Duquesne won its season opener, besting Rider 73-61 Tuesday night at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.
Kevin Easley Jr led Duquesne with his 16 points and made four three-point baskets. He was one of four Duquesne players to achieve double figures Tuesday night.
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Primo Spears scored 14 points and added seven assists, while teammate Tre Williams also scored 14 points, while grabbing six rebounds. Leon Ayers III added 12 points.
Rider (0-1) was led by Dwight Murray Jr’s 17 points, while Dimencio Vaughn added 13 points and seven rebounds. Corey McKeithan and Mervin James each totaled 10 points.
Duquesne’s student section, the Red & Blue Crew filled all of the allotted sections and participated in the white out wearing shirts and waving towels with the appropriate color.
It was uneven first half for Duquesne, which saw its defense concede a 48.4% shooting clip and allow for Ajiri Ogemuno-Johnson to grab nine rebounds. The Dukes also were a -10 in the paint.
Rider scored five of the game’s first seven points, before Easley converted two consecutive three-point shots, to refocus Duquesne’s offense.
When Tyson Acuff came off the bench and buried a triple of his own, concluding a 9-0 scoring run which kept Rider off the scoreboard for 2:27 of game action.
Rider did retake the lead, replying back with a 5-0 run as Duquesne struggled to achieve consistency and find a rhythm.
Both teams would achieve minor runs on the other, but Duquesne’s 11-5 edge during its first advantage served as the largest in the first half.
After 20 minutes, Rider was in front by a 33-30 score.
Coming out of the locker room, Duquesne returned with more focus as a Williams three-point basket from the top of the key placed the Dukes back in front.
It was part of a 12-3 run which also saw Ayers drain five free throws, extending Duquesne’s lead to six points.
Not to be outdone, Rider came back with a response after a timeout as Duquesne had shorter offensive possessions and committed multiple turnovers, leading to a shorter court for the Broncs to contend with.
By the under-16 media timeout, Rider was back in front by a point.
Duquesne’s defense took a stand holding Rider scoreless for the next 3:53.
Easley sank two free throws which placed Duquesne back in front and then Williams snapped the Dukes skid of 4:34 without a field goal by sinking a second top-of-the-key three-point basket, allowing the home team to lead by four points.
Though Rider would tie the game at 51, Williams converted a hook shot as Duquesne jumped back in front. Easley then moved without the ball as Williams found him on the run and the fadeaway three-point attempt fell. Easley celebrated as Rider had to regroup.
Duquesne was able to pull away, going on a 12-0 run. Ayers started the run with a three-point basket and Spears had two of his own during this stretch.
The Dukes will next host Hofstra Saturday at 7 p.m. and the contest will be carried by ESPN+.