On Monday night, Duquesne will play host to Weber State at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse, with tip-off set for 7 p.m.
This will be the first ever contest between the two schools. While the Dukes have already played two games this year (1-1), Weber State comes in with a 1-0 record after taking down Western Colorado in its season opener.
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Although Duquesne fell to Hofstra over the weekend, there is plenty of promise and building anticipation in the Dukes’ locker room. Among some of the bright spots coming out of the Hofstra game were the play of Primo Spears and Kevin Easley, as well as the return of big man Austin Rotroff.
Spears, a freshman, finished the game with a team-high 17 points, going 7 for 15 from the floor. His poise and ability to run the offense as just a freshman have surprised many so far, and he will look to continue his hot start to the season against the Wildcats.
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Easley, the transfer from TCU, appears to be playing some of the best ball of his life right out of the gates this season. He finished with a double-double against Hofstra, dropping in 14 points and grabbing 10 boards.
Mike Bekelja also led the Dukes with a +/- rating of +8 in the contest against Hofstra, providing Dambrot’s squad with a spark when it trailed by as much as 18 in the first half.
“It (let me) get in the lane offensively and hold my fatigue,” Spears said after the game. “Mike, I know his plus/minus is probably out of this world. I feel like Mike is a big piece for us with his on-ball pressure and his lack of mistakes. Offensively he doesn’t try to do anything he can’t do.”
While Rotroff, the 6-foot-10 junior, only contributed four points in the loss, his return brings some much-needed depth to the front court, and he will play a large role behind big man Tre Williams off the bench.
The spread for the game is currently leaning towards the Wildcats, at Weber State (-1) according to Draft Kings. The over/under is set right at 143. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+, and on the radio at 104.7 HD2 as well as 970 ESPN.