MBB drops 11th-consecutive contest

Peter Boettger | Staff Photographer. Primo Spears, pictured here on Feb. 12, scored 15 points in Wednesday’s home loss against George Washington.

by Luke Henne | sports editor

Feb. 17, 2022

The Duquesne men’s basketball team fell to George Washington 73-52 on Wednesday evening at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse, extending its losing streak to 11-straight games in the process.

“I’ve never felt more helpless in my life,” Head Coach Keith Dambrot said. “I don’t know what to do for them [his players].”

Duquesne saw 63.5% of its scoring come from just two players (Tre Williams with 18 points, Primo Spears 15 points). The team shot 21-of-76 (27.6%) from the field on the night, going just 1-of-21 from 3-point range.

“I’m just disappointed in our fight, really. That’s the biggest thing,” Dambrot said. “I can’t help them if they don’t fight.”

Coming off Monday’s game in which the Dukes battled on the road against Davidson, who sits at the top of the Atlantic 10 Conference standings, tonight’s loss was a step backward.

“The remarkable thing, for me, is you play pretty good at Davidson and you play pretty good at VCU and we didn’t play worth a damn here [at the fieldhouse], yet,” Dambrot said. “I can’t put my finger on it. I’ve never seen a team play worse than that at home.”

By the first media stoppage, the Dukes found themselves into a 13-6 hole. Joe Bamisile – a transfer from Virginia Tech – scored nine of the Colonials’ first 13 points and forced Duquesne to call a timeout after he put an alley-oop home. Bamisile finished the night with a game-high 21 points.

At halftime, Duquesne trailed by a 33-19 mark. In the opening 20 minutes, 16 of the Dukes’ 19 points came from Williams and Spears, who each recorded eight points.

The losing streak, which began on Jan. 12, isn’t easy for Williams and his teammates to navigate.

“We’re definitely disappointed because we feel like we come into practice every day and we’re working hard, but we just can’t find a way to get that out there on the court and get a win,” Williams said.

The entire first half saw the Dukes convert on just nine of their 40 field-goal attempts, and they were unable to hit any 3-pointers on 11 tries.

George Washington didn’t take its foot off the gas in the second half, seeing its lead grow as big as 27 points with just over five minutes remaining in the contest.

With just five more regular-season games on the schedule, an outlook toward the future is becoming more and more pertinent for Dambrot and his program.

“At some point, what’s the difference between winning one game, five games, or three games in the league?” Dambrot said. “That’s really not what I signed up for. Five is crappy too, for me.”

Duquesne will be back in action on Saturday evening, when it travels to Olean, N.Y., for a meeting with St. Bonaventure that will be nationally televised on ESPNU.

The Dukes lost to the Bonnies 64-56 at home on Jan. 21 and have won just once at St. Bonaventure in their last 13 tries (a stretch that dates back to March 3, 2010).

“I feel bad for our fans,” Dambrot said. “I apologize to them that we’re playing as poorly as we are. I’m trying like hell. I just haven’t been able to get it [a level of fight and competitiveness] out of them yet.”