If Duquesne could combine Wednesday’s finish with Saturday’s start, things would look a lot better for Jim Ferry’s team. But in reality, the Dukes can’t seem to string together a full 40 minutes.
Derrick Colter led all scorers with 13 points, but Duquesne came undone in the second half in an 80-65 loss to VCU at Stuart Siegel Center in Richmond, Va.
Even with virtually no contributions from leading scorer Ovie Soko or sharp-shooting guard Micah Mason in the first half, the Dukes (8-8, 1-3 Atlantic 10) took a 31-27 lead into the break before it all unraveled with 17 turnovers and a 48-37 rebounding deficit by the end of the game.
Briante Weber and Melvin Johnson each scored 12 points, all but five coming in the second half as the Rams rallied.
The lead changed hands seven times in the first half until L.G. Gill hit a 3-pointer to give Duquesne a 27-26 lead. The Dukes shot 38.2 percent from the field in the half and held VCU (14-4, 2-1) to 33.3 percent.
Juvonte Reddic put the Rams back in front, 36-35, with a layup and VCU pulled ahead on a 10-1 run. Johnson’s back-to-back 3s sparked a 13-2 run, and the Rams led, 71-52, with 3:13 to play.
“They turned us over 11 times in the second half and crushed us on the glass,” Ferry said. “You can’t do that here and beat these guys. We just can’t turn the ball over like that if you’re going to beat this team. They live off that.”
Jeremiah Jones and Tra’Vaughn White scored 10 apiece for the Dukes, who trailed by 32 at halftime Wednesday before winning the second half, 55-32, in a loss at Saint Joseph’s.
Soko, averaging 17.9 points per game for the season, was scoreless in the first half and finished with just seven points, all coming from the free-throw line. Mason also did not convert a field goal, finishing with no points on 0-for-4 shooting (all from 3-point range).