Jim Ferry era at Duquesne opens with loss
ALBANY, N.Y. — If nothing else, Jim Ferry is going to be honest when talking about his new basketball team at Duquesne.
On Friday night, the Dukes played their first game under Ferry and lost, 69-66, at Albany.
“We are not very good,” Ferry said. “We are not very good at all.”
The Dukes were playing their first game in six years without Ron Everhart as their coach. Ferry, who took over after leading LIU-Brooklyn to back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament, knows there is a lot of work to do.
The top two players for the Dukes were freshmen. Guard Derrick Colter scored a game-high 17 points, and 6-foot-5 forward Quevyn Winters came off the bench to get 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Senior guard Sean Johnson, the top returnee from last year's 16-15 team, only managed nine points on 3 of 13 shooting.
“You can't expect to come on the road in an environment like this and have our freshmen lead us, which they did,” Ferry said. “If that is the case, we are going to struggle a little bit. Our upperclassmen played extremely poor.”
The Dukes were in a position to win the game late. A 3-pointer by Colter with 2:30 left gave Duquesne a 65-64 lead, but it only lasted 16 seconds.
Albany senior guard Mike Black hit a 3-pointer with 2:14 left to give the Great Danes a 67-65 lead. Colter made a freshman mistake on the Dukes' next possession when he was called for traveling, and a thunderous dunk by Albany center John Puk with 51 seconds left sealed it.
Colter cut the deficit to 69-66 when he made one of two free throws with 41 seconds remaining. The Dukes had one more shot to tie it, but Colter's running 3-point attempt from the right side clanged off the rim as time expired.
“It was a good shot,” Colter said. “It just didn't go in.”
Tim Wilkin is a freelance writer.