@DuqMBB Downs St. Francis Brooklyn, 80-70
Nov. 11, 2017
PITTSBURGH - Rene Castro-Caneddy scored 22 points and Tarin Smith added 18 as Duquesne sandwiched the half with a 16-2 run to take control in an 80-70 season-opening win over St. Francis Brooklyn at Palumbo Center.
Freshman Eric Williams Jr. added 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds as DU handed head coach Keith Dambot a victory in his inaugural game.
Duquesne trailed by as many as eight before Casto-Caneddy, who had 13 in the first 20 minutes, keyed a 9-0 run that gave the Dukes a 31-30 lead with 1:36 left in the half.
DU held the Terriers without a field goal over the last 4:20 of the half that ended with the score tied 32-32.
The Dukes picked up where they left off, scoring the first six points of the second half - including four from Mike Lewis II - to take a 38-32 lead.
Duquesne was up 50-47 when Williams Jr., who scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, started and ended a 12-4 run with a dunk.
Smith, who had 16 in the second half, upped the lead to 70-54 on a three-point play with 5:56 left.
SFC cut it to five with just over one minute left when Castro-Caneddy broke the press and found Williams Jr. for a baseline dunk to make it 75-68.
Williams Jr. added five free throws over the final :26 to put the game away.
The Dukes won despite going 3-of-26 from the 3-point arc. DU, which was 15-of-25 from the foul line in the first half, rallied to make good on 16-of-20 attempts in the second.
DU outscored SFC 31-13 from the stripe for the game.
Duquesne shot 48.4 percent in the second half to bring its game total to 39.0 percent. St. Francis Brooklyn shot 40.0 percent.
Duquesne returns to action on Tuesday, November 14 when it hosts VMI at 7:00 p.m. at Palumbo Center.
This was the second career 20-point game for Castro-Caneddy, who scored a career-high 26 against Saint Francis, Pa. last year ... Castro-Caneddy added a career-high four steals.
Williams Jr.'s 17 points were the most by a DU freshman in a season-opener since Derrick Colter had 17 at Albany on Nov. 9, 2012.
Duquesne opened with a veteran starting lineup of senior Eric James, grad student Jordan Robinson, junior Tarin Smith, sophomore Mike Lewis II and grad student Rene Castro-Caneddy ... it was the first start since March 21, 2016 (at Morehead State in the CBI) for James, the first start since Nov. 29, 2014 (vs. NJIT) for Robinson and the second career start for Castro-Caneddy who started last year at No. 2 (AP) Kentucky.
There were six ties and five lead changes in the game before Duquesne took the lead for good on a Mike Lewis II free throw 18 seconds into the second half ... St. Francis Brooklyn's largest lead was eight at 30-22 with 4:02 left in the first half ... Duquesne's largest lead was 16 (70-54) with 4:56 to go.