The Duquesne Dukes (18-8, 8-5) hosted the Saint Joseph’s Hawks (13-13, 7-7) yesterday, February 15th, at UPMC Cooper Fields House. Saint Joe’s was looking to add a third game to their win streak, but instead came up short against the Dukes, losing 76-62.
This was the second time that these two teams faced each other this season. The first game was played on January 11th. In that game, Duquesne controlled the pace of play and dominated the Hawks in a 92-80 win in Hagan arena. Sadly, SJU was unable to learn and adjust from that first matchup. Just like the before, Duquesne jumped to an early lead last night and never looked back. Saint Joe’s demonstrated zero ability to stop the Duquesne, and the box score reflects it as SJU was never able to take the lead.
Duquesne showed they are the superior team, and they have left no questions about that, dominating the Hawks in what was an offensive showcase. This is a tough pill to swallow for Saint Joseph’s, as their improvement since the last Duquesne blowout pointed to the possibility of a close matchup this second time around. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
Quick Stats on Duquesne
Duquesne had three players in triple digits last night. This included Forward Tre Williams, Guard Dae Dae Grant, and Guard Tevin Brewer. Additionally, Jimmy Clark III finished with nine assists and three steals. Duquesne also completed the game shooting 36% from three as well as 50% from field, both of which top SJU’s performance as the Hawks finished with a dismal 22% (4-18) from three and 39% from the field overall.
As mentioned before, Duquesne jumped to an early lead and was able to grow it to 23 points, never allowing the Hawks to take control. From a non scoring perspective there wasn’t too much of a gap between these two programs. Rebounds, turnovers, fouls, were all either in SJU’s favor or close enough to not be a major advantage. There was a large delta for steals, but not enough to explain the gap in scoring. Clearly, the stat that tells the story is shooting percentage. Duquesne was efficient from the field, and SJU had no defensive response to stop this formidable A10 team.
Saint Joe’s Takeaways
Yesterday was a test for Saint Joe’s, and they failed to pass. Now, this is not a make or break loss for SJU’s season. However, what we learned was that the first game against Duquesne is clearly just a bad matchup for SJU. Duquesne is a better team. On top of that they, figured out the best formula to beat this SJU roster.
For Saint Joe’s, failing this test is not fun. SJU was expected to make adjustments and come back with a new strategy, just like La Salle did the second time they played us. Instead, the Hawks came out flat, and showed the same lack of effort as before.
Saint Joe’s has proved this season they can bounce back from a loss like this, as they did after the first Duquesne lost. It isn’t a guarantee, nothing in life is guaranteed. But, they have been shown this season that Coach Lange and this team can recollect, strategize, and come back with wins after a tough loss.
Saturday is the next test, there is no room for relaxing or coasting. Saint Joe’s needs to be prepared for Davidson if they want to continue their climb up the standings, all while building momentum into A10 tournament play.
Davidson is set to host Saint Joseph’s this Saturday. The game starts at 12:30 am EST and will be aired on USA Network.+
Duquesne is set to travel to Saint Louis this Saturday in what should be a pivotal matchup between number 4 and 5 in the A10 rankings.
Like the coverage and want more? Follow me on twitter (@Jelly_Morelli) and check out my Saint Joe’s podcast, Hawk Talk! (@HawkTalkSJU)