PREVIEW: Duquesne faces off against Dayton in the first game at UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse

PITTSBURGH - It has been 696 days since Duquesne played their last home game on campus. Over the past season and a half, the team has had to play games at PPG Paints Arena, the Kerr Fitness Center, and the UPMC Events Center. Finally, after multiple delays, the Dukes finally have a home gym.


Tomorrow's matchup should be a good one as Duquesne (6-6, 5-5 A 10) will open their new arena against Dayton (10-4, 6-3) Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. on ESPNU.


Recapping the Dukes:


Duquesne has had a roller coaster of a season. To begin the year the Dukes played in the Wade Houston Tipoff Classic and had their final game in the multi-team event was canceled due to Covid-19 issues inside the program. Duquesne canceled their next two games and did not play for over a month due to problems with Covid-19, they were finally were able to return to the court against George Washington (3-9, 2-3) on January 2nd.


The Dukes have struggled against the top half of the conference falling to Davidson (10-5, 6-2) St Bonaventure (9-1, 7-1) twice and they lost their last matchup against the Flyers 72-63 on January 13th.


Recapping the Flyers:


Dayton has had a pretty successful season thus far ranking fourth in the conference standings. Early on in the year, they had success in their non-conference portion of their schedule winning four of their first five games heading into conference play. As of late, the Flyers knocked off 22. ranked Saint Louis (7-2, 0-1) on the road, and the last time out they were able to defeat Rhode Island (9-9, 6-5) 67-56 on Saturday.


Players to watch:


Marcus Weathers (DUQ) - The senior forward from Overland Park, Kansas leads the Dukes in points averaging 14 points and seven rebounds per game. His last time out against the Flyers, Weathers put up 19 points and eight rebounds in the losing effort. In his past two games, the forward put up 19 and 24 points respectively.


Tavian Dunn-Martin (DUQ) - A Huntington West Virginia native Dunn-Martin has picked up the slack after Sincere Carry decided to transfer out of the program during the middle of the season. The senior guard is averaging 10 points per game. He has had a rough stretch as of late only reaching double figures two of the past seven ball games. He looks to have a solid performance in this matchup.


Jalen Crutcher (DAY) - The senior is leading the team in scoring averaging 18 points this season and shooting 51 percent from the field this season. Crutcher has reached the 20 point threshold on six separate occasions this season. In his last game, the guard put up 15 points and five assists in the win over Rhode Island.


Jordy Tshimanga (DAY) - Even though Tshimanga has struggled from the field at times this year he has been the Flyer's top rebounder averaging eight boards per game. He also has the ability to get the job done inside shooting the ball at a 60 percent clip on the year.


Prediction:


Even though Duquesne is opening up their new building I believe that the Flyers will be too much for the Dukes Tuesday night. Dayton wins the second game of the season series 70-65.






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