On Tuesday night at the Siegel Center in Richmond, Virginia, the Duquesne Dukes (12-5, 3-1 A-10) put together a dominant first half but was outplayed in the second half as they fell at Virginia Commonwealth University Rams (11-6, 3-1 A-10), 78-67. The Dukes put up a tremendous effort in what is one of the toughest buildings to play at in the country.
The Dukes took a 36-28 lead into halftime, but their ultimate undoing was foul trouble for the trio of Tydus Verhoeven, Chas Brown and Jordan Robinson. All three fouled out in the second half, eliminating any chance of Duquesne winning or mounting a late-game comeback.
Duquesne was led by 23 points by sophomore Mike Lewis II and a 15-point, 5-rebound effort by freshman Eric Williams Jr.
The pace heavily favored Duquesne in the first half as they were able to slow the game down and not play at the frenetic pace that VCU likes to play. That changed in the second half. VCU’s full-court havoc defense gave the Dukes all sorts of problems inbounding into their offense, forcing the Dukes to play at the Rams pace the rest of the way.
Overall, Duquesne shot 38% from the field on 25-65 shooting and going 11-31 from beyond the arc. The Dukes were also outrebounded by the Rams 50-31, including 14-10 on the offensive glass. Those numbers must improve to get back on the winning track.
The Dukes return home to play the La Salle Explorers on Saturday at 12:30 PM in the Palumbo Center. The game will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network.
1.) The Dukes showed again that they won’t be punked by any team that they play. Coach Keith Dambrot’s attitude has rubbed off on his players who are playing tough as nails.
2.)Most in the conference have taken notice of Duquesne as a team on the upswing and Tuesday night will only reinforce that. A strong performance on Saturday is needed to get back into the win column.
3.)Now more than ever, the team deserves a great home crowd on Saturday and for the remainder of the season. Bring friends, family, your dentist, your cousin’s landscaper. You get the picture.
Below is a video recap comprised of some postgame Duquesne-VCU thoughts.