Duquesne falls in overtime, home winning streak snapped
Duquesne staged quite a rally to try to keep their 10-game Palumbo Center winning streak alive, but a poor shooting night and a hot Richmond team combined to halt the Dukes' great home-court run.
Nick Sherod hit a go-ahead 10-footer with 32 seconds remaining in overtime, and the Spiders won their fourth straight by handing the Dukes a 77-73 defeat, their first loss at home since losing to Cornell on Nov. 27.
Mike Lewis II drove attempting to tie the game after Sherod's basket, but the ball was tied up by De'Monte Buckingham, and the possession arrow gave the ball to Richmond (7-13, 5-3).
Sherod scored a game-high 28 points for Richmond, which scored seven of their nine points in overtime from the foul line.
"It's hard to win when you continually put them on the line in overtime. We only gave up one basket in overtime and lost," Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot said. "That's hard to overcome because you're trying to score the other way, and they're shooting free throws."
Eric Williams Jr. led Duquesne (14-7, 5-3) with 25 points, including 5 of 9 shooting from 3-point range, but the Dukes shot poorly as a team, going 29 of 76 (38.2 percent) from the floor.
After trailing by as many as 16 on two occasions, Duquesne put together a 20-3 run to take their first lead of the game at 54-53 with 7:18 remaining. The run was sparked by a technical foul against Richmond big man Grant Golden, who shoved Williams after scoring two of his 21 points with a put-back dunk.
"I think (the technical) kind of woke us up a little bit," Dukes guard Tarin Smith said. "We were a little lacking in energy, a little bit of juice, and I think when that happened, it woke the whole arena up and woke us up as a team."
Smith sent the game to overtime for Duquesne by driving into the lane from the right side and scoring with 6 seconds remaining, tying the score at 68-68. Buckingham tried to go quickly at the other basket for Richmond, but he stumbled and lost the ball in the lane as time expired.
"The play call was for me to come around a loose screen and get to the basket if I could, and if I couldn't, Mike (Lewis) was going to come back around for a 3. ... I just saw an opening and attacked the basket," said Smith, who finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists off the bench.
Richmond got off to a fast start, scoring the first six points of the game and making their first seven field goals to establish a 20-8 lead. Though not an overly tall team, the Spiders used their spacing on offense to attack the rim frequently, scoring 48 points in the paint.
"I didn't think their offense gave us much trouble, other than the first 8 minutes and the beginning of the second half," Dambrot said. "They're hard. They make you guard the majority of the game. They have a 5-man who can step out and score on the block. That Princeton style, you don't see every day, but we were OK there, other than the first part."
Duquesne, on the other hand, failed to take their chances inside while allowing Richmond to build their lead with a 10-0 run to start the second half. The Dukes grabbed 24 offensive rebounds and had an 50-34 overall edge on the boards, but they scored just 14 second-chance points.
Leading scorer Lewis was just 3-for-17 shooting, and fellow starting guard Rene Castro-Caneddy was 1 for 11 as the Dukes played their third overtime game and sixth overtime period in the past four contests.
There won't be much time to recover, however, as the Dukes hit the road to face Atlantic 10-leading No. 24 Rhode Island on Saturday.
"When you get Mike Lewis shooting 3 for 17 and Rene Castro, 1 for 11, you have to say your team has got pretty good toughness, because that's tough to overcome," Dambrot said.
"Part of that could be mental fatigue and physical fatigue, because this is the first time Duquesne's really been in games that matter toward the top of the standings. They've been in a bunch of close, overtime games, and that mentally fatigues you at times. But I will tell you this. They showed good resolve to get back in it."