UMass basketball: RJ Luis scorches Duquesne again, but Minutemen fall on the road

By KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer

Published: 03-01-2023 9:52 PM

UMass freshman guard RJ Luis torched Duquesne for the second time in two meetings, but the Minutemen fell 88-79 in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

He scored 23 points on the road, making 9-0f-15 shots, to go along with with seven rebounds and three steals. That followed a career-high 31 points against the Dukes in late January.

The Minutemen just couldn’t keep pace with the high-flying Duquesne offense, which leads the Atlantic 10 in points per game. The Dukes hit 12-of-28 3-pointers and were plus-21 from beyond the arc.

“Disappointed with our lack of interest to defend and play with any sense of discipline and toughness,” UMass coach Frank Martin said. “It’s been a recurring theme all year. We’ve got no personality, we don’t communicate.”

Jimmy Clark III made four 3s and paced Duquesne with 18 points and eight assists. Tevin Brewer also hit three 3s and scored 11 points. Dae Dae Grant (15 points), David Dixon (13) and Quincy McGriff (10) joined them in double figures.

Duquesne (20-10, 10-7 A-10) led by as many as 17 points with 44 seconds remaining in the first half.

“For us to play the way we did in the first half, that’s embarrassing, that’s bad,” Martin said. “It is what it is, you’ve got to keep pushing.”

UMass (14-15, 5-12) trimmed it back to two points (56-54) with a 9-2 run midway through the second half, but the Dukes restored their breathing room with a 9-3 spurt.

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“We’re not very good when people punch back,” Martin said. “We tend to close our eyes and run the other way.”

UMass forward Dyondre Dominguez approached a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds, making 7-of-11 shots.

Isaac Kante added 15 points for the Minutemen, while Keon Thompson (four assists) had 11 and T.J. Weeks Jr. scored 10.

UMass lost for the seventh time in its last eight games and will close the season Saturday at the Mullins Center against Saint Bonaventure (2:30 p.m. USA).

“We’re going to try and motivate and challenge and teach to see if we can protect our home court against a team that kicked our a** the first time and see if we can play with a little character and dignity and unity,” Martin said.

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