PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — The Duquesne Dukes lost their second game of the season Sunday to Valparaiso, 84-68.
Kevin Van Wijk scored 22 points and Ryan Broekhoff added 21 in a dominant front-court performance for Valpo.
“I didn’t think our energy was good all day,” said Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart, according to Duquesne’s official website. “You got to take your hat off to Valpo, we caught them on a day when they shot the ball very, very well. We didn’t guard them obviously well enough. We just didn’t guard the interior very well. Van Wijk was just tremendous inside.
“We couldn’t do anything right it seemed like. And every time when we did have a stop and made them miss we couldn’t get the rebound.”
Valpo jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the game’s opening five minutes and owned a 22-10 advantage midway through the first half. Duquesne then went on a 13-0 run to take a one-point lead on a Kadeem Pantophlet 3-pointer, 23-22.
However, Valparaiso was able to regroup after a timeout and methodically pulled away from Duquesne to grab a 43-33 lead at the break.
Valpo’s dominance continued in the second half, as it stretched the gap to 19 points midway through. The Duquesne deficit grew to as much as 21 with 4:37 left, 78-57, en route to a a 84-68 loss.
“I’m concerned about our youth and inexperience on the inside,” said Everhart. “If you look at the stat sheet and see you are going to shoot 49 percent and 39 from the 3-point line, I would have said we would have had a great chance to win this game. I didn’t think we would be that bad defensively or that they’d be that good offensively. They were.”
Pantophlet led the Dukes with 14 points. Sean Johnson added 13, B.J. Monteiro had 11 and Eric Evans had 10 as other Dukes in double figures.
It was the third game in three days for Duquesne at the 2K Sports Classic in Indiana. The Dukes won the previous two against District of Columbia, 97-81, and Akron, 81-76.
Duquesne’s next game is at 7 p.m. Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayetteat the A.J. Palumbo Center.