Jacob Hebda | Staff Writer
Nov. 21, 2019
Year three of the Keith Dambrot era is off to a promising start. After a win against Lipscomb, the Dukes stand at 3-0.
It was an ugly affair, as the teams went a combined 1 for 40 on three-pointers.
Nevertheless, Dambrot’s team pulled away in the second half for a comfortable 58-36 victory.
Marcus Weathers was arguably the best player on the court, scoring 13 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
Fellow big men Baylee Steele and Mike Hughes played well too, scoring 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The trio’s collective play was crucial considering the struggles of the Duquesne guards.
Not a single member of the backcourt made more than two buckets.
While the offense struggled, the Dukes’ defense was staunch, holding opponents to a dismal 29.2% shooting percentage. Ahsan Asadullah, who had 14 points, was the only Lipscomb player to reach double digits.
Dambrot’s team also outrebounded the visiting Bison, 42-33, and forced 23 turnovers.
Redshirt freshman James Ellis made his much-anticipated debut. In three minutes of action, he tallied two points and one rebound.
It was the second of Duquesne’s first two games at La Roche University in nearby McCandless.
The first was a far more exciting contest, as the Dukes grabbed a tough 66-56 victory over Lamar.
Duquesne maintained a slim lead throughout much of the game but could not pull away. It wasn’t until the 3:40 mark of the second half that they took control for good.
After two free throws from Redbird V.J. Holmes cut the deficit to two, Carry nailed a three-pointer. Moments later, a dunk by Hughes extended the lead to seven.
Steele and Dunn-Martin subsequently iced the game from the free throw line.
Maceo Austin shone in his second collegiate outing. With 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting, he showed why he is one of the most highly touted Duquesne recruits in recent memory.
With 17 points and ten boards, Hughes led the Dukes in both scoring and rebounding.
Despite seven turnovers, Carry provided some necessary offense with 16 points on 5-for-9 shooting. He was a perfect 3-for-3 on three-point attempts.
With this pair of victories, Duquesne has started 3-0 for the second consecutive year.
While the schedule has been relatively light thus far, the Dukes have looked good in action.
Carry has led the team in scoring average with 15 points per game. He’s received solid support from the frontcourt as Hughes, Steele and Weathers, have all averaged over 10 points per game.
Austin has flashed his potential in spurts. It’s fair to believe that as he gains experience, performances like his against Lamar will become more common.
But Dunn-Martin and Lamar Norman Jr. may be the X-factors moving forward. With sharpshooter Frankie Hughes out for the season, this duo is critical to the backcourt depth.
They’re capable of breaking open games when they’re hot, but they haven’t been consistent so far.
The good news is there’s still 27 games remaining, so there’s plenty of time to find rhythm.
On slate for the Dukes is a trip to the Bahamas for the Junkanoo Jam Tournament from Nov. 21-24.
There, Duquesne will take on Indiana State, Air Force and Loyola Marymount.
After its conclusion, the Dukes will return to Pittsburgh in December for the other half of its four games at La Roche.
They’ll take on VMI on Dec. 4 before hosting Columbia on Dec. 9 in the team’s final non-conference game in Pittsburgh.