Duquesne was coming off a big road win over Temple and hoping to avoid a letdown against Rhode Island Saturday when the Rams and Dukes locked horns at the Palumbo Center.
And the Dukes certainly played this game with passion and fire and frankly looked a lot like a team that was on a mission to show the win over the Owls was not a fluke.
But Duquesne coach Jim Ferry has often said that players don't get extra credit for playing hard as it is what they are expected to do and also has made it clear there is a big difference between playing hard and executing and making plays.
As such, effort was not enough to overcome some clutch shooting and playmaking by the Rams down the stretch and the Dukes dropped a 67-62 decision before a crowd of 2,632.
Both teams are actually still clinging to fleeting hopes of making it to the Atlantic 10 tournament -- only the top 12 teams play -- and so it was an intensely fought game and one that was more fitting of two teams at the top of the conference rather than the bottom.
Ferry, however, was complimentary of the way both teams competed but was far less enthused about the level of play for both teams, though he said the difference was the way Rhode Island closed the game by making plays.mobilehome - breaking - duquesnesports
Paul Zeise: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @paulzeise