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Duquesne men's basketball team loses 7th in a row

Chris Harlan
| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:04 p.m.

Lopsided runs have become Duquesne's undoing.

The Dukes lost their seventh straight and remain winless in the Atlantic 10 with Wednesday night's 73-64 loss to Saint Louis at Palumbo Center, a nine-point game that was close until the final minute.

The lead was never more than four until a put-back by Dwayne Evans gave Saint Louis a 61-56 lead with 2:54 left. It was part of a 14-1 run for the Billikens (13-5, 2-2), who then pulled away. Until then, the Dukes had been in position to steal their first conference win.

“Our guys are really down right now,” Duquesne coach Jim Ferry said.

A similar late-game 14-4 run by UMass decided last week's loss. A 26-2 run by Virginia Commonwealth turned Saturday's loss. Wednesday's score was tied 11 times, including at 55 with 4:10 left, before the Dukes' youthfulness again showed.

“That's what continues to happen to us,” Ferry said. “I hate to keep saying it, but we're playing a lot of young guys. ... Empty possessions really hurt us. We had a couple of missed threes that were open. We had a couple of turnovers, a missed layup, all of those things. Our margin of error is just so small, and it was glaring again during this stretch.”

Jerry Jones had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Duquesne (7-12, 0-5), the first career double-double for the junior. Derrick Colter added 13.

Ellis led Saint Louis with 16 points, Evans had 14, Kwamain Mitchell had 11, and Jordair Jett added 10. Mitchell, a preseason all-conference point guard who scored 29 points Saturday, made just 4 of 13 shots.

For 36 minutes, Duquesne played strong defense. Saint Louis missed 18 of its 21 3-point attempts, unusual for an offense with talented shooters. The team entered the game ranked fourth in the A-10 in 3-point percentage (.369). Mitchell, Mike McCall Jr. and Rob Loe combined for 13 misses without making one.

Saint Louis shot just 37 percent. But the Billikens compensated by making 28 of 39 free throws, including 11 of 12 by senior forward Cody Ellis.

“I think we fouled the wrong people,” Jones said. “One of the guys shot 90 percent from the free-throw line and kept constantly going to the line.”

Duquesne shot 43 percent from the floor — including 9 of 23 from 3-point range — and made more field goals (23-21) than Saint Louis. But the Dukes were outrebounded, 40-36, and made just 9 of 19 free throws.

“They beat us at our philosophy,” Ferry said. “We made more field goals than them and lost the game.”

Ferry benched senior center Andre Marhold and instead used junior Martins Abele and sophomore Mamadou Datt.

“He has not taken on the responsibility of how I want seniors to be in this program,” Ferry said. “Until he responds differently, then we'll keep changing up.”

Saint Louis held a 31-30 halftime lead. The score was tied eight times in the first half, and the largest lead for either team was four points, by the Billikens with 3:27 left. Colter, Marvin Binney and Jones each had six first-half points.

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