What a great basketball game.
I hate it when folks from the more traditional realm of the media beat the drum about how long a game takes. I understand it. Going to games is work for them. Who wants to be at work any longer than they have to? Yesterday’s game vs St Joe’s seemed like it lasted the entire day, and I loved every minute. They could have played a second or a third game if they wanted and I’d have eaten it up.The game had so much drama. Huge swings in momentum. An emotional injury. Ref hating. A building that felt like it was ready to explode at any moment. If you’re at work, that game was your office, and if you can’t enjoy the extra time you spent there, it’s time for a career change.
I loved the crowd. Easily the best and most engaged since maybe the Ron Everhart days. It started off with a Let’s Go Dukes chant after the anthem led by, I believe, Jim Balog, and that set the tone for the rest of the game. I hope that becomes a thing. The players seemed to have more fun and no doubt fed on the energy. I personally think they’ve been craving it.
Pierfrancesco Oliva’s injury and his howls of pain have haunted me since the game ended. I sat about twenty feet from where he landed, and while I was surprised initially that the officials blew the whistle, I quickly figured out why when I had a quick glance at his left knee. The arena went quiet except for his agony and light chatter about how bad “it” looks. I wish him a quick recovery, and I hope to see him in uniform again.
Player of the Game
Michael Hughes both enabled the Dukes first half comeback with his post defense and sealed the game as a tired St. Joe’s front court couldn’t stop him down the stretch.
The Turning Point
St. Joe’s dominated early. I hate to say it, but Duquesne came out the better team following Oliva’s injury. St Joe’s have struggled with their bench all year, and losing a crucial depth option plus the shock of the injury seemed to carry the Dukes at least for the rest of the first half.
When I Knew It Was Over
When the Hawks simply took too long to get their first shot off on their final possession. Sure, they got the glory cover with a buzzer beater three, but they took too much time off the clock in a two possession game to give themselves a chance for the miracle comeback even if the first one fell.
Credit Where It’s Due
St. Joe’s are like the Duquesne WBB of the men’s scene. They were a preseason conference contender who still have a ton of talent even if things haven’t gone their way. If something clicks, the Hawks can still make a run in the tournament.
I want to apologize for the general lack of content on the WWTR. Our traffic has come in lower than expected and considerably lower than our first go around on Fansided. We started this up again because we expected people wanted a different source for Duquesne talk, but in the end, I’m not sure if I provided what you wanted in terms of written content. I wrote a number of formulaic entries, because they were relatively easy. I’m going to stop doing that, but we need everyone’s help. R/Ts are helpful and so are posts to forums if you enjoy our content. Any help and support you can give us is greatly appreciated. Go Dukes!