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Duquesne tops CMU in first exhibition

| Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, 10:16 p.m.
Christopher Horner
Duquesne head coach Jim Ferry yells from the bench against Carnegie Mellon Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 at Palumbo Center. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Duquesne's Jim Ferry made his unofficial Palumbo Center debut Thursday night with a 74-48 exhibition victory over Carnegie Mellon, but the coach's thoughts this week were at times 400 miles away.

His wife and children were staying at the family's Long Island home, which lost power after Hurricane Sandy came ashore Monday and damaged houses in their neighborhood.

“It was tough,” said Ferry, who coached LIU Brooklyn for 10 seasons before being hired by Duquesne in April. “I've got a lot family back there and a lot of close friends. That's a tight-knit community. Everybody is taking care each other right now. Everybody will be all right. We've got a generator on the way.”

Ferry, 45, is a New York City native.

“We were very fortunate, considering how bad it was where I live, that my house actually didn't get flooded,” Ferry said. “Someone was looking down on me.”

Credited with building a struggling LIU Brooklyn program into a two-time NCAA Tournament qualifier, Ferry assumes a similar task with a Duquesne team that returned just two starters from a lineup that finished tied for seventh in the Atlantic 10 (16-15, 7-9) last season.

The Dukes' lead Thursday was just three points midway through the first half, until a 16-0 run helped them pull away from Carnegie Mellon, an NCAA Division III program.

This was the first of two exhibition games for Duquesne, which plays Hawaii-Hilo at 7 p.m., Sunday, at Palumbo Center. The Dukes' season begins Nov. 9 at Albany.

Returning starter Andre Marhold, a 6-foot-6 senior, had 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. The other returning starter, senior guard Sean Johnson, also had 10 points. Kadeem Pantophlet, a 6-7 sophomore, led Duquesne with 11 points. Andre Moore's 11 points led CMU.

Ferry used 14 players and mixed lineups frequently.

“It's really early and it's really ugly,” he said. “It's a process. I thought we did a couple things well. … but I thought we did a horrendous job of taking care of the basketball.”

The Dukes are unsettled at point guard following the spring transfers of rising juniors T.J. McConnell (Arizona) and Mike Talley (Eastern Michigan). Both would-be replacements struggled at times Thursday.

Sophomore Marvin Binney, a 6-foot-2 transfer from New Mexico Junior College, started and had five points, five rebounds, two assists and three turnovers in 19 minutes. Derrick Colter, a 5-11 freshman from Forestville, Md., had seven points, two rebounds, one assist and two turnovers in 18 minutes.

“I thought they played very much like new basketball players,” Ferry said. “It looked like they were dribbling a football.”

Duquesne held Carnegie Mellon scoreless for more than 7 minutes during its 16-0 run. With 8:17 left, the Dukes led, 19-16. But the Tartans didn't score another point until Moore dunked with 1:08 left before halftime.

The run included 3-pointers by Jerry Jones and Pantophlet just nine seconds apart that pushed the Dukes' lead to 35-16. Their lead reached 38 points in the second half.

Along with Binney, the four other Dukes starters were Johnson, Pantophlet, Marhold and Jerry Jones.

The game was the second part of a doubleheader at Palumbo Center. The Duquesne women won, 72-50, over California, Pa., in the first game.

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