Duquesne falls to Xavier 78-50

By Steve DiMiceli

I said in my preview that if X wakes up tonight, I'd feel sorry for the Dukes. Well they did and I do. There was not much they could do tonight and they essentially fell apart down the stretch in the first with TJ in foul trouble. The defense sagged as X simply poured it on. With TJ in, this game was much more competitive.

While I didn't see the beginning of the game, the Dukes did a few things I disagree with in the early going. First, they settled for too many three's. Second, they got sloppy with the ball. I know this is not their choice, but they had 7 turnover IIRC before X even went on their run. When I did get to a TV, the Dukes did a lot of standing around tonight off the ball. Not enough movement gave the Dukes very few opportunities to create with the pass.

I need to give Xavier credit. They are the superior team and played like the top 10 team they are for the first time since the brawl. This is the first legit top 15 team the Dukes have faced this year even though they already played two teams ranked there. Arizona is mediocre and I think the Dukes could beat them on a neutral court We all know what is happening to Pitt. They have a super star in the making in Dez Wells and are just solid overall. They may not lose again till March.

The Dukes played for pride in the second half and looked a lot more respectable. The best news about tonight is that no matter how many points you lose by, it only counts as one loss in the standings. The A-10 is completely bunched up at this point and no one is undefeated. This loss was not indicative of what the Dukes can do and I look for them to bounce back strong Saturday.