LORETTO - Tuesday night's game between Duquesne and St. Francis was one of runs. When the Red Flash made their 3-point shots, they were able to build a lead. When they didn't make their 3-pointers, Duquesne was able to control the game.
St. Francis made 43.8 percent of its shots from behind the arc in the first half, including six of its last nine shots, to grab a 10-point halftime lead.
However, the?Red Flash went cold in the second half. They made only 4-of-15 three pointers and shot only 32 percent in the second half and saw their lead evaporate.
Even with their poor shooting, the Red Flash had a chance to win. They held a two-point lead with four minutes left in the game, but missed too many shots down the stretch and fell, 78-71, to the Dukes.
"In the first half, I thought our shots were created more by our drive lines," SFU coach Rob Krimmel said. "We had some wide open looks that we didn't knock down. We did a good job of getting into the paint, and making the extra pass.
"In the second half, I thought our shots were more forced. Instead of the shot being created by something else, they were created by the ball handler, and those are a little harder to make. This was probably the second best game that we shot the ball, but when the second half started we were to jump shot happy. I thought we could have done a better job driving getting those opportunities we got in the first half."
The Red Flash struggled with their shot early in the game, going 1-7 from behind the three point line in the first eight minutes of the game. Duquesne did not shoot much better, but held a 12-9 lead midway through the half on the strength of 6 of 6 shooting from the free throw line. Then the Red Flash got hot from behind the arc.
St. Francis hit six of their next nine three pointers to grab a halftime lead. Ben Millaud-Meunier gave a spark off the bench with four triples in five attempts, scoring 12 first half points. St. Francis finished the half shooting 7-16 from three point land. With the Dukes forced to chase the 3-point shooters, Earl Brown had some room inside, and took advantage. He made all five of the shots he took, netting ten points before intermission.
The Red Flash saw their lead grow to 13 points, on a traditional three-point play by Brown. However, the Dukes made a run late in the half, and after a layup just before the buzzer by Dominique McKoy, cut the lead to 37-27 at the half.
Duquesne carried that momentum into the second half and used a more aggressive style to catapult themselves into the lead. Duquesne opened the second half on a 21-9 run to grab a 48-46 lead midway through the half. Their run was sparked by going to the basket and getting layups, and making them. Jeremiah Jones capped the run with two foul made foul shots after getting fouled on a layup attempt.
"We are a young team," Duquesne coach Jim Ferry said. "That was a real emotional, tough loss at home to Robert Morris the other night. It took some things out of us. We addressed a lot of things as a team, and I knew we were going to come out thinking too much. I thought we thought too much offensively.
"I thought we extended the floor too much defensively, which was the wrong thing to do against this team, because it opened up driving lanes. We adjusted the second half, and tightened up our defense and didn't extend it as far."
Even with the Dukes' run, the Red Flash had an opportunity to win the game.
After struggling most of the second half with their outside shot, St. Francis hit some three pointers to spark a run of their own. Millaud-Meunier and Dom Major hit triples during a 17-9 run that gave the Red Flash a 63-61 lead with 6:14 to play. The outside shots again opened up the inside game for Brown, who hit some inside shots during the spurt.
Unfortunately for the Red Flash, Major's 3-pointer to give them the lead was the last triple they would hit in the game. The Dukes seized on the cold streak by St. Francis, and closed the game on a 17-8 run to escape with the seven point win.
DUQUESNE (4-5): Soko 6-15 10-10 23, McKoy 2-2 2-2 6, Colter 3-8 0-0 7, White 6-8 3-6 16, Jere. Jones 2-5 6-6 10, Jerr. Jones 2-3 0-0 5, Watkins 0-1 0-0 0, Ridenour 5-8 1-1 11. Totals 26-50 22-25 78.
ST. FRANCIS (2-8): E. Brown 9-10 3-4 21, Harmon 2-10 0-0 5, Whyatt 1-6 4-4 6, G. Brown 1-3 0-0 3, Jackson 2-8 2-2 7, Millaud-Meunier 5-11 3-4 18, Major 3-8 0-0 9, Mosley 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 24-59 12-14 71.
Halftime-St. Francis (Pa.) 37-27. 3-Point Goals-Duquesne 4-13 (Soko 1-2, Jerr. Jones 1-2, White 1-3, Colter 1-3, Ridenour 0-1, Jere. Jones 0-2), St. Francis 11-31 (Millaud-Meunier 5-9, Major 3-7, G. Brown 1-2, Harmon 1-5, Jackson 1-6, Whyatt 0-2). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Duquesne 35 (Soko 12), St. Francis 27 (E. Brown 10). Assists-Duquesne 11 (Jere. Jones 4), St. Francis 17 (Millaud-Meunier 5). Total Fouls-Duquesne 16, St. Francis 15. A-725.