The 2021-2022 season continues to be a season that Duquesne would like to forget, as the Dukes lost their 14th straight game after falling to Rhode Island, 70-54, on Saturday afternoon at the Ryan Center in Kingston, RI. The Dukes (6-21, 1-14) haven’t won since Jan. 8 when they beat Massachusetts.
Duquesne made 18-of-55 (32.7%) shots from the field and were 6-of-23 from behind the arc (26.1%). Rhode Island converted 27-of-57 (47.4%) of its shots and was 4-of-16 on three-point attempts (25.0%). Duquesne turned the ball over 16 times and allowed 40 points in the paint.
Kevin Easley led the Dukes with 13 points and had three triples. Ishmael El-Amin was Rhode Island’s leading scorer with 21 points. El-Armin also had three triples.
At the 10-minute mark in the first half, Rhode Island led Duquesne, 19-12. Prior to a three-pointer by Tyson Acuff, the Dukes converted just three of their 13 attempts from the field. Meanwhile, Rhode Island shot at 60 percent in the first 10 minutes of play and dominated in the paint.
The Dukes went on a 6-2 run and cut Rhode Island’s lead to 23-18 with 6:53 remaining in the first half, but the Rams countered with a 6-0 run and got the lead back up to 29-18 with 3:45 left. Rhode Island continued to control the pace of the game and went on a 13-0 run to end the first half and went into halftime with a 42-23. Jeremy Sheppard made a three-pointer from 40-feet out at the buzzer to end the half.
The Dukes struggled from the field in the first half, making just seven of their 25 attempts (28.0%) and were 3-of-8 from behind the arc (28.6%). In contrast, Rhode Island was 15-of-31 from the field (48.4%) and was 3-of-9 on three-point attempts (33.3%). Rhode Island out-scored Duquesne, 20-2, in the paint. The Rams also out-rebounded Duquesne, 14-10. The Dukes really missed center Tre Williams’ presence. Williams suffered a season-ending knee injury in Wednesday night’s loss to Davidson.
The Dukes went on a 9-0 run to start the second half and cut Rhode Island’s lead to 47-35. Easley then made a three-pointer to make it a 9-point game with 13:11 remaining. The Dukes couldn’t build off the momentum, however, as they went on a five-minute scoring drought and Rhode Island got its lead back up to double-digits at 54-40 with 8:03 left. Duquesne was unable to get on a big run and Rhode Island ran away with a 70-54 win.
The Dukes’ next game is on Wednesday, March 2, against George Washington on the road. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. and the game can be streamed on ESPN+.