Mar 6, 2014; Richmond, VA, USA; Richmond Spiders guard Kendall Anthony (0) shoots the ball as Virginia Commonwealth Rams forward Juvonte Reddic (15) looks on in the first half at Robins Center. The Rams won 56-50. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Richmond vs Duquesne 76 - 64


Coaches may change but old habits die hard as the Dukes lose yet again to the Richmond Spiders 76 – 64. A six point game at the half, the Spiders didn’t allow the Dukes to score for the first five minutes of the second and in true Richmond form, they really never looked back.

The loss ends the Dukes’ season and sets up a meeting involving cross town rivals Richmond and VCU.

The Good

The bench. The Dukes reserves hit fifty percent of their shots, scored twenty – five points and only turned it over once.

The Bad

The juxtaposition. You would have had no idea that the Dukes came into tonight’s game playing their best basketball of the season while the Spiders came in playing their worst. Credit Richmond for not rolling over.

Honorable mention: I generally wasn’t over the moon with Jim Ferry during this one. The offense was stagnate, and I feel like he missed opportunities to settle his team down early in the second.

The Ugly

Shot selection. This was a problem for some of the year, but I felt like the Dukes panicked at a deficit for the first time in a long time.

Play of the Game

Terry Allen’s block on Ovie Soko in the first minute of the second. Generally, I think people overrate the value of a blocked shot, but Allen’s stuff of Soko early in the second set the tone that dictated the decisive next six minutes of the game.

Player of the Game

Terry Allen. Got it done at both ends scoring and shutting down Micah Mason. Credit to Chris Mooney for trusting his big man to guard the best three point shooter in the country.

Moment I Knew It Was Over

Kendall Anthony jumper with 9:16 left. The make ran the Richmond lead to 21 and while the Dukes ultimately cut it to single digits, they weren’t coming back from twenty plus down against the Spiders.

Credit Where It’s Due

Richmond played great and didn’t allow their last four games to weigh on them. Great game plan by Mooney and solid execution by his players.

Parting Thoughts

The Dukes played like they’ve never been there before and for good reason. They haven’t.  Only one Duke has played in an Atlantic 10 tournament game.

In my opinion the issue tonight, wasn’t the Everhart system vs the Mooney system mismatch we’ve seen in the past. It was Richmond taking advantage of their opportunities and the Dukes failing to take advantage of theirs. It was about consistent defensive effort from the Spiders and not the Dukes. It was about Richmond running an effective offense. It was about the crucial first five minutes of the second half. I wish I could also say it was about experience but the Spiders are roughly as green as the Dukes.

I’ll have plenty to say about the state of this team moving forward, but tonight I want to close thanking those who deserve it. Thank you to Ovie Soko and Jerry Jones. The former made this season very exciting. The later never quit. On a more personal note, thank you to everyone who read and supported We Wear the Ring this season. I hope you enjoyed our coverage as much as we enjoyed writing it.

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