Saúl Berríos-Thomas | Layout Editor
In the 83rd annual City Game, the Duquesne men’s basketball team came up short against Pitt, 76-62.
The Red & Blue fell to 3-2, while Pitt improved to 5-3. The Dukes were plagued with early fouls that threw off the rhythm and pace they use in their favor. They committed 10 fouls in the first half and finished with 22 on the game.
The Dukes were also the victims of a size disadvantage that led to a poor performance on the glass. They were outrebounded by Pitt 45-37. The Panthers grabbed 14 offensive rebounds.
Head Coach Jim Ferry was disappointed with the effort on the glass.
“I’m highly disappointed in our effort on the glass. When plays needed to be made Pitt made the plays and we did not,” he said. “When the first shot [of the game] goes up, we don’t block out. Really?”
Junior guard Jordan Stevens came off the bench and contributed key minutes in the second half. He finished with 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting with three assists and two steals.
Coach Ferry Noticed the energy Stevens provided.
“He’s a talented one-on-one basketball player. The one thing he can do, that we were limited on tonight, is create his own shot,” he said.
Junior guard Derrick Colter, who finished with 13 points, noticed the spark from Stevens.
“It helped a lot because we needed a spark and he came off and did it. We needed it then and there and I’m proud of him,” he said.
Stevens was just doing what he does.
“That’s what [Ferry] wants me to come off of the bench and do,” he said. “My role is to come in and provide a spark. Offensively I get things going because I like to create, whether that’s a pass or getting a shot.”
His shooting helped close the gap late in the second half, but the push wasn’t enough. The Dukes got the lead to as little as six points twice, which was the closest the game would get after the first five minutes. Both times when the Dukes got the gap to six the failed to convert on the following possession. The first time they followed it with a turnover, which led to points. The second time they had back-to-back misses.
Freshman forward TySean Powell played well for the Dukes, but was overmatched at times in the paint. He finished with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting. He was able to get to the free throw line seven times and converted on 5-of-7 free throws.
Sophomore forward L.G. Gill committed two early fouls and only played 10 minutes in the first half. He finished with four points on 2-of-6 shooting. He grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and added five assists in 28 minutes.
Ferry was disappointed Gill was out early in the game.
“I thought that was a big key for us. When L.G. got in foul trouble it took away our ability to really spread them out with our shooting. That is why we had to play him with two fouls,” he said.
James Robinson led the way for Pitt with 23 points on 6-of-14 from the field and a game-high 8-of-10 from the free throw line. He felt good after his first few shots.
“I took open shots. I made my first couple shots and I felt good,” he said.
Colter was surprised by the way Robinson played.
“Usually he always passes first,” he said. “Today he was very aggressive and he can shoot threes, but on the scouting report we didn’t know he could shoot threes that well.”
Junior guard Micah Mason struggled and only scored 6 points on 2-of-6 shooting.
While Ferry admits Mason was covered “well,” the reason he was absent late in the game was less about his performance and more about his health.
“I think Micah got hurt in the second half,” he said. “Micah tweaked something and then his leg started cramping up. He tried to come back, but he just couldn’t do it.”
The Dukes will travel to State College, Pa. to take on Penn state next Wednesday at 9 p.m.