Dukes beat Maine 87 - 73

by Dave Morus

The final score shows the Dukes winning by 14, but don't be fooled - this was a close game throughout and was won by the Dukes on attrition, a great game from Pantophlet, and solid foul shooting at the end of the game (and throughout from Abele). There were several times that the game was tied, though the Dukes were never down by more than a few points. For much of the game, the Dukes were ahead by four or five and really pulled away at the end.

You'll read a lot about the storyline on the board and in the paper, so instead of a recap, I'll share a few things that I noticed at the game. Read on after the jump!

Abele - it's funny, because we just had a thread on the board about him. He did many things well. One play in particular that I remember involved him setting a screen at the key, allowing another Duke to get loose and take a shot. As soon as the screen had its intended effect, he ran to the inside and was in position to get a rebound if there was one. I don't mean just physically - he was up at the rim just as the ball went through the hoop. He only had one basket, but went 5/6 from the arc. If he's able to shoot foul shots, he's just as useful because he's in a great position to draw fouls. Speaking of fouls, he didn't have any trouble there today.

That said, I think that there were plenty of things from Abele that need to improve. Sometimes he let himself get too far from the paint. There were some other positioning issues underneath that I saw too that allowed players to get around him. He also let a few sure rebounds out of his hands.

Defense - I think that the Dukes gave a few too many open looks beyond the arc. I like the aggressive defense, but sometimes they were going beyond "help" defense and into "forget there's another side of the floor" defense and leaving a guy open. This may have been by design because Maine is such a poor shooting team from three-land, but it let the Black Bears back into the game a few times when the Dukes were threatening to put them away.

Torres - he had an excellent hustle play on defense during a breakaway. He stayed with it where many other players would have given up and batted the ball out of the players hands just as he was about to go up with it, preventing an almost certain basket. I thought it was a great effort. A shame that he was ejected for an elbow to the face.

Hustle - in general, there were a lot of times where the Dukes wouldn't stop trying and it really payed off in the way of creating turnovers or offensive rebounds. There was a lot of that from Colter, from Pantophlet, Johnson, and the Joneses. As an aside, I hope we can find a good way to fit in "Keeping up with the Joneses" sometime before Jerry graduates.

Pantophlet - finally a big game from Kadeem, and a much needed one. Hopefully he can continue this strong play against Pitt.

System - when the Dukes play the system, limiting fouls, moving on offense, solid defense - they are a force to be reckoned with. They did a good job with that the majority of this game. The times when shots weren't falling were usually times when there was less motion on offense. The second half was quite a bit of what Ferry must preach - the Dukes didn't have a foul until nearly halfway through the 2nd.

Colter - what a quick player, and he plays with a lot of spirit. Very fun to watch. He sometimes wanted to push a little too hard. Two turnovers were the result of his throwing a long pass out of bounds. Coach Ferry got on him about the second one. I think you'll have that with young, aggressive players.

The rumors are true - the pep band is rocking. Major props to Carl Hess, who has a nice sized group, led them in many cheers and chants, and has some awesome modern music for the group to play. It was a treat.

What did you think? Tell us on the board!