Duquesne loses to visiting St. Joe's
Two shots separated the team picked to finish first from the one expected to finish last.
Duquesne stayed close yet never could claim a lead in Saturday night's 74-66 loss to St. Joseph's at Palumbo Center, unable to match the clutch shots of a veteran team picked as preseason favorite in the Atlantic 10.
The loss ended a five-game home winning streak and left the Dukes (7-9, 0-2) winless in the A-10.
“I've said many times this year that our margin of error is very small,” Duquesne coach Jim Ferry said. “When you play a team like St. Joe's with their experience and their talent, that margin of error is very glaringly small.”
A 3-pointer by Quevyn Winters forced a 51-all tie with 9:35 left, and Winters made another two minutes later that pulled the Dukes (7-9, 0-2) to within one point. But the go-ahead chance they needed never came. Both shots were answered immediately with St. Joseph's baskets.
“We just knew that they couldn't keep making those big shots,” Duquesne's Andre Marhold said, “but they seemed to keep making those big shots. That was frustrating.”
A few possessions late hurt Duquesne, including consecutive turnovers by freshman Derrick Colter 65 seconds apart near the four-minute mark. St. Joseph's experience showed in those final minutes.
“We said we'd need to take a swing on every play and duck a swing on every play,” St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli said. “We knew they'd keep coming.”
After Winters' game-tying shot, St. Joseph's Ronald Roberts scored a layup 28 seconds later. When Winters made another 3-pointers, Papa Ndao answered with a 3-pointer for St. Joseph's.
With 2:09 left and St. Joseph's holding a 66-64 lead, Langston Galloway made consecutive clutch shots that earned St. Joseph's (9-5, 1-1) its first conference victory. Galloway had 16 points, one of four in double figures for the Hawks.
“This team was picked No. 1 for a reason; they have really good players,” Ferry said. “Our mentality was to grind it out and get it to that situation: five points, under five minutes, at home, with a chance to win the game.”
But that chance never came.
“When Galloway hit those two big shots, that's what put them over the hump,” said Dukes senior Sean Johnson, who scored 13 points.
Marhold had his first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Colter added 10 for the Dukes.