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Second Half Offensive Woes Doom No. 6 Duquesne in 81-70 Loss to No. 11 La Salle in Atlantic 10 Tournament



NEW YORK — No. 6 Duquesne faltered offensively in the second half, dooming them to a loss to No. 11 La Salle 81-70 in the Second Round of the Atlantic Tournament Wednesday night at the Barclays Center.

Dukes (20-12) make it two straight two seasons losing their first game of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, as they lost to Rhode Island, 79-77, in the First Round in 2022. The loss drops Dukes head coach Keith Dambrot to 1-5 in the A-10 Tournament and to 3-5 against the Explorers (15-18) in six seasons as head coach since starting in 2017

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La Salle led Duquesne throughout much of the first half, building as big as a 22-17 advantage with 7:12 left in the first half.

Dukes senior guard Dae Dae Grant scored 13 of his team’s first 17 points in the game, including three 3-pointers, to keep them in the game.

Duquesne soon tightened up its defense and held La Salle to no point over the next five minutes and just five points the rest of the first half.

Grant went to the bench with two fouls and his teammates picked up his production offensively. Dukes graduate guard Tevin Brewer scored seven points on two jumpers and a 3-pointer, while junior guard Jimmy Clark III hit a 3-pointer and made a fastbreak dunk.

La Salle would get some points back, but Duquesne would take a 33-27 lead into halftime.

Duquesne's 2024 March Madness Tournament coverage is sponsored by Leon's Billiards & More, Moon Golf Club and Archie's on Carson! Their contributions have allowed us to cover the Dukes run in Omaha, Nebraska. We appreciate their support!

The Explorers tied the game at 33 in the first minute and 15 seconds, before the Dukes would go on an 11-3 run, thanks to two 3-pointers from Clark and one from Brewer, to build a 44-36 lead.

La Salle battled back and went on a 10-2 run to tie the game back up at 46 with 12 minutes remaining. They would continue to play well and built their lead to 63-53, thanks to two layups and four free throws from junior guard Jhamir Brickus, a 3-pointer and a layup from sophomore guard Khalil Brantley and two layups from senior forward Foussenyi Drame.

Duquesne struggled immensely from the field during this run from La Salle. They shot 1-for-10 from the floor and missed easy shots that they normally made throughout the regular season.

Both teams would spend much of the last few minutes of the game shooting from the foul line. Dukes set up a press that resulted in them fouling the Explorers and the Explorers had trouble dealing with defending the paint and committed fouls as well.

La Salle finished the second half with 64.0% shooting from the floor and made 19 of their 23 foul shots, demonstrating their offensive efficiency. Brickus led with 19 points and Brantley came up behind him with 15 points in the second half, respectively,  to lead La Salle to the victory.

Grant, who started out so well for Duquesne, finished with zero points in the second half. Junior forward Tre Williams, a starter for Duquesne, also scored no points in the second half.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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