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Duquesne is still unable to solve Richmond

| Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside.

And for Duquesne, it was frigid outside the 3-point line Wednesday night, where the Dukes shot just 15 percent (3 for 20) and blew a three-point halftime lead while losing to Richmond, 80-68, in the Atlantic 10 Conference opener at Palumbo Center.

"We made bad decisions in the second half, but there's no doubt we lost to a good club," Duquesne coach Ron Everhart said. "Richmond has more victories over BCS teams than any team in our league."

David Gonzalvez scored 19 points and Kevin Anderson added 18 to lead the Spiders (13-4, 1-0), who won their 13th consecutive game against Duquesne (9-6, 0-1). The Dukes, who trail in the series, 13-8, have never beaten Richmond since it joined the A-10 in 2001.

Richmond shot 50 percent (13 for 26) from 3-point range and was 7 of 12 in the second half, with Gonzalvez finishing 5 for 8 from behind the arc and moving into 10th place all-time on Richmond's scoring list with 1,429 points.

The loss was the third in four games for Duquesne, which visits Dayton on Saturday.

Ryan Butler (14 points), Justin Harper (12) and Dan Geriot (11) also scored in double figures for Richmond, which also has beaten BCS conference teams Florida, Mississippi State and Missouri.

Two of Richmond's four losses are against BCS conference teams South Carolina and Wake Forest, which needed overtime to beat the Spiders.

"We remained poised tonight," Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. "We shot the ball really well. Hopefully, us playing a lot of great games in our non-conference schedule is showing up now."

Neither team was able to take charge for much of the contest until Richmond began to show signs midway through the second half. Consecutive 3-point shots by Butler put the Spiders in front, 53-48. Butler's father, Jeff, is a Richmond graduate and attended Greensburg Salem High School and Robert Morris.

The lead finally reached double digits, when Anderson's 3-pointer gave Richmond a 64-54 advantage with 5:57 left.

From there, Duquesne was out of luck.

"Their deficit went from a reasonable situation to a desperate situation with that," Mooney said.

The game marked the return of Duquesne sophomore guard/forward Melquan Bolding, who had missed 13 games with a broken wrist, suffered in the opener against Nicholls State on Nov. 13.

Bolding, who scored 25 points in the Dukes' opener, struggled to find his range, finishing just 1-for-6 shooting, including 0 for 2 from 3-point range. He played a total of 14 minutes and scored three points to go with two rebounds.

Mooney said Bolding is "going to be a premier player in this league" and that it is tough for any player to "get your legs under you" after being sidelined for an extended period.

Added Everhart: "(Bolding is) sore, but that's what it is with injuries."

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