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Duquesne Basketball

Duquesne Takes on Upstart Davidson Squad on Senior Day



Duquesne starts their final homestand of the 2022-23 regular season with a matchup against Davidson on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m.

The Dukes (19-9 overall, 9-6 Atlantic 10) have played great in the month of February, winning five of their six matches lthis month. The play recently has changed the expectations for the Dukes from a hopeful .500 finish in conference play to now playing for a double-bye in the Atlantic 10 Tournament in March.

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They defeated La Salle on Wednesday, Feb. 22 on the road, 91-74, for their first road win in the series since 2011. Duquesne outscored La Salle 50-36 in the second half to lead themselves to victory. Forwards in senior Joe Reece and junior Tre Williams played a large part of that second half. Reece scored 18 of his 26 career-high points in the second half, and junior forward Tre Williams scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half, as Duquesne exploited La Salle’s lack of size.

The Wildcats (13-14 overall, 6-9 Atlantic 10) have dominated the series with the Dukes since joining the conference in the 2014-15 season. They hold a 10-1 series advantage over the Dukes, including a three game winning streak. The Dukes’ lone win in the series came in January 2020 at UPMC Events Center in Moon Township, Pa., home of Robert Morris.

Davidson won two of their first three games in Atlantic 10 play, but lost seven of eight games in January to fall down the standings. They have won three of their five games in February, including their last two games, both of which were at home. Davidson won a close match with St. Joseph’s, 76-75, on Feb. 18 and defeated St. Bonaventure, 74-61 on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

Redshirt junior forward Sam Mennega from New Zealand is the best scorer for the Wildcats in Atlantic 10 play, averaging 15.6 points, best for No. 11 in the conference. He is an efficient scorer as well, as his 51.1% shooting from the field and 39.5% shooting from 3-point range are No. 11 and No. 16 in Atlantic 10 play. Mennega also leads the team and is No. 15 in Atlantic 10 play with 6.1 rebounds per game

Senior guard Foster Loyer is the best scorer for Davidson this season, averaging 16.1 points per game. He leads the Atlantic 10 with a 94.8% free throw shooting and leads Davidson with 119 assists on the season and 34.9 minutes played per game in conference play.

Junior guard Grant Huffman is one of the best offensive creators on the Wildcats this season, as he is third in the Atlantic 10 with a 2.3 assist to turnover ratio and seventh in conference play with 3.8 assists per game.

Duquesne has had a fantastic season at UPMC Cooper Field House this season. They have a 15-3 overall home record, including 6-1 in  the Atlantic 10, as they are currently on a four game home winning streak.

The win against the Explorers last Wednesday proved how strong of a team the Dukes are. Five players scored in double-digits, making it the second straight game the Dukes have achieve this feat.

Junior guards in Dae Dae Grant and Jimmy Clark III also did not score in that 50 point outburst in the second half. Grant and Clark lead Duquesne this season in scoring, showing that the Dukes are a well rounded team with multiple threats ready to go any night.

Clark leads the Atlantic 10 with 40 steals and 2.7 steals per game in Atlantic 10 play. He leads a strong Duquesne defense that is first in the conference, averaging 9.13 steals per game.

The Dukes graduate guard Tevin Brewer has started Atlantic 10 game this season and has done a great job. Brewer has a 2.3 assist/turnover ratio and is shooting 46.0% from 3-point range, both No. 2 and No. 3 in conference play.

An important plan for Duquesne against Davidson is to find ways to hinder Mennega and Loyer from reaching their best play together. The duo combined for 51 of the 74 points in the victory over St. Bonaventure last Wednesday.

The Dukes will also want to force the Wildcats to shoot 3-pointers, as they shoot an A-10 fourth worst 31.9% from behind the arc, while also keeping the Wildcats off the foul line, as they shoot an A-10 fourth best 74.0%.

USA is broadcasting this matchup on their channel, giving the Dukes an opportunity to impress fans across the country with their play if they do well Sunday afternoon.

A win for Duquesne against Davidson will put them on the right track this final week of the regular season. Their loyal fanbase will prepare to support their team Sunday afternoon, they’ll just need Duquesne to show up and play as they’ve done so often at home this season.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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