No. 6 Duquesne Takes on No. 11 La Salle in the Second Round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament
Duquesne earned a First Round bye in the Atlantic 10 Tournament this week, as they finished sixth in the conference in the 2022-23 season.
They awaited to find out the winner between No. 11 La Salle and No. 14 Rhode Island in the First Round on Tuesday. La Salle throughly defeated Rhode Island, 73-56, progressing themselves into that Second Round matchup with Duquesne.
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The Explorers (14-18) had two great performances from guards in junior Jhamir Brickus and sophomore Daeshon Shepherd against the Rams. Brickus scored a team high 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 shooting from the foul line, while Shepherd scored 15 points and also shot 7-for-10 from the field in the win. Guards in sophomore Khalil Brantley and junior Anwar Gil also finished in double figures for scoring in the victory for the Explorers, with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Dukes ended the 2022-23 regular season with an overall record of 20-11 and an 10-8 record in Atlantic 10 play. This is just the third season in the last 42 years that the Dukes have won 20 games or more, along with the 2008-09 and 2019-20 seasons. It is also just the eighth time the Dukes have had a winning record in the Atlantic 10 since joining the conference prior to the 1976-77 season and just the sixth time they’ve had double digit wins in conference play.
Duquesne defeated La Salle 91-74 on Feb. 22, just two weeks ago. The win served as the first for Duquesne at Tom Gola Arena since 2011, ending a six game losing streak there. Duquesne outscored La Salle 50-36 in the second half and made 51.7% of their shots compared to La Salle’s 35.7% shooting.
Senior forward Joe Reece had an incredible game for the Dukes, scoring 18 of his 26 career-high points in the second half, while also shooting 11-for-13 from the floor.
Junior forward Tre Williams also played a large part in the Dukes’ victory over the Explorers. He scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half, created six assists, made seven rebounds and two steals. His 14 points scored were the most for him against an A-10 opponent, the second most points in a game this season and his six assists are a career high. Williams also played a season high 37 minutes in the victory as well.
Duquesne’s 22 assists and 55.6% shooting against La Salle are the second most and third best in a game this season, respectively.
Of all the players that La Salle had score in double digits in their win over Rhode Island, none of them did so against Duquesne in their regular season matchup.
The Explorers lost five games in a row to end the regular season, with the loss to the Dukes as the second on that streak.
Duquesne has played La Salle twice before in the Atlantic 10 tournament, losing twice in the First Round. They fell in a close loss, 82-79, on March 12, 2008 and also 88-73 on March 8, 2016.
No. 6 Duquesne will play No. 11 La Salle at 7:30 p.m. in the final game of the Second Round Wednesday night. The USA Network will broadcast the game on TV while Peacock will broadcast the game on their online streaming service.