Backcourt Barrage

Nov. 16, 2016

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PITTSBURGH - Rene Castro came off the bench to hit six 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 26 points as Duquesne shot 62.1 percent in the second half to defeat Saint Francis U, 89-75 at the Palumbo Center.

Fellow guard Tarin Smith added a career-best 23 and freshman Isiaha Mike scored 16 for the Dukes, who rallied from a 10-point first half deficit.

Saint Francis took advantage of 11 Duquesne turnovers in the first nine-plus minutes to build a 20-10 lead.

The Red Flash led 33-23 with 4:36 left in the half when Castro started a 13-2 run with his second of four first-half 3-pointers. Castro added two more treys during the run that saw the Dukes take their first lead at 36-35 on a Smith free throw. Smith, who had 13 in the half, hit a runner just before the horn to give the Dukes a 38-36 halftime lead.

Duquesne hit 14 of its first 18 shots of the second half to take its first double-digit lead on a Castro 3-pointer that made it 60-49 with a little over 13 minutes left.

SFU briefly cut it to five near the 10 minute mark, before Mike answered with a 3-pointer.

The Dukes got the lead back to double digits again on Castro's final 3-pointer with 6:19 left. The DU lead reached as many as 17 points in the final minutes.

Nakye Sanders came off the bench to post 8 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks in 26 minutes. The points and assists were career highs and the rebound and block totals tied his career-best.

Duquesne, which went 10-of-35 from the 3-point arc in its first two games, finished 13-of-25 from long distance. The Dukes, who entered the game with 19 team assists, assisted on 21 of 32 field goals. Nine of the 10 players who saw action had at least one assist.

The Dukes, who shot 52.5 percent for the game, held SFU to 42.6 percent shooting. The Red Flash finished with 19 turnovers, to 17 for the Dukes.

Duquesne continues its stretch of three games in five days when it hosts Canisius on Friday, Nov. 18 at 7:00 p.m. (Atlantic 10 Network). The Canisius game is the first of four the Dukes will play as part of the Bluegrass Showcase.

• Duquesne has now won 33 of the past 36 meetings with Saint Francis U .... the Dukes are 34-5 against the Red Flash in games played in Pittsburgh.

• The Dukes have won 11-straight non-conference home games, dating back to Dec. 28, 2014.

• Both Tarin Smith and Rene Castro tied their previous career highs by halftime (Smith had 13 & Castro 12) ... Castro, who finished with 26, had 44 points in 17 games last season - his first at Duquesne ... Smith went 8-of-11 from the floor.

Isiaha Mike had a highlight reel, one-handed dunk off an inbound pass from Tarin Smith to pull the Dukes within one at 35-34 with 1:56 left in the first half.

• Duquesne, which had 11 turnovers in the first 9:03, finished with 17.

• Saint Francis' largest lead was 10, the last of which came with 4:36 left in the first half (33-23) ... Duquesne's largest lead was 17, the last of which came with :13 left.




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