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Duquesne Basketball

Duquesne Tries to Get Back to Winning Ways Against In-State Foe La Salle



Duquesne Basketball

Duquesne basketball faces off against in-state A-10 opponent La Salle at home on Wednesday, as they look to get back to winning ways.

Duquesne Outlook

Duquesne traveled to face rival Fordham last Friday and opened up with a 32-26 lead at halftime. The home team, playing in front of a raucous crowd on national television, came out with a 26-9 to begin the second half and dropped 53 points in the period en route to a 79-67 victory.

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The Dukes shot 34.5% from the field in the loss to the Rams, their second worst shooting in a game this season and the second worst in conference play. The Rams shot 51.9% from the field themselves, the third best for a Dukes’ opponent this season and the best mark from an A-10 team.

Senior guard Dae Dae Grant led Duquesne with 15 points, shooting a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line, unsurprising for the second best free throw shooter in the country with an average of 96.1% shots made from the line, but he shot 2-for-8 from the field. Fellow senior guard Jimmy Clark III only made three of his 12 attempts from the field.

Despite the loss, the Dukes have turned their season around from 9-8 overall and 0-5 in Atlantic-10 play to 16-11 and 6-8 in conference games. They have won seven of their past 10 games overall and six of their past nine games in the A-10, putting them in good position to rise higher if they can put together more wins in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Duquesne vs. La Salle History

La Salle holds the lead in the all-time series with Duquesne at 47-34 and 25-17 in the A-10 since joining the conference ahead of the 1995-96 season.

The Explorers are also 4-3 against Dukes head coach Keith Dambrot, with three wins in their past four games, including an 81-70 victory against them in the Second Round of the A-10 Tournament last season.

Duquesne does hold a 21-15 lead over La Salle at home, 11-9 in the A-10 in Pittsburgh and 2-1 under Dambrot. La Salle did win in their first game at UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse, 85-76 back in March 2022.

La Salle Outlook

La Salle come into this matchup 14-14 overall and 5-10 in the A-10, third bottom in the conference.

Despite the poor record on first glance, they have won their past three games, all coming at home. This includes a slim 82-81 victory over UMass on Feb. 17, 72-59 against St. Bonaventure last Wednesday and then a 84-61 blowout of Rhode Island on Sunday.

Guards in senior Jhamir Brickus and junior Khalil Brantley dominated the Dukes in the A-10 Tournament last season. Brickus shot 6-for-11 from the field and 11-for-13 from the foul line to lead the Explorers with 23 points, while Brantley shot 7-for-14 from the field, 6-for-8 from the foul line and provided two 3-pointers for 22 points. Their efforts turned a halftime deficit around for a 54-point outburst in the second half to get the victory over the Dukes.

The duo still feature heavily under long-time college head coach Fran Dunphy’s plan for La Salle this season, with the two averaging the most minutes per game in the conference.

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!

Brickus is second in the A-10 with a 2.6 assist-to-turnover ratio, ranks tied for No. 2 with 4.9 assists per game and tied for No. 7 with 1.4 steals per game. He also averages, 14.0 points per game, second best on the Explorers  and No. 16 in the A-10, while ranking No. 7 shooting 41.4% from behind the arc and No. 10 shooting 84.9% from the foul line.

Brantley leads the team and is ranked tied No. 8 scoring 15.4 points per game. He also is No. 5 with 4.2 assists and ranked tied No. 11 with a 1.9 assist-to-turnover ratio. Brantley, like Brickus, also has a penchant for steals, with his 1.6 per game ranking tied No. 5 in the A-10.

Sophomore forward Rokas Lucias is the La Salle’s best option down in the paint. His 60.4% shooting from the field in A-10 play is second best in the conference, while he also averages 0.9 blocks and 5.5 rebounds per game, respectively. The Lithuanian dropped a career-high 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field in the win against URI on Sunday.

Other players that will have an impact in the game for the Explorers include junior guard Daeshon Shepherd, who has a knack for making rebounds and blocks, 3-point specialist in redshirt sophomore Andrés Marrero, senior guard Anwar Gill and first-year guard/forward Tunde Vahlberg Fasasi.

Keys to Victory for Duquesne

Finding some rhythm offensively is crucial for the Dukes to win. Going from one of the best shooting performances against the Saint Louis Billikens last Tuesday at home to one of the worst against the Rams isn’t going to cut it as they try to make ground for a poor start in conference play.

Getting Grant and Clark back into good form, along with fellow guards in sophomore Kareem Rozier and first-year/walk-on Jake DiMichele playing well is crucial. Also important to see how forwards in graduate students Dusan Mahorcic and Foussenyi Drame, senior Tre Williams, sophomores in David Dixon and Halil Barre, as well as first-year Jakub Necas do against a guard-minded team like the Explorers.

Stopping Brantley and Brickus is also another must-do for the Dukes to get the win, as they have the ability any night to score at will for their team if needed.

La Salle has had a terrible time away from Philadelphia, with a 3-8 road record, including 1-5 in the A-10 and a five game losing streak on the road in conference play.

Duquesne has excelled at home, 11-4 on the season and winning three of their past four conference games at UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse. Continuing to stay strong on the Bluff will prove vital for Duquesne as they look to get past an A-10 team that has stifled them in recent years.


Duquesne come in as heavy favorites, -8.5, against La Salle on Wednesday, according to ESPNBet, FanDuel and DraftKings. The spread, or over/under, is 142.5 points, according to ESPNBet and FanDuel, and 142 points on DraftKings.

How to Watch

SportsNet Pittsburgh will broadcast the game for those in the local area, while ESPN+ will stream the game to those outside of it and for those without a cable subscription. Tim Benz is back as play-by-play commentator with Ellis Cannon along side him as color commentator. The game tips off at 7:00 p.m.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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