Duquesne basketball returns home to face off against Davidson, as they look to keep their winning streak alive in conference play.
Duquesne comes into this matchup with four straight victories. They defeated rivals St. Bonaventure on Jan. 23 and Fordham on Jan. 26, as well as non-conference opponent Chicago State last Wednesday, Jan. 31, all at home and by single digits.
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They also defeated Rhode Island on the road last Saturday, thanks to senior guard Dae Dae Grant leading the way. He scored a team-high 31 points on 9-for-18 shooting from the field, 7-for-14 from 3-point range and a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line. Grant also passed the 2,000 point mark, becoming one of just 13 active players in Division I to reach that mark.
The Dukes shot 14-for-27 as a team from 3-point range, a season high in not just makes, but also with 51.9% shooting. They also made 28 of their 53 attempts from the field for a season best mark of 52.8% shooting. Their 15-for-17, 88.2% from the foul line ranks tied second best free throw shooting in a game this season for the Dukes, with the Nebraska Cornhuskers matchup on the road in November.
Senior guard Jimmy Clark III and and Grant both had five assists and the Dukes themselves made 20 in the game, the best against a Division I team this season.
Duquesne sophomore guard Kareem Rozier didn’t start against Rhode Island, but he came off the bench and scored 11 points on 3-for-6 shooting from behind the arc in 33 minutes. Graduate student forward Foussenyi Drame also provided 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting, with a team effort for Duquesne providing crucial in the victory on the road.
Grant coming back into the starting lineup and having one of his best games of the season is vital for the Dukes, who have struggled offensively throughout the season. His ability to pull up from anywhere and score allows for his teammates to have better opportunities themselves.
His return is also important as Duquesne starts to win more consistently in conference play. They lost five straight games to start A-10 play, with three of the losses coming within five points, but have now improved to 13-8 overall and 3-5 in conference standings. With more wins, Duquesne will continue to rise up through the conference and may end up finishing where voters predicted for the preseason poll at No. 4
Duquesne vs. Davidson History
Davidson lead Duquesne easily in the all-time series, 11-1, which have all come since Davidson joined the A-10 prior to the 2015-16 season. Duquesne’s sole win came in January 2020 at UPMC Events Center, home of Robert Morris.
The Dukes almost came back from down 16 points in last year’s meeting at home, but the Wildcats would end up prevailing late on, 71-67.
Davidson comes into this contest 12-9 overall and 2-6 in Atlantic-10 play, third from the bottom of the standings.
Four of their losses have come within five points, 79-74 to Rhode Island at home on Jan. 9, 83-79 in overtime to George Washington on the road on Jan. 13, 69-64 in overtime to Richmond on Jan. 20 and 63-58 to VCU on Jan. 27, both at home.
Their only wins in A-10 play came on the road against Fordham, 79-69 on Jan. 17, and bottom of the standings Saint Louis, 84-61 on Jan. 24.
Senior guard Grant Huffman is the best player for this Wildcats squad and excels across many areas on the court. He ranks tied for first in the A-10 with 5.0 assists per game, No. 6 in with a 2.4 assist/turnover ratio, No. 17 scoring 13.9 points per game and No. 22 shooting 48.1% from the field. He also received A-10 Preseason All-Defensive Team honors and is No. 6 in the conference with 1.6 steals per game.
One likely glaring omission from Wednesday night’s game for Davidson comes in 6-foot-10 redshirt senior forward David Skogman.
Skogman hasn’t played since their win against Saint Louis, missing the past two games with a foot issue that will likely keep him out against Duquesne.
Not having their second leading scorer, 13.3 points per game, as well as a 3-point and mid-range threat will make it harder for Davidson and easier for Duquesne.
Expect to see 6-foot-10 sophomore forwards Reed Bailey and Sean Logan serve as the pairing in the front court for the Wildcats.
Keys to Victory for Duquesne
The Dukes will need to take advantage of Davidson’s lack of scoring, as they average a conference worst 71.8 points per game. They also shoot 43.6% from the field and 32.7% from 3-point range, both fourth and third worst in the conference.
Duquesne has excelled in low-scoring games recently, despite their offensive outburst against URI, as opponents have averaged 60 points per game, 37.3% shooting from the field and 25.7% from behind the arc during their win streak.
Great play from Grant and Clark should prove enough to allow other members of the team to flourish on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, Clark still leads the A-10 with 2.3 steals per game and Duquesne is No. 3 with 7.57 steals per game. If the two can do great things on both sides of the court, this should lead to a solid win for the home team.
Forwards in sophomore David Dixon, senior Tre Williams and graduate students Dusan Mahrocic and Drame will all have to make sure they still defend the paint with everything they have, along with grabbing offensive rebounds, which the Dukes rank third in the A-10 in, creating more opportunities to score.
ESPNBet, DraftKings and BetRivers have Duquesne as a -5.5 favorite over Davidson, with FanDuel having them as -4.5 favorites. ESPNBet FanDuel and BetRivers has the spread at an over/under of 136.5, while DraftKings has it set at over/under 137. The money line, or wager placed on a team to win, is -215 for Duquesne on ESPNBet and FanDuel, while it is -245 on BetRivers. Davidson is +180 on ESPNBet, +176 on FanDuel and +195 on BetRivers.
How to Watch/Game Time
No television broadcast for this one, but ESPN+ will broadcast this game, set for a 7 p.m. tip-off, for streaming with Tim Benz as the play-by-play commentator and Ellis Cannon as the color commentator.