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Duquesne Basketball

Early Second-Half Surge Leads Fordham Past Duquesne



Duquesne entered the oldest gym in college basketball riding a two-game conference win streak as the Dukes looked to extend their recent fortunes against Fordham in the Bronx.

Playing in front of a national television audience and a sold-out crowd inside the Rose Hill Gym, Duquesne’s disastrous start in the second half allowed Fordham to roll to a 79-67 victory for the Rams’ first home win in conference play.

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An emphatic 26-9 run to open up the second half for Fordham (11-16, 5-9 A-10) that erased a six-point half time deficit proved to be too much for the Dukes (16-11, 6-8 A-10). Fordham showed major improvements in the second frame, shooting 65.4 percent from the floor, while adding five triples.

Serving as the opener in both halves, Fordham senior Kyle Rose orchestrated a dominating game-high 23 points.

A trio of Dukes – Jimmy Clark III, Fousseyni Drame and Dae Dae Grant – landed in double figures, while Tre Williams eclipsed 1,000 career points in the first half on a pair of free throws.

The feeling-out process took a few minutes before Williams broke the ice at the 16:46 mark by backing down Romad Dean.

Then, the scoring opened up with Rose showing flashes with a straightaway triple and then adding an old-fashioned three-point play as he shot 3 of 4 from the field in the first half.

In an opening half driven by runs, Fordham’s 10-2 stretch didn’t last long as the Dukes started to fill the bucket from the free-throw line. Despite a four-plus minute scoreless drought from the field, Duquesne’s automatic free-throw shooter in Grant continued his ways to pull the Dukes back within a point. The Dukes entered the bonus only seven minutes into the half.

Grant paced the Dukes with 15 points as he kocked down all 10 of his free throws.

With its work at the charity stripe, Duquesne turned to one of its big men, Jakub Necas, whi knocked down only his seventh triple of the year to push the visitors ahead for the first time since the opening bucket of the evening.

After Necas’ triple, the Dukes started to find their rhythm and went 4 of 5 from the field, which saw Grant providing nifty dishes, including one to David Dixon, who threw down the slam.

Despite a 9-2 run by the Rams to pull even, Duquesne shut them out in the last four and a half minutes in the opening frame from the floor. To put a cap on things, Necas rose up with a huge block on Josh Rivera’s dunk attempt.

Fordham’s 10 first-half turnovers led to nine points for Duquesne as the Dukes took a 32-26 advantage into the locker room.

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 Rams looked to reverse the game’s trajectory as they came out firing on all cylinders to start the second half. Rose was once again at the forefront of the Ram’s success in the early goings, picking off a pass and taking it down for a breakaway slam, while adding a key triple to force a Keith Dambrot timeout.

Beyond the arc, the Rams added another two triples from Antrell Charlton and Jahmere Tripp to outscore the Dukes 17-5 leading into the under-16 timeout. Charlton poured in 16 points on a perfect 3 of 3 from three-point land.

Fordham’s onslaught continued as the Rams attacked the paint with Rose driving baseline and scoring the up-and-under as he finished the play at the free-throw line. Abdou Tsimbila did damage finishing in the paint as well as a game-high six blocks.

A lost Dukes team struggled to find a bucket and that was coupled with poor defense that allowed easy finishes in the post for the Rams. Duquesne converted just 34.5 percent of its shots from the floor on the night

Clark III finally ended the silence from the Dukes’ offense as he cashed in on consecutive triples midway through the final half. He registered 12 points for the Dukes.

As the Rams’ offensive push slowed, Duquesne’s double-digit deficit narrowed to eight after true freshman Jake DiMichele got to the hoop and then added a free throw, while Drame connected on his own layup with 5:14 left as the Dukes trailed 65-57. Drame scored 11 points on 5 of 12 shooting.

A Charlton triple and the Rams’ work at the free-throw line eventually iced the Dukes.

Duquesne returns to the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse on Wednesday when it welcomes a La Salle team that is currently on a two-game win streak heading into its Sunday matchup with Rhode Island.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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