Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dukes Streak Snapped Team Sputters Down the Stretch

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dukes Streak Snapped Team Sputters Down the Stretch

Article excerpt

What would the Penguins be like without Sidney Crosby?

It's hard to say, but probably a few Stanley Cup titles poorer than they are today.

Although it's not an exact analogy, for Duquesne basketball, playing without do-it-all standout freshman point guard Sincere Carry is a little like the Penguins losing Crosby, Dukes coach Keith Dambrot said after Duquesne's 80-74 Atlantic 10 Conference loss to VCU Saturday at Palumbo Center, ending the Dukes A-10 win streak at five.

"I'm not saying he's that caliber, but it's all relative. Again, I'm not making any excuses, because everybody has to go through it, but the facts are we're taking our best defender, our leading scorer in the A-10, our leading assist guy that creates about 50 percent of our offense, out of our lineup," Dambrot said. "So guys have to play outside their realm a little bit."

Losing Carry, who has been struggling with knee soreness, was a huge blow, as he's likely the best ballhandler on the team who averages 12.1 points (14.2 in A-10 play), 5.8 assists and 2.8 steals in 32.5 minutes per game. Carry battled knee injuries in high school.

After the game, Dambrot said he's not sure if Carry will be out for an extended period of time, but that the Dukes need to be ready to play without him.

In his stead, sophomore guard Tavian Dunn-Martin shined for a career-high 21 points, adding 5 assists and 4 turnovers. The Dukes (14-6, 5-2 A-10) had 17 turnovers to VCU's 13, with the Rams scoring 24 points off turnovers to Duquesne's 15.

After leading by two at the half, the Dukes looked gassed and made 2 of 12 3-point attempts after making 8 of 15 in the first half. VCU (14-6, 5-2) shot 48.2 percent and grabbed 45 rebounds to Duquesne's 29.

"Shots fall sometimes, sometimes they don't," sophomore guard Frankie Hughes, who had 20 points, said. "Nothing changed. We got really good looks, just wasn't able to make them in the second half as well as we were in the first."

In the second half, after a 7-0 run, VCU took a 64-57 lead with 8:27 to play. …

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