Duquesne and Little Rock played a tight game for 27 minutes, but a 14-3 run from the Trojans starting with 13 minutes left in the second half was more than the Dukes could overcome in a 76-66 loss in the Wade Houston Tipoff Classic in Louisville, Kentucky.
With the Dukes trailing by just two points, they got a little bit foul happy and the Trojans took advantage.
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Duquesne freshman Chad Baker fouled Marko Andric, who made one free throw. After a turnover and a Little Rock layup, Tavian Dunn-Martin was whistled for a technical foul, giving Little Rock two more points on Markquis Nowell free throws. A Dunn-Martin personal foul sent Andric to the line for two more free ones.
Maceo Austin missed a 3-pointer and Andric hit a layup. A Dunn-Martin 3-pointer snapped the Little Rock run at nine straight points, but Little Rock answered with a 3-pointer of their own and then Andric contributed a steal and score after stripping Sincere Carry to make it a 14-3 run Trojans run. Little Rock led by just two when the run started, but were up by 13 at the end and Duquesne was never able to get the game back to within two possessions.
Andric had just nine points on the night for Little Rock, but seven of them came in that impactful run. Nikola Maric had 16 points to lead the Trojans, while Nowell was a rebound assist short of a triple-double, with 13 points, 11 assists and nine boards.
Marcus Weathers and Carry led the Dukes with 12 points each, with Carry’s coming on an efficient 5 of 7 night shooting. Tavian Dunn-Martin scored 11, most of which came while going 3 of 10 from long range.
Baker fouled out in just seven minutes and contributed four points. Harris had two points and two fouls in 11 minutes and Toby Okani was scoreless with one turnover in six minutes in what was a tough debut for Keith Dambrot’s talented freshman class.
The Dukes are scheduled to stay in Louisville for two more games, facing UNC Greensboro on Wednesday at 1 p.m. and Winthrop on Friday at 11 a.m.