PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)—Coming off of a solid win over St. Bonaventure where Duquesne (10-7, 1-2) played good, fundamental basketball, something went missing in their 78-50 loss to Xavier (11-5, 2-1) tonight. Then again, scoring just 16 points in 20 minutes of play certainly doesn't help to increase a teams' chances to pull out a victory...in basketball anyway.
"I know we were 0-for-8 from the three (in the first half), I know we missed some open shots, we had some wide open looks, but that's going to happen sometimes and we have to be able to make up for it defensively," said Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart.
The Dukes weren't able to do so. They got in some early foul trouble with McConnell and junior center Andre Marhold, and players weren't getting back quick enough in the help-defense, in the post and on the perimeter.
Junior, Sean Johnson led the team with 12 points, the only member reaching double digits for the night. Sophomore Jerry Jones finished with nine points, all in the first five minutes of the second half. Sophomore guard T.J. McConnell added four assists and three steals, but only took seven shots; not enough with senior B.J. Monteiro (15.2 ppg.) still on the sidelines with an injured hand, and certainly not enough when McConnell is shooting 52.1 percent on the season. The team shot just 35.8 percent fro the field, including going 2-for-16 from beyond the arc.
Three of Xavier's five three-pointers came in the last three and a half minutes in the first half, during a 17-2 run, ending with a halfitme score of 44-16.
Xavier shot 56.1 percent from the field, had 20 assists, eight more than their average, and saw 34 points from their bench versus the Dukes' bench chipping in with just 11 points.
Freshman swingman Dez Wells had a game-high 16 points for the Musketeers and grabbed nine boards. Last year's A-10 player of the year, senior guard Tu Holloway, had a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists. Jeff Robinson and Kenny Frease added 12 and 11 points respectively. Junior Mark Lyons was held to just two points in 32 minutes of play, 14 below his season average. Xavier holds a 41-game home conference win streak after tonight.
"We allowed their guards to do everything they wanted to do. Everything they got early was dribble penetration and every time we helped we lost somebody cutting to the rim and we didn't help appropriately. Later in the half when we did help, they kicked it back out. We gave up too many open looks," Coach Everhart said.
In case you wanted to know…
- Xavier is now 3-5 since their end-of-game shenanigans with the University of Cincinnati.
- The last time the Dukes played at the Cintas Center in 2010 they were blown out, 86-50.
- Andre Marhold finished with 7 points, 7 rebounds and four blocks. Senior Eric Evans added 7 points and 3 assists.
- T.J. McConnell is second in the country in steals per game with 3.
- The Dukes travel to Rhode Island (3-13, 0-1) on Saturday, Jan. 14th at 2PM.
- It is not known whether senior swingman B.J. Monteiro, who has missed the past three games for the Dukes with stitches in his left hand, will play on Saturday.
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