Duquesne, Marhold outmuscle New Orleans
Duquesne's Andre Marhold slid through the lane, launched and slammed back an offensive rebound, making good on his promise to show more aggression.
“If I've got to produce more for my team, then that's what I'm going to do,” said Marhold, who had 14 points, eight rebounds and helped the Dukes dominate the glass in Saturday night's 88-70 nonconference victory over New Orleans at Palumbo Center.
It was a rare performance from the 6-foot-6 senior who entered averaging just five points and five rebounds.
“We need Dre to play like this every game,” senior Sean Johnson said.
The Dukes (5-4) held a 54-28 edge in rebounds with six players grabbing at least six. It was a drastic turnaround from Wednesday's loss to Pitt, when Duquesne was outrebounded, 49-33, and Marhold had just one.
On the heels of that game, his coach delivered him a message in Friday's practice: “Hey, man, it's time.”
“We need more out of you, and you, as a senior, need more out of yourself,” said Duquesne coach Jim Ferry, recalling their conversation. “Andre's a great kid. He comes every day and plays hard, practices hard, but sometimes, he's just not as aggressive as he needs to be. We need him to be aggressive, and he needs himself to be aggressive. Time's running out in his career right now.”
Four Dukes reached doubles figures. Johnson scored 21 points, Derrick Colter had 17 and Jerry Jones added 10 for Duquesne, which has five more nonconference games before starting its Atlantic 10 schedule, including Tuesday against West Virginia at Consol Energy Center.
Johnson scored his 1,000th career point in the first half on a 3-pointer. He's the 37th player in team history to reach the milestone.
Lovell Cook led New Orleans (2-5) with 12 points. Rarlensee Nelson added 10 points and 10 assists.
The Dukes built a 53-39 halftime lead with their highest-scoring opening half this season. Strong rebounding helped. Duquesne held a 31-17 edge at halftime with all 10 players grabbing at least one. The Dukes grabbed 21 of the first 27 rebounds against a team that had no starter taller than 6-6.
“I think part of (the success) was playing a team that's like our size and not as big as Pitt was,” Ferry said, “and part of it was accountability. We saw what we did wrong and made an emphasis to do it right.”
Marhold had 10 first-half points, including two dunks. He finished 6 of 8 shooting and also had two blocks.
“When Andre plays like this, it makes us a potent offensive team,” Ferry said. “It makes us significantly better.”
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org