Despite overcoming shooting struggles and early foul trouble, the Duquesne Dukes succumbed to the No. 16-ranked Arizona Wildcats 67-59 at the McKale Center in Tuscon Wednesday night.
Sophomore Jordin Mayes scored a game-high 19 points including making key shots down the stretch that secured the victory for the Wildcats.
The Dukes surprised in their opening half, taking a 30-28 lead into the locker room despite shooting just 6-17 from the field. To make up for the missed field goals, hustle plays and foul shooting kept them in the game.
In the second half, the superior size of Arizona took over as they beat Duquesne on the glass 22-12.
Despite playing their pressure to the best of their ability and forcing 20 turnovers, the Dukes grew even colder in the late stages of the game, shooting a paltry 1-for-13 from behind the arc in the second half.
Two Dukes, Sean Johnson and Eric Evans, reached double-digits in scoring, with Johnson scoring a team-high 13 points.
Only two newcomers, freshmen Kadeem Pantophlet and Mamadou Datt saw playing time. Datt was able to pull down 2 rebounds in 10 minutes of game time while Pantophlet pulled down three rebounds but misfired all three of his 3-point attempts.
It was interesting to see how Head Coach Ron Everhart handled the rotation tonight with so many pieces ready to contribute. He used nine players, with only one, T.J. McConnell, seeing the floor for more than 20 minutes. It will be worth watching how Everhart uses the players these first few weeks as he tries to see who fits in and who won't.
Duquesne's next game, their home opener, will be on Sunday against the Green Bay Phoenix. Tip off is slated for for 1:00 P.M. at the A.J. Palumbo Center.