The Duquesne Men’s Basketball team had six offensive attempts to try and find a basket, yet not once was it able to capitalize.
On another offensive sequence, two Duquesne players simultaneously mistimed their jumps which led to a turnover.
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“We are just trying to figure out,” Duquesne center Mounir Hima said. “We can play together when we want to, I just don’t know what’s blocking it. We just have to find a way to come together.”
Playing its second game in 48 hours, Duquesne saw its losing streak reach 11 with a 73-52 setback to George Washington Wednesday at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.
“You play pretty good at Davidson and play pretty good at VCU and we haven’t played worth a damn here yet,” coach Keith Dambrot said. “I can’t put my finger on it, I’ve never seen a team play worse than that at home. I’ve never felt more helpless in my life, I don’t know what to do for them… It’s a mental toughness issue as far as I can see. Another 52-point performance, what are you going to do?”
Duquesne (6-18/1-11 Atlantic 10) was led by Tre Williams who scored 18 points. Primo Spears scored 15 points. Kevin Easley grabbed 11 rebounds but missed all seven of his three-point shots from the field.
Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot again changed the lineup, inserting Mike Bekelja in for the third time this season, while also returning Spears into the beginning five.
GW (10-14/6-6 A-10) saw Joe Bamisile take top scoring honors with his 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting performance. Bamisile was joined in double figures by Brendan Adams (12), Ricky Lindo Jr (11 and 12 rebounds) and Brayon Freeman (10).
GW opened the game on a 15-6 run as Duquesne had to once again burn an early timeout and attempt to go back to the drawing board.
Of its first 10 points, eight were scored by Williams and all were scored in the paint.
Duquesne would shoot 22.5% from the field in the first half, missing all 11 of its three-point shots. It also had 15 offensive rebounds in the first half and turned those into four second-chance points.
Throughout the game, the arena was radio silent, save for the GW bench. At one point in the game, an usher was the loudest fan in the stands, rooting the team on after Hima scored his lone basket of the evening.
“I feel bad for our fans, I apologize to them that we are playing as poorly as we are,” said Dambrot. “I’m trying like hell; I just haven’t been able to get it out of them yet.”
GW led Duquesne 33-19 at halftime.
Duquesne had no trouble pulling down offensive rebounds in the opening half, grabbing 15, but the Dukes were only able to get four points off those second-chance opportunities.
“It’s like a blind man throwing darts,” Dambrot said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a game. It’s almost impossible. That’s hard to correct as a coach and then the psychological impact of missing point blank and open shots is hard to overcome, especially late in the year like this.”
It was much of the same in the second half as GW opened on an 11-2 run and never looked back as it converted six and-one plays on the evening.
As GW continued to find success on the floor, the familiar Duquesne body language of hung heads and shoulder prevailed.
“We’re definitely disappointed because we feel that we come into practice every day and we’re working hard,” said Williams. “We just haven’t found a way to get that out on the court and get a win. We’re just going to keep working and keep fighting.”
Duquesne will next take to the road Saturday at St. Bonaventure. The game will tipoff at 6 p.m. on ESPN2 or ESPN U. The Dukes will be looking to avenge an earlier loss which occurred on national television.