Dukes fall flat as Bison romp to win

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Duquesne might be inexperienced and undermanned, but the Dukes have played hard and been unselfish. That kept them in every game until Tuesday.

Taking a step back and reverting to some old bad habits, the Dukes were blown out, 57-43, by North Dakota State in a Legends Classic game before a crowd of 2,060 at the Palumbo Center.

The Dukes were flat at the start, got behind 9-0 and 19-5 and never seriously challenged the Bison. In fact, the Dukes trailed by double digits for the final 32 minutes.

North Dakota State's largest lead was 26 points, 53-27, midway through the second half after a 15-0 run ended any hopes of a Dukes rally. It wasn't until late, when the game was well out of reach, that the Dukes made a run to make the final score respectable.

Duquesne coach Jim Ferry did not mince words when he talked about his team's effort -- or lack thereof -- and said it was another learning experience in a long journey.

"We got completely outplayed and outworked in every aspect of this game to a better team," Ferry said.

"They were better than us at every position, including coaching. We have to come out ready to play and be aggressive, and tonight we were flat and extremely selfish. You can't score 90 one night, then come back the next night, at home, and score 43 and shoot 27 percent.

"Maybe we got down so far that guys started to try and do it by themselves, and our shot selection was very poor. And we had guys looking to make a 10-point shot instead of playing the game the right way.

"And it was every player tonight, which is why I was just shuffling guys through because this is not acceptable. We have to learn from this and learn from it quickly."

The Dukes (1-3) scored 90 points and shot 53 percent from the field and 44 percent from the 3-point line Monday in a win against James Madison. A night later, they scored 43 points and shot 27 percent (16 of59) from the field and 18 percent (4 of 22) from 3-point range.

Against James Madison, the Dukes shared the ball, made the extra pass and had a lot of open and easy looks at the basket -- which is the way Ferry wants them to play.

Tuesday, against the Bison (4-1), the Dukes took far too many contested shots, put up some off-balance 3-pointers and had a number of fastbreaks where they went 1-on-3 or 1-on-4 only to turn the ball over or force a bad shot.

Ferry said these plays are going to be viewed and reviewed by the Dukes in their next film session because it is not winning basketball.

"We are going to go overboard in showing them this," Ferry said.

"They are going to see every single bad shot they took on film, they are going to learn from this. Every game is a learning experience, and we cannot let this selfish basketball rear its head again."

Duquesne senior Sean Johnson, who scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds, agreed with his coach and said the poor start was a result of not being ready to play.

"We didn't come out with any energy today," Johnson said.

"Our defense wasn't too good, we fought back a little and we cut it to 10, and then they made some shots. And our shot selection was poor; we can't make those kind of mistakes and expect to win.

"I think this was a good lesson learned, especially for some of the young guys, we got beat bad."

Andre Marhold led the Dukes with nine points and P.J. Torres added eight. TrayVonn Wright scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Bison.

North Dakota State will play James Madison Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader at 4:30 p.m. today at the Palumbo Center, and the Dukes will finish the Legends Classic against Youngstown State approximately 30 minutes after the end of the first game.

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