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Duquesne

After years of frustration, Duquesne making waves in Atlantic 10

Jerry DiPaola
| Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, 3:27 p.m.
The Duquesne bench reacts after Eric Williams hit a three pointer against George Mason in the first overtime Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 at A.J. Palumbo Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Duquesne bench reacts after Eric Williams hit a three pointer against George Mason in the first overtime Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 at A.J. Palumbo Center.
Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot urges on his team against George Mason in the first half Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at A.J. Palumbo Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot urges on his team against George Mason in the first half Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at A.J. Palumbo Center.

After years of frustration and defeat, Duquesne is finally making an impact.

The Dukes are 15-8, 6-4 and only one-half game from second place in the Atlantic 10 entering Saturday's game against St. Bonaventure at Palumbo Center.

But it hasn't been easy. The Dukes won five more games through January than last year's team managed to win all season. But five of the past six have been tense struggles, each one decided by seven points or fewer. Duquesne was 3-2 in that stretch.

Coach Keith Dambrot told athletic director Dave Harper the reduced margin for error has made him a better coach because every move he makes is so important.

Meanwhile, leading scorer Mike Lewis, a sophomore guard, said likes the excitement generated in those close games, but he laughed and said, “I think I found a gray hair the other day, at 19.”

He's usually one to stay out of the spotlight, but he admitted he welcomes the added attention the Dukes are receiving around town and on campus.

“You're not only playing for yourself at this point. You're playing for the school,” he said. “Now we're playing to try and change history. I'm starting to feel a little like a college basketball player.”

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