MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Coming into the 2019-20 season, Duquesne head coach Keith Dambrot wanted to challenge his team with an exhibition game against upper-level competition.
His team accepted that challenge in big way on Friday, holding serve throughout on the road against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
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The final score gave the Mountaineers a 78-70 victory, but the Dukes learned on Friday that they can play with the some of the game’s best, even when they aren’t necessarily in top form.
Duquesne had a tough night shooting in Morgantown. They Dukes hit 23 of 62 from the floor for a 36.5 shooting percentage.
Tavian Dunn-Martin led the way for the Dukes offensively, scoring 22 points on 7 of 16 shooting. Sincere Carry had 11 points on 4 of 13 shooting. Baylee Steele and Evan Buckley each had nine points.
Dunn-Martin was the lone Duquesne outside threat. He made 5 of 11 from long range while the rest of the Dukes finished 4 of 20.
Paced by freshman Oscar Tshiebwe, WVU raced out to a 13-point lead in the first half, but the Dukes rallied and closed to an eight-point deficit at the half. The Dukes used a solid defensive effort that turned over West Virginia 14 times, resulting in 23 points off turnovers, and a full-court pressure that bothered WVU all night.
In the second half, a Dunn-Martin 3-point closed the gap to four points with 17:03 to play, but that was as close as the Dukes got.
The Dukes struggled all night with Tshiebwe, a 6-foot-9 freshman that was a teammate of Duquesne freshman Maceo Austin at Kennedy Catholic High School in Hermitage, Pa. Tshiebwe finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Duquesne tips off its regular season on Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena vs. Princeton.