Nov 30, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Duquesne Dukes head coach Jim Ferry (left) looks on against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first half at the CONSOL Energy Center. Pittsburgh won 84-67. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

UMBC: Things I liked, things I didn't.

The Dukes won 94 – 88 against a UMBC team that simply wouldn’t quit. Here are some of my favorite and not so favorite parts of the game.

Things I Liked

  • Colter and White combined for 42 points and 12 assists. Not bad at all. We were concerned some about guard contribution as well as sharing, and I think some of that can be put to rest.
  • Soko setting up LG Gill’s dunk. Sometimes Soko tries to force something with a pass. This one paid off and was a fun play for sure.
  • Shooting 60% from the field. ‘Nuff said.
  • Jerry Jones finally came alive.
  • I’ll never get tired of the off-the-backboard-dunk thing between Soko and Colter. Yeah, Soko was a bit limited tonight, but other guys stepped up and that’s important.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • 26-41 from the free throw line. 15 misses. The Dukes had twice as many attempts from the charity stripe as the Retrievers. More of those need to count. Make more like 75% and this is an 11-point win.
  • Some of the early turnovers. The Dukes went on a little 7-0 run partway through the first half that was killed by some turnovers, most of which were unforced errors. The turnover number for the game – 12 – wasn’t horrid. It was more the timing in this case.
  • UMBC’s Chase Plummer had a little too much to work with.
  • Des with 3 turnovers. Chalk this up to some of the pressure that the Dukes saw early. It definitely got to him. I’m sure this will be a learning experience in that way. He was trying to make decisions a little faster than he needed to. It’ll slow down.
  • To the Retrievers’ credit, they’re actually a pretty solid rebounding team. That said, I wanted to see some more board from the Dukes. Even wasn’t what I’d had in mind for this game.
  • Giving up 51 points in the second half pretty much underscores the Dukes’ issues in the second half.

Honestly, I think with Mason, the minutes are a little more even and this is a slightly bigger win. I’m glad to chalk one up in the W column here, and I’m not going to complain too much about how it happened – so long as it gets better. The games are spaced out so much during the non-conference portion of the schedule that Ferry really has the opportunity to find and grind in those teachable moments. There’s a week until the PSU game, and surely a week of good practicing to get in.

I like that we can win a game shooting that poorly from the line, down three scholarship players, and on an off night for Soko. I’ll sprinkle in the fact that the Dukes’ desire to run actually plays right into UMBC’s hands and that’s where I’ll leave it for now. People don’t seem to have any difficulty remembering before the season begins that there is a lot of new pieces on the team and that there will be growing pains. Once the games actually start, inconsistency seems to freak people out.

I was probably as frustrated as anyone following this game. I don’t deny that it was ugly at times. Still – once they took a lead in the early going, the Dukes never actually trailed, even if it wasn’t the cakewalk some anticipated.

Tags: Derrick Colter Desmond Ridenour Duquesne Dukes Jim Ferry Ovie Solo Tra'Vaughn White

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