Williams, Dukes dunk W&M in opener

Eric Williams and Austin Rotroff each put home 17 points to pace Duquesne (1-0) past William & Mary (1-1), 84-70, in the Dukes 2018-19 opener Saturday night at Palumbo Center.

Rotroff's points were the most by a Duquesne freshman since Williams had the same total last season.

Aside from that duo, transfer Michael Hughes — who followed head coach Keith Dambrot from Akron and sat out the 2017-18 season — posted a line of 13 points, seven boards, three steals and a block. Despite the array of contributions, Hughes' Dukes debut wasn't flawless as he stumbled on the break and turned the ball over twice.

The 6-foot-8, 250-pound big man flashed some of his physical potential, however, and he used his reach on the steals and imposed his strength on the glass. He set career highs in minutes, points and rebounds with his Duquesne debut.

Rotroff, a freshman from Ohio, went 3-for-3 from behind the arc and hauled in seven rebounds, two offensive, on his own. The only Dukes player to outrebound the newcomers was Williams, who posted eight.

With the ability to shoot 3s, this demonstration of team rebounding bodes well for Duquesne's season, especially with eight of the team's 31 boards coming on the offensive end. The Dukes finished the day shooting 46 percent from 3-point range, with Tavian Dunn-Martin — another Akron transfer — also making three of his own.

Mike Lewis II, the only upperclassman to play for Duquesne, finished 2-for-6 with all his attempts from 3-point range. He added one rebound and had one turnover in an abnormally quiet night for the junior.

In Dambrot's debut season, the offense flowed through Lewis and eventually Williams, but it looked as though Lewis will need some time feeling out his new role in a much deeper offense.

Sincere Carry, who handled the ball as a true point guard in his freshman debut, posted nine assists without a turnover. The nine assists were the most for a Duquesne freshman since Derek Colter's11 in 2013. His 29 minutes were second only to Williams for the Dukes.

Carry was one of seven Duquesne players to make their debut for Danbrot's team, the only returning players being Lewis II and Williams.

Duquesne continues the season in the Gotham Classic Monday night at Palumbo Center when they host Illinois-Chicago (0-2).


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