A disastrous second half on Wednesday night helped Duquesne to its first Atlantic-10 loss of the 2019-20 season.
The Dukes (15-3, 5-1 A10) were leading Rhode Island (13-5, 5-1) by eight points at the break, but were outscored by 30 points in the second period and fell 77-55 to the Rams.
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The Dukes’ 38-30 lead at the break was in large part to their 14-2 advantage in second-chance points and holding Rhode Island to just one made 3-pointer.
Duquesne scored the first bucket out of the break, but then went cold for over six minutes and Rhode Island used a 12-0 run to take a 46-41 lead.
Sophomore guard Sincere Carry ended the run with a transition bucket, and then Ashton Miller knocked in a corner 3 to tie it back up at 46 all.
But the Rams snatched back the lead with a 9-0 run in just over two minutes, and the Dukes started to panic. Both Marcus Weathers and Maceo Austin were on the bench during the URI run.
Weathers checked back in and immediately got the Dukes back on the board with four consecutive points, but URI started to heat up from beyond the arc and took an 11-point lead with seven minutes remaining in the game.
Duquesne’s second-half collapse had a ton to do with their lack of taking care of the ball. The Dukes lost the turnover battle 17-5.
Weathers had to carry the scoring load all night long. He scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field in the first half and finished with a team-high 20 points and seven rebounds.
The rest of the Dukes starting lineup accounted for just 16 combined points.
But matters got worse when Weathers fouled out with just over five minutes remaining. Rhode Island had total control at that point in the game. Seconds after Weathers was disqualified the Rams hit yet another three and grabbed their largest lead of the game at 15 (after eventually getting their lead up to 22)
The Rams outscored the Dukes 47-17 in the second half and were led by point guard Fatts Russell with a game-high 23 points.
— Duquesne Basketball (@DuqMBB) January 23, 2020
Duquesne will now look to bounce back as they stay on the road and travel to UMass (7-11, 1-4) on Saturday, Jan. 25.