Duquesne did not get much of a non-conference schedule, playing just two game before the beginning of Atlantic-10 play.
The two games they did get were a month removed from Saturday’s conference opener at George Washington, as the Dukes dealt with COVID-19 issues within their program and then other teams.
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The combination of a long layoff and an overall lack of preparation had even Dukes head coach Keith Dambrot unsure about how his team would look in its first A-10 action. The answer turned out to be pretty good.
The Dukes shot 48.3 percent from the floor and had five players in double figures as the team used a strong offense to power past George Washington, 75-63
Marcus Weathers had 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and added five rebounds before fouling out late in the game. Freshman Toby Okani equaled his total with 14 points on a perfect 6 of 6 shooting.
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George Washington came out strong, leading by five points in the first six minutes of the game, but a 12-0 Duquesne run sparked by Tavian Dunn-Martin put the Dukes in the lead for good. Dunn-Martin finished with 12 points and made two of Duquesne’s eight 3-pointers.
The Dukes led by four at the half and 10 midway through the second period, using a deep bench to wear down the shorthanded Colonials as the game went on. Duquesne outscored George Washington, 41-6 in bench points.
In addition to Okani and Dunn-Martin, forward Amari Kelly added 13 points on 6 of 7 shooting and grabbed five rebounds to make three bench players in double figures scoring. Kelly stepped up while Weathers and Mike Hughes dealt with foul trouble. Hughes finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists before fouling out.
In total, 12 Dukes saw the floor in the contest and eight of them scored at least one point. No Duquesne played had more than 30 minutes on the floor.
Senior guard Ryan Murphy played five minutes in his Duquesne debut after transferring from Pitt late in the offseason.
The two teams will play again on Sunday, the first time the Dukes have played the same opponent on consecutive days in team history. The schedule was adjusted to give Duquesne space in the schedule later this season to re-schedule their two A-10 contests that have already been postponed.
Tip-off on Sunday at Charles E. Smith Center is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN Plus.