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St. Francis-PA upsets Duquesne 67-52

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Duquesne loses at home to Saint Francis University for the first time in nearly 50 years

For the second consecutive week, the Duquesne Dukes scored a season-low amount of points and lost by double figures to an in-state opponent, this time to Saint Francis University, 67-52. The defeat is the the fourth straight for the Dukes as they fall to 3-5 on the year.

“We’ve hit a bad spot,” Duquesne head coach Jim Ferry said “I don’t want to call it rock bottom, but we’ve hit rock bottom in our identity.”

Duquesne had won 31 of its past 33 matchups against Saint Francis going into today, including the past 11 games. It was the first time that Duquesne had lost at home to Saint Francis since 1966.

In a repeat of Saturday’s performance against Robert Morris, Duquesne fell behind early due to some bad shooting out of the gate. The Red Flash shut down everyone early besides guard Derrick Colter, who scored seven points in the first nine minutes. But even with a strong start from Colter, the Dukes fell behind 21-10 with 11 minutes left in the half, mostly due to allowing Saint Francis to score 14 points in the paint while they did not get any. Saint Francis’ ball movement caused problems for Duquesne’s defense as well, giving the Red Flash more open shots and second chance opportunities. Going into the half, Saint Francis attempted 10 more field goals than Duquesne, were shooting at a 50 percent rate to the Dukes’ 37.5 percent and lead 40-27.

Duquesne appeared to have an answer for Saint Francis’ offense after their trip to the locker room, as it took eight possessions and almost five minutes for the Red Flash to score their first points in the second half. But the Dukes were unable to take advantage of the Flash’s stagnant offense, and they were only able to cut the lead by four.

“It’s like pulling teeth to score,” Ferry said.

After that, Saint Francis pulled away and stayed comfortably ahead thanks to the play of their starting forwards, as Earl Brown scored a game high 16 points and Ronnie Drinnon had eight offensive rebounds and fell one point short of a double-double.

Duquesne was dealt a big blow with 5:47 remaining when freshman center TySean Powell, one of the bright point of this young year, went to the floor as Saint Francis was inbounding and was taken out of the game with 5 and a half minutes to go. Powell was able to walk off the court and to the locker room under his own power but did not return.

For the second consecutive game, junior point guard Micah Mason did not have a second half bucket. Duquesne shot 37.5 percent from the floor in the second half as well, but only made 27.3 percent of their shots from beyond the arc, including just over 12 percent in the second half. Saint Francis crushed in  the battle of the boards, picking up 45 rebounds, including 15 offensive boards, to Duquesne’s 29.

“We’ve been working on (rebounding) in practice and I know we’re going to continue to work at it,” forward Jeremiah Jones said; Jones had a team high seven rebounds. “We just have to go get the rebound...We know we can (be a better rebounding team).”

Duquesne’s next game will be Saturday at home against UMass-Lowell at 1 p.m..

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