Duquesne Dukes 102 -- ACU Wildcats 81

The Dukes got themselves off to a sluggish start as the home standing Abilene Christian Wildcats played with intensity worthy of their biggest home game ever. The short handed Dukes played with fire getting three of their only four big men into early foul trouble with LG Gill, Jordan Robinson and Ty'sean Powell picking up two. The Wildcats didn't let up in the second, but the Dukes proved to be too much. 

The Good 
The inside out play. The Dukes took quite a few three's but it felt like they at least worked it inside most possessions to create space on the perimeter. They were rewarded with options and really piled up the fouls.

The Bad
The Turnovers. The normally sure handed Dukes turned it over often and at inopportune times. Sloppiness kept them from closing this one out sooner.

The Ugly The Also Good

The Depth. We got a taste for how the Dukes could wear their opponents down with depth. In spite of Dominique McKoy's absence, the Dukes powered through and wore the Wildcats down. The Dukes had 67 points from the bench. 

Turning Point

Harrison Hawkins couldn't miss for a stretch in the first half but his thirty foot air ball seemed to take the wind out of the Wildcats' sails.

The Moment It Was Over
Stevens' three to make it 64-49. ACU stayed pesky but they couldn't get within eight after this point.

Credit Where Credit is Due
Wildcats' Free Throw Shooting. This along with heart kept them in the game in the first, but they simply didn't get there enough in the second.

Player of the Game

Jordan Stevens.
Wow! This category won't be much fun if the Dukes keep having guys put up 25 +. What a debut for the JUCO transfer.

Parting Thoughts

Last year, the Dukes beat the Wildcats at the AJP by 19. This year they beat an improved ACU club on the road by 21. We often look for signs of where this team is compared to last year, and I think we can use this as a measuring stick to suggest they are better. The Dukes really poured it on in the second half, but this one was encouraging.