Seeking its first road win at Saint Louis since Jan. 30, 2016, the Duquesne men’s basketball team went to Chaifetz Arena Wednesday night and bested the Billikens 82-68.
Redshirt junior forward Marcus Weathers matched his career high with 26 points on 7-of-14 shooting, while also grabbing eight rebounds. Weathers was able to finish multiple times to earn three-point plays which provided boosts.
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Sophomore guard Sincere Carry added 14 points, eight assists and no turnovers in 38 minutes of work. Redshirt junior center Michael Hughes also added 11 points and nine rebounds.
Duquesne (17-5, 7-3 Atlantic 10) was able to out-rebound Saint Louis by a 40-30 total, an accomplishment that does not happen much against SLU. Duquesne, which has had some free throw inconsistencies of late, shot 82.6% on 19-of-23 shooting.
“We played pretty well, but we’ve been practicing better,” Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot said on the team’s postgame radio broadcast. “You could see in practice our enthusiasm level was good, we played better together. We got good bench play. It was a good team effort. It was about putting our big-boy pants on and growing up and I knew eventually we would be able to grow up and handle situations better. Tonight, we showed it.”
Saint Louis (17-6, 6-4 Atlantic 10) had four players achieve double figures led by Jordan Goodwin’s 20 points. Javonte Perkins added 16 points coming off the bench and Tay Weaver also came on in relief with his 12 points. Hasahn French contributed a double-double with his 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Duquesne’s 40-32 halftime advantage was due to a variety of factors.
For one, just a game after using seven bodies, Duquesne played 10 players in the first half, which allowed for each Dukes starter to get a break.
Evan Buckley saw his first action since Jan. 22 at Rhode Island and scored his first points since Dec. 29 against Marshall when he sank a three-point basket.
“I told Buckley after the game that you had a really stupid coach because all along I knew you had guts,” said Dambrot. “Sometimes it takes older people a little longer.”
Though the stat line was deceiving, Ashton Miller arguably made the biggest play in the first half when he got in position for Saint Louis’s Hasahn French to be called for a charging foul. The whistle, which came with more than 10 minutes remaining in the first half forced the Billikens to bench a player that a lot of offense is created through, which caused the Billikens to scramble.
Duquesne also was able to get to the free throw line for 15 free throws compared to SLU’s 10. Weathers was largely tested and made 10 of 12 free throws in the first half.
Carry also was able to make three three-point baskets, two with a hand in his face which allowed Duquesne to stretch its lead to as many as 11 points.
Duquesne also embraced the physical aspect of the game that the officials allowed to take place which
Saint Louis scored seven of the first nine points in the second half which allowed those at Chaifetz Arena to make a lot of noise in an attempt to influence Duquesne to miss. Instead, Weathers took and made his first three-point basket of the game.
“I told our coaches we were going to find out now whether we are ready to make the next step or if we’re still a year removed,” Dambrot said. “You never know until you fight the adversity. They came at us twice and we handled it twice.”
Just prior to the first media timeout of the second half, Perkins picked up his fourth foul, which was important as the junior ranks second on SLU in points.
From there, Duquesne’s defensive transition led to successful offensive possessions with Lamar Norman Jr completing a three-point play at the foul line to extend the Dukes lead back to double digits which increased to 12 points when Weathers stole a pass and finished the transition play with a layup, all part of a 12-1 response.
Duquesne was able to maintain its double-digit advantage and were aided by second-chance rebounds and heads-up plays.
Even with Weathers on the bench, Duquesne maintained its aggression and ball movement with a Norman three activating the final Saint Louis timeout of the evening and controlled the game from there.
— Duquesne Basketball (@DuqMBB) February 6, 2020
Duquesne will next host St. Bonaventure Saturday at 3 p.m. in a game contested at Robert Morris’s UPMC Events Center. The contest will be televised by NBC Sports Network.