in the Robins Center in front of an announced crowd of 4,603 fans.
Duquesne (12-5; 3-1 Atlantic 10) and Richmond (7-10; 1-3 A-10) are both a bit handsy this season. The Dukes and Spiders rank in the top five in the Atlantic-10 Conference in steals per-game and turnover margin.
This was obvious without even glancing at the stat sheet. It seemed that on nearly every possession, the opposing team got a hand on the ball at least once. A tipped pass here, a loose ball there. A steal here, a blocked shot there.
In all, the two sides combined for 15 steals, five blocks and 25 turnovers.
Neither side lacked defense, but it felt like Duquesne left its offensive prowess in Pittsburgh during the opening moments of the game. The first field goal wasn’t scored until two minutes and 18 seconds in, when Carry swiped an errant Richmond pass and took it to the hoop for a lay-up.
Carry, a freshman, also tallied four rebounds, six assists and two steals. He entered the game ranking fourth nationally and first among freshmen in steals per-game.
The first half of play was disjointed and mucked up by both defenses, featuring four shot-clock violations, a technical foul and a combined nine steals and four blocked shots. Richmond was able to settle into a groove near the end of the half, going on a 7-2 run. The Spiders held a four-point advantage at intermission.
Leading Richmond were 23 points from Nathan Cayo and 22 points from Jacob Gilyard. The Spiders largely ruled the painted area, outscoring the Dukes there 48-28.
The Spiders led by as many as eight points, but Keith Dambrot’s side charged back in the second half. A string of consecutive shots made and a full-court defense helped the Dukes go on an 11-2 run, which propelled them to their late lead.
Hughes was electric from behind the arc in the second half, connecting on four-of-six attempts. He finished with 15 points and two assists. Marcus Weathers also gave the Dukes a boost with 12 points, nine rebounds, an assist and a steal. In an off-the-bench effort, Tavian Dunn-Martin added seven points, four assists and two rebounds. Michael Hughes chipped in six points, nine rebounds and a career-high four blocked shots.
The win for the Dukes breaks an eight-game losing streak against the Spiders and a 10-game skid in Richmond.
Duquesne remains on the road for its next game, a Sunday afternoon clash with George Washington.