Men’s basketball falls to St. Francis at Palumbo Center

Saúl Berríos-Thomas | Layout Editor

The Duquesne men’s basketball team is a bad defensive team. They can overcome that if they execute in the other areas of the game. But against Saint Francis, they did not.

The Dukes fell to the Red Flash 67-52 on Wednesday night at the Palumbo Center. They dropped to 3-5, while the Red Flash improved to 5-4. Duquesne had not lost to Saint Francis in the last 11 meetings before Wednesday’s game. The last time the Dukes lost to the Red Flash at home was in 1966.

Head coach Jim Ferry feels the situation is dire.

“Our team, we have hit a bad spot,” he said. “We have hit rock bottom in our identity.”

The Dukes played zone defense for about three quarters of the game, which led to lots of flailing attempts to cover open shooters. When they switched to man-to-man defense, they were able to close the gap and get a few stops, but it wasn’t enough.

The Dukes cut the lead to eight with 12:36 left in the second half. But from there, they were unable to prevent the Red Flash from converting on three straight possessions, knocking down two 3-pointers and a layup. From there, the Red Flash extended the lead to 16, and the Dukes never recovered. They were unable to cut the led to single digits from that point on.

The Dukes shot 37.5 percent from the field against Saint Francis. They finished 10-of-18 from the free throw line and were outrebounded 45-29. In addition to poor shooting, the Dukes committed 15 fouls and 12 turnovers.

Over the past four games the Dukes have shot 55 percent from the free throw line, 46 percent from the field and were outrebounded 124-106 in the loses to Pitt, Penn State, Robert Morris and Saint Francis.

Junior forward Jeremiah Jones thought the game against Robert Morris and this one were similar.

“To lose twice like that, it is just devastating to us,” he said.

The Dukes have been dominated in so many different facets of the game that Jones had a tough time summarizing all of the Dukes’ problems.

“No matter what we are playing, if we are playing man-to-man or zone, we have to find some way to get stops and rebounds. Offensively we haven’t done anything either these last two games,” he said.

Junior guard Derrick Colter led the team in scoring with 17 points in 32 minutes.

Jeremiah Jones had 10 points and led the Dukes with 7 rebounds. Sophomore forward L.G. Gill played 21 minutes and finished with no rebounds and only 3 points. Freshman forward TySean Powell notched 5 points and 5 rebounds. Junior guard Micah Mason had 6 points on 2-of-7 shooting. Sophomore forward Darius Lewis and freshman forward Jordan Robinson each had 1 rebound in a combined 13 minutes on the floor.

Ferry attributes some of the struggles from his young players to a lack a confidence.

“I think part of it is [confidence]. I think certainly with LG and Micah it is,” he said.

Gill has not finished in double figures since the game against Howard on Dec. 2.

Ferry admitted some thought had been given to changing the lineup before the game.

“There was [a potential of changing the lineup]. Everything we really worked on was about competitiveness and the guys that started were the ones that showed the most competitiveness during the week,” he said.

Junior forward Ronnie Drinnon led the Red Flash in rebounding with 15 boards. Drinnon added 9 points. The Red Flash were led by senior forward Earl Brown who had 16 points. They also got 14 more points form Ben Millaud-Meunier, a junior guard, off of the bench.

Jones gave the Red Flash credit for their effort.

“They are a good team,” he said. “They play together on offense. Tonight they did a good job of offensive rebounding. They came out tougher than us today and that is what got them out to a quick start.”

The Dukes will host UMass-Lowell on Saturday at 1 p.m.