by Luke Henne | sports editor
Feb. 10, 2022
Following the Duquesne men’s basketball team’s 17-point home loss against Richmond on Feb. 1, Head Coach Keith Dambrot was very candid in his thoughts.
“I thought we were better than this,” Dambrot said after the defeat. “Honestly, I really did.”
In the two games since that loss, which was the Dukes’ third loss by 15-plus points during what became a six-game losing streak, the results have remained the same.
After losses to VCU on Saturday and Dayton on Wednesday, Duquesne now finds itself in the midst of an eight-game losing streak. The skid is the longest the program has endured since losing 11 games in a row between Dec. 22, 2012, and Feb. 9, 2013.
At the Siegel Center in Richmond, Va., on Saturday, Duquesne controlled much of the first half, taking a 30-29 lead into halftime. It was the first time the Dukes led at halftime since Jan. 12, when they led Fordham 40-33 at the break before losing 72-71 in a game that started the still-active losing streak.
The Dukes held a second-half lead as large as five points during Saturday’s game, but the Rams found their way back into the game and, ultimately, found a way to defeat Duquesne 71-62.
It was VCU’s eighth victory against Duquesne in nine tries since joining the Atlantic 10 Conference prior to the 2012-2013 season.
Tre Williams led the Dukes with a season-high 19 points. Williams’ previous high (17) was set in a non-conference road loss against DePaul on Dec. 7.
Duquesne had a hard time containing 6-foot-9 forward Hason Ward. The VCU big man scored a team-high-tying 13 points, while also posting a game-high 10 rebounds.
Duquesne looked to finally flip the page when it traveled to southwestern Ohio for a matchup with Dayton on Wednesday, but was unable to do so in a 75-54 loss to the Flyers.
Despite entering the game as 13.5-point underdogs, the Dukes managed to stick around for the first 10 minutes of the first half, leading 19-18. The latter portion of the first half saw Duquesne struggle to score, mustering just two field goals and one free throw the rest of the way.
The Flyers used a 17-5 game-shifting run – punctuated by a second-chance layup from Toumani Camara as time expired – to take a 35-24 lead into halftime, and they never looked back.
The Flyers went on an 18-2 run across the first 6:39 of the second half, turning a slightly competitive game into an ugly one. The Dukes saw their deficit balloon to as many as 30 and, from then on, were never able to get it any closer than 18.
One of Duquesne’s key weaknesses that has been exploited in the absence of 6-foot-10 forward Austin Rotroff is the team’s lack of interior depth. Dayton used that hole to its advantage, outscoring Duquesne 50-26 on points in the paint.
Dayton’s Kobe Elvis led all scorers with 13 points. Williams led the Dukes with 12 points.
Duquesne will be back in action on Saturday evening, when it welcomes Fordham to the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse in a game that will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.
Since besting the Dukes almost a month ago, the Rams have won just one of eight games in the meantime.
In its last 10 home games against Fordham (a stretch that dates back to Jan. 9, 2008), Duquesne has won seven times.