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Duquesne Basketball

Duquesne’s Comeback Falls Short At Davidson

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Though it showed fight in the second half against a Davidson squad that currently atop the Atlantic 10 Conference, the Duquesne Men’s Basketball team could not overcome shaky start on the road, dropping a 72-61 makeup contest Monday night at Belk Arena, its 10th straight loss, all in conference play.

Davidson opened the game on a 20-4 run as Duquesne went cold from the field early on.

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In an effort to switch things up, Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot started Davis Larson for the first time this season, as Primo Spears, one of three Dukes who previously got that nod for all 22 games, took a seat on the bench.

It was clear that Dambrot was rewarding Larson’s effort in Saturday’s loss against Fordham, while simultaneously sending a message to Spears.

From a scoring perspective, Spears appeared to get the message as he scored 20 points in 32 minutes. The 20 points represent his highest point total since equaling the feat on Jan. 12 at Fordham.

Duquesne (6-17/1-10 Atlantic 10) also saw Jackie Johnson (14) and Kevin Easley (12) achieve double figures. As a team the Dukes rebounded from their slow start to shoot 46.2% from the field in the second half.

Davidson (21-4/11-2 A-10) saw Foster Loyer lead the way with 24 points. Hyunjung Lee finished with 20 points and was 5-for-7 from the field on his two-point shots. At one point Lee nearly outscored Duquesne by himself, falling short by a 16-11 count.

Mike Jones pieced together 10 points for Davidson, while teammate Luka Brajkovic gone it done in multiple aspects, with his nine-point, 11 rebound effort.

Duquesne’s early deficit also saw it grab each of the first six offensive rebounds, however it was limited to four second chance points out of those opportunities.

It was Spears who started to get the Duquesne offense going with a three-point basket, as the Dukes would come back to cut their deficit to nine points.

Davidson shot 58.3% from the field in the first half and led 39-28.

The Wildcats promptly opened the second half on an 8-2 run, stretching the advantage to 17 points, though Duquesne had a response at the ready with an 8-0 run, comprised by two Easley triples and a Spears steal and score out in transition, again bringing the Dukes within single digits.

Davidson would stretch its lead to 15 points, but an and-one play from Johnson started one last offensive effort.

When Spears converted a layup with three-and-a-half minutes remaining in regulation, Dambrot called a timeout, trying to get Duquesne to grab another double-digit comeback victory.

Johnson would foul coming out of the break, and then Spears would commit two consecutive fouls. When Duquesne came up empty on its next offensive possession and then Loyer buried a layup, Davidson was back in front by 10 points.

Time was not on Duquesne’s side and now the Dukes will have a quick turnaround as they will make up a second contest this week, both of which were previously postponed due to COVID-19.

Wednesday night, Duquesne will face George Washington as part of a doubleheader. The scheduled tipoff time is 7:30 p.m. on ESPN+.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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