Duquesne Dukes End Losing Streak


Dec 5, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Duquesne Dukes guard Micah Mason (22) dribbles the ball around Pittsburgh Panthers guard Chris Jones (12) during the first half at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Panthers won 76-62. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Duquesne Dukes men’s basketball team had lost its past four games and according to head coach Jim Ferry its body language betrayed this, however following a 79-63 victory Saturday against UMass-Lowell, it was clear that the team has found itself once again.

One big was moving guard Micah Mason primarily back to the two guard position which is more of his natural position. Mason had a team high 17 points for the contest shooting 6-7 from the field.

“This game I switched to the two and that was a great move by the coaches, to get me off the ball and have DC (Derrick Colter) and Jordan Stevens push the ball,” Mason said. “I think it might have taken some pressure on me and let me catch my shots and rhythm and knock them down.”

Earlier in the week, Ferry told Colter and Mason of the switch and both immediately accepted the roles and moved on.

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“I felt Micah was putting too much pressure on himself to get everybody involved,” said Ferry. “The kid plays the right way so he was worried more about making mistakes and getting everybody involved instead of just relaxing and playing. DC only plays one way and I knew he would get the tempo back to playing where we wanted.”

The second big change was the reinsertion of senior Dominique McKoy into the starting line up. Although McKoy was held to three points, Mason believed McKoy being back in as a starter helped the team from a comfort standpoint.

“I felt like we played harder today defensively and we were more together,” McKoy said. “The last couple of games we’ve been lacking some confidence. Guys haven’t been shooting like they usually shoot but today everyone did their roles and they did well.”

Ferry was hoping for senior leadership from McKoy and the move proved to be successful.

“I thought we hit a tough stretch and went through my roster to look at how young everybody was,” said Ferry. “It was probably the first time many of the guys experienced that (losing streak). Domo as a leader who has had ups and downs in games and seasons did a great job stepping up. I could tell he took the pressure off some of the guys.”

Duquesne shot 51.8 percent from the field for the game while having 21 assists and a 37-27 rebounding advantage. The Dukes also had a significant advantage in bench scoring at 36-12. 11 players scored and among those making significant bench contributions were guard Jordan Stevens and forward Jordan Robinson, both of whom scored 10 points. Duquesne also shot 12-23 from three point range.

“I thought our guys came back and played with a lot of confidence and guys played to their strengths,” Ferry said.

Duquesne (4-5) led 40-24 at halftime thanks to an 8-0 run after the score was deadlocked at 10. Though UMass-Lowell (6-5) would cut the deficit to four, Jeremiah Jones hit a three point basket and then the Dukes buried six consecutive shots.

In the second half, the Dukes never let its lead drop below 13 points and emptied the bench with four minutes remaining and a lead of 29 points.

Duquesne will next play Sunday against Maryland Eastern Shore with the opening tip scheduled for 2 p.m.

Ferry is pleased with the victory however this 10th game serves as the end of a self-diagnosis of how long it would team to find the team’s identity.

“I think I said it was going to take 10 games to find out who we are and it’s game nine,” Ferry said. “We’re still trying to figure out who we are, how to play and what the best line ups are to play together… It’s probably going to take more to figure out what’s best for us.”