PITTSBURGH — Rene Castro-Caneddy and Tarin Smith combined to score 40 points as Duquesne held off St. Francis Brooklyn, 80-70 in the season opener Saturday night.
The win is Duquesne’s first under Keith Dambrot, who takes over after 13 seasons coaching Akron. Duquesne now is 80-4 when opening the season at home.
The game was tied, 32-32 at intermission, and St. Francis twice got within five points in the final 1:13, but the Dukes pulled away each time. After Rasheem Dunn got to the basket for a layup to cut the lead to 75-70 with :33 left, Eric Williams converted five of six from the line to pad the Duquesne lead.
Duquesne struggled from the field, hitting 23 of 59 attempts (39 percent), including just 3 of 26 from long range. But the Dukes were 31 of 45 from the free throw line while allowing the Terriers just 16 free throw attempts.