McCANDLESS TOWNSHIP, Pa, — Duquesne’s 90-54 win against Columbia on Friday night marks programs best start since the 1971-72 season. It also marked the longest win streak (11 games) for the Dukes since 2010-11.
Sophomore guard Sincere Carry started the game with two aggressive drives in the first two minutes of the game — As one ended with a dump off for a Mike Hughes layup and one was a pretty left-handed scoop off the glass. The Dukes snatched the early game momentum and held an 11-2 lead right before the first media timeout.
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Head coach Keith Dambrot and his squad never looked back.
With just over five minutes left in the first half freshman, Maceo Austin missed a defensive assignment that allowed a Columbia wide-open 3-pointer. Dambrot let him hear his displeasure as Austin trotted down the court. On the Dukes offensive possession, Austin connected on his own bucket from beyond the arc that sparked an 18-5 run and a 45-21 lead for Dambrot’s team to close the half.
That sequence showed the maturity of the freshman — and the Dukes team as a whole, with their ability to respond in a time of constructive criticism and some game pressure.
Much of the same dominance came in the second half from Duquesne. They pushed the lead to as many as 40 points in the final 20-minutes.
Columbia was never able to match the size and strength that Duquesne had imposed throughout the contest. The Dukes won the points in the paint battle 52-18. Another key was the lack of turnovers from the Dukes (10) and their 24 assists.
Tavian Dunn-Martin led the Dukes in the scoring column with 25 points while shooting 9-of-12 from the floor and 5-of-8 from the 3-point line. Austin (18-points, which were a career-high), Marcus Weathers (16 points and six rebounds), Carry (7 points, five assists, and 0 turnovers), and Mike Hughes (6 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists) rounded out Duquesne’s balanced offensive attack at LaRoche College.
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The Lions were led by Mike Smith, who had 22 points while shooting 6-of-15 from the field and 4-of-9 from the 3-point line.
Duquesne will play Radford University in a non-conference matchup at Ellet High School in Akron, Ohio, on Saturday, Dec. 14. Dambrot will head back to his hometown to look to continue the win streak to nine games.