Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dukes Nudge Learning Curve

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dukes Nudge Learning Curve

Article excerpt

The Duquesne Dukes might not win an Atlantic 10 Conference game this year but the lesson they learned Wednesday night in a loss to George Washington is that they have no chance to win if they don't play with intensity and maximum effort.

It is a lesson that Dukes coach Jim Ferry said he hopes sticks with his young team because he believes that they do have a few wins in them.

Then Saturday in a 73-65 loss to Xavier at Consol Energy Center, the Dukes showed what they are capable of if they play hard and with a purpose. Even though they lost, they had a lead with 12 minutes to play and were in the game until the end.

Ferry has been working with his players on this concept -- that the Dukes need to fight for every inch of the court just to be in position to win games.

"The lesson learned from the George Washington game to this game is, we had been playing a lot more like this than the way we played [against George Washington], and that's why we have been in so many games," Ferry said. "I thought against George Washington we got out- toughened, we got beat on the 50-50 balls and rebounds and it showed in the score. The message to these guys was that every game has to be an education and we have to learn from every game, and I think we did.

"The glaring thing we learned, and this is no surprise, is that with the effort we gave [against] Xavier we were in the game and had an opportunity to win the game. And conversely, with the effort we gave against George Washington, we had no chance."

Ferry said despite the fact that the Dukes (7-16, 0-9) are on an 11-game losing streak, there is no quit in his team and he was impressed by the way they bounced back after a tough game Wednesday against the Colonials.

He said he expected to see a good effort from them on Saturday because Friday they practiced with the same sense of urgency and competitiveness that they have had for most of the season. …

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