They took us on a wild ride but the good guys managed to pull this one out in style book ending the game with solid play early and down the stretch. I’ll call this an educational win in the sense that the Dukes struggled for the first ten minutes of the second half, got it together midway through and played their best when it counted.
The first half defense looked great as did the defense over the final five minutes. I’d love to see those results for close to the entire 40 minutes but I’ll take incremental improvement
I often criticized Ron Everhart for time out management and I’ll give Jim Ferry the same treatment. I can’t begin to understand why he waited until Albany took the lead to call his first time out of second half.
I’ll take it but Albany helped the Duquesne defense out in the first half with a series of travels on what seemed like every possession. The biggest culprit was Sam Rowley who surprisingly only had four turnovers on the day. Maybe the stacking made it seem worse than reality, but I really think the Dukes should send him a thank you letter.
The Moment I Knew It Was Over
The last two games had me on edge tonight so I waited until Duquesne undeniably had the game in control before I relaxed. After two missed front ends of the one and one first by Tra’Vaughn White and then by Derrick Colter with around a minute left, I got nervous again until the got another stop. Albany fouled Colter again and he hit both.
Play of the Game
I’d say the Ovie Soko three with 3:24 remaining. Duquesne fans cringe every time a big man shoots a three, but he can make them especially when locked in. The game went back and forth for the previous ten minutes and the Soko make gave the Dukes the separation they needed to make it very difficult for the Danes.
Dirty Moment That the Eastern Pennsylvania in Me Enjoyed
The refs didn’t let the Dukes even think about getting dirty.
Credit Where Its Due
Albany’s a good team and they could have easily come out with a win. They have talented guards and depth and I thought they showed a lot of resolve even showing up in the second half.
Player of the Game
Ovie Soko. I thought he had more rebounds than he actually did, but the big man took the game over.
The juxtaposition of who defended well and who defended poorly among the guards was surprising. I thought White and Colter played very strong defense. In fact, I’d go as far as calling it Colter’s best defensive game in spite of a lapse early in the second. Micah Mason and Desmond Ridenour, who had defended better in every game this year, actually had pretty poor games. Overall though, the Dukes appear to have gotten the message that in order to win you have to commit to defending.
While Colter had a good game defensively, he didn’t get very involved at the other end shooting only five times all from three. He couldn’t take his man off the dribble, but I thought he did a good job not getting frustrated or trying to do too much.
Very nice win, but I’m happy for the ten days of defense still to come.
Duquesne vs Albany Links: