If there’s ever a good time to face George Washington, this is it.
The Colonials played without three starters Saturday on the road and still managed to give Dayton a run before falling, 75-65, and watching their five-game winning streak come to an end.
Monday, George Washington coach Mike Lonergan said starting guards Kethan Savage (broken foot), Maurice Creek (unspecified illness) and Joe McDonald (hip) are still questionable for tonight, when the Colonials host Duquesne (10-10, 2-5 Atlantic 10) in Washington.
“We’ll probably be without two of those three guys,” Lonergan said. “Hopefully we’ll get back one.”
That’s good news for the Dukes, as Creek (14.4 points per game) and Savage (13.4 ppg) are George Washington’s leading scorers. The trio of guards had averaged a combined 35.9 points per game.
Still, the Colonials (17-4, 5-2) have plenty of offensive weapons and secondary scoring left on their roster.
“When you’ve got a team that’s only lost four games all year and five guys averaging double figures — almost six — their confidence level is really high,” Duquesne coach Jim Ferry said. “They were without three starters in the Dayton game and almost won that basketball game. That’s a credit to their program.”
George Washington is 10-0 at the Smith Center this season, while Duquesne, coming off a 71-63 loss Saturday at La Salle, is 0-3 on the road in A-10 play.
The Colonials employ a stifling 1-3-1 zone and allow an average of just 65.7 points per game.
“They’re enormous, man,” Ferry said. “They extend it, keep you off-balance so you don’t know when the traps are coming or from where they’re coming. They’re really long, they’re really physical.
“We’ve got to go in and try to get the game at our tempo, try to play fast and aggressive. But they’re scoring close to 75 points per game. It’s going to be a challenge.”
Another key, Ferry said, is to keep the battle close on the glass.
Duquesne lost the rebounding edge, 47-38, against La Salle and now faces another big, strong team in the Colonials, who average five more rebounds per game than their opponents.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.