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Duquesne "punched in mouth" in loss to Cornell

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Duquesne could not match Cornell’s second half pace, losing to the Big Red 78-71 Monday night at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Long scoring runs have been the thorn in Duquesne’s side for years now, and Monday was no exception. Even though they lead for nearly 24 of the first 28 minutes, fatigue from a short bench caught up to the Dukes, and the Big Red took advantage on both sides of the court.

Cornell’s 29-10 run over nine minutes and 14 seconds was too much to overcome.

“In the second half, we went completely dead,” coach Keith Dambrot said. “It wasn’t like they did anything different. We just didn’t have it.”

Duquesne played primarily man-to-man defense again, and while moving to zone may help keep the Dukes’ fresher longer, he said he wanted to stick with man and let the team learn his defense for future years.

“The bottom line is we need to do a better job when we get hit in the mouth,” Dambrot said.


Duquesne (2-2) lead throughout most of the first half, but Cornell (3-3) kept right on their toes. The Dukes built the lead to eight after a 9-1 run in the closing minutes, but Cornell tacked on five points in the last 30 seconds to cut the deficit to 35-32 at the half.

The game was tied at 50 with 11:42 to play when Cornell pulled away with a 13-1 run over the next 4:47. Duquesne made one field goal from 14:21 to 1:57. In that time, they went from being up 48-44 to down 71-58.

Rene Castro-Caneddy lead the Dukes with 28 points. Matt Morgan lead the Big Red with 24. Eric Williams, Jr. had his second double-double of the season, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Duquesne won the battle of the glass 37-34.


Josh Warren delivered the kill shot with 6:45 when his three-point attempt made two laps around the rim before eventually falling. That basket made it 63-53.


Mike Lewis II started the game on the bench and hit two of his first three field goals- both for three- and stole three passes in his first six minutes. He cooled from there, ending the night shooting 4-10 with 13 points and four steals.

Center Jordan Robinson also started on the bench. He picked up five rebounds and scored eight points.


Train Smith left the court on crutches with four minutes left to play in the game. Duquesne- who only had eight scholarship players entering play- now has four injured players expecting to miss time.

“If we have any more injuries, I’ll have to suit up, and I only have one hip,” the 59 year old Dambrot said.

In related news, Dambrot said that he anticipates Eric James to miss roughly two more weeks with an MCL sprain. Chas Brown is expected to return eventually, but there is no timetable for his return. He went through a full warm-up session before the game Monday.


Points: Castro-Caneddy (26); Rebounds: Williams, Jr. (10); Assists: Morgan (5); Steals: Lewis II (4); Blocks: Steve Julian (Cornell, 3).


“Quite frankly, we’re just not very good. We’re trying. We played pretty good in stretches, and the minute they got hit in the mouth, they just kind of…*pfffffft*.”- Dambrot on his team’s performance. (For reference, the “*pfffffft*” was a deflating sound.)


The Dukes and Pitt Panthers (2-4) will meet for the annual City Game Friday at 7 p.m.. Duquesne snapped a 15 year losing streak to Pitt with a 64-55 upset last year. Pitt leads the all-time series 53-32. The game will be available to stream through Facebook.


1. Cornell shot 73.5% from two-point range Monday (23-35).

2. This was the third time this year Duquesne finished with single digit turnovers. They gave the ball away just nine times both times in their wins over St. Francis Brooklyn (Nov. 11) and VMI (Nov. 14).

3. Duquesne’s 10 team assists are a season high.


*Photo by Zachary Weiss

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