Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor
Throughout the entire season, the one message from coach Mike Rhoades has been to finish games. Men’s basketball hasn’t been able to make that happen consistently.
On Tuesday night, the Rams had the opportunity to close the door on Duquesne in regulation but couldn’t manage, falling in overtime 80-77 at the Siegel Center.
The black and gold had the ball with under 45 seconds remaining in the contest when senior forward Mike’l Simms couldn’t inbound the ball. The turnover gave the ball back to Duquesne and lost the Rams a chance of scoring.
“We came close in big games, games we should have won, we just didn’t finish,” junior forward Marcus Santos-Silva said. “We got to finish or we’re going to be at the end of the season having a lot of regrets.”
Against the Dukes, the Rams were able to stop Duquesne’s momentum in the final minute of regulation, but they couldn’t convert it into points.
“We’re making great drives and not finishing through contact and length,” Rhoades said. “We had a couple untimely turnovers. That hurt us.”
The Rams led by as many as 12 points in the contest, but Duquesne clawed back when the black and gold didn’t make a field goal for more than six minutes.
“Logging the game and just being defensively sound and make sure we get the rebound,” Santos-Silva said. “When it comes to tournament time … we get that one game, and it’s win or lose.”
Simms said when the team wasn’t logging the game, they threw up some 3-pointers that may not have been timely. The black and gold finished the night 6-for-20 from beyond the arc on the night and only 3-for-12 in the first 20 minutes.
“We’ve had a lot of close, but not good enough,” Rhoades said. “There’s got to be a collective responsibility to get over the hump. At times we’ve shown it but not enough.”