ShareThis Page

Struggling Duquesne humbled at La Salle

| Saturday, March 2, 2013, 6:39 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA — Times are tough for Duquesne right now, but the Dukes hope it will make them tougher for a brighter future.

Duquesne suffered its fourth straight loss and 15th in the past 16 games in a 97-64 rout at La Salle on Saturday that could have been much worse.

The Explorers (20-7, 10-4 Atlantic 10) are fighting for their first NCAA berth in 20 years and played like it. The Dukes (8-20, 1-13), under first-year coach Jim Ferry, are building for the future.

“This is part of the building process,” Ferry said. “Three years from now we're going to look back on this (and say) ‘Look where we've come from.' It's part of the journey you have to take. It's more important the kids understand you can learn something from this, never giving up, how do you deal with adversity, how do you deal with tough times and that's what we have to take out of it.

“It's hard to look at it that way right now.”

The Dukes never were in it against La Salle, which scored 13 of the first 14 points and led by as many as 27 while taking a 50-25 halftime lead. Duquesne never got closer than 18 in a second half that saw the Explorers go ahead by 37 at one point.

“I thought we ran into a complete buzz saw,” Ferry said. “I thought we faced a highly motivated team with a sense of urgency that's significantly more talented than us. They just overwhelmed us. I thought our kids fought, I thought our kids played hard. You saw the discrepancy in talent level.”

Once again, Ferry leaned on his freshmen as he's trying to build for the future, starting three against La Salle. Freshman Derrick Colter led the Dukes with 16 points to go with five assists and four rebounds.

“We fought a hard game,” Colter said. “We're a new team, new coach. We're just learning. All we're doing is staying with each other and working hard in practice. It doesn't matter what our record is, we're just going to keep working and get better every day.”

Losing isn't easy, but Colter hopes it can have a positive benefit.

“It's going to make us way stronger,” he said. “It shows your character, if you're a man or not. If you keep losing and keep fighting, it shows you're competitive and want to keep playing until you win. If people give up, that means you don't care about basketball. I'm going to keep fighting.”

Ferry likes the resolve he's seen from Colter and fellow freshman Quevyn Winters, who netted 13 points against La Salle. Now, he would like to add some talent similar to the Explorers, who feature a guard-heavy attack that Ferry compared to his LIU Brooklyn teams.

“They can all pass, dribble and shoot. And they really exposed our limits,” he said. “We need to continue to recruit aggressively. If we can get guards like that, we'll build it.”

For now, they'll have to live with the lessons of losing.

One thing, Colter says, is certain: They will keep trying.

“As long as it takes, but we're going to keep working,” he said. “Coach has faith in us and we have faith in him.”

Aaron Bracy is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.