That was one hell of a game, huh?
Duquesne finally got the monkey off of its back winning their first game at Richmond since 1993. I was in preschool then…I’m not in preschool now. And these aren’t your daddy’s Duquesne Dukes either. Wins like this show that the program is on an undeniable upward trajectory. The game looked like it was going to get away from them at multiple points but their never say die attitude shined through again.
After a rough first half from behind the arc going 2-13, Duquesne broke out going 8-16 in the second from long distance. Most notably Frank Hughes was making shots from the parking lot. Like I said up top, you have to love the never say die attitude of this team. The only games I’ve truly felt like they had no chance to come back in were the Pitt and NJIT games.
The rebounding efforts of Marcus Weathers and Michael Hughes should not go unnoticed either. Both had 9 boards helping Duquesne edge Richmond on the glass 32-30. Rebounding wasn’t the only thing Hughes did exceptionally well tonight. He also made Richmond center Grant Golden a non-factor for much of the game and even drawing a technical from the emotional big man.
The first half was an ugly wasteland for Duquesne on offense, often chucking ill-advised three’s and missing badly. They also surrendered their share of back door cuts which are a signature of the Princeton offense that most teams struggle with.
Overall, I can’t say anything negative about this team in the second half. It was a war and they were the tougher team.
Player of the Game
Sometimes it’s okay to pick the obvious player here. Sincere Carry was the best player on the floor tonight for much of the game. He was fearless taking the Niall to the rim and made precise passes to his teammates. The the stats don’t lie. He went for 21,6 & 4. The season that this kid is having is nothing short of phenomenal. Maybe the best freshman in the Atlantic 10.
Honorable mention goes to Frank Hughes who hit big shot after big shot for Duquesne in the second half. After a slow start to his Duquesne career, he has really come into his own as an offensive threat every time down the floor.
The Turning Point
The clear turning point in this game was Hughes 3 pointer to put Duquesne up 62-61. There was no hesitation in the shot. He knew when it went up that it was all net.
We also shouldn’t overlook the technical foul drawn by Michael Hughes in the first half on Golden. Richmond was up 6 and looking like they were pulling away. Duquesne then hit the technical free throws and got an easy layup which jolted them back in the game when it was threatening to get away.
When I Knew It Was Over
I wasn’t convinced this one was over until the clock hit double zeroes. With the Dukes history at Richmond, I was weary the whole night and wasn’t expecting a win. The excitement was only met by relief when the game ended.
Credit Where It’s Due
Richmond has had Duquesne’s number for a lot of years. Have to give credit to Richmond’s power forward Nathan Cayo who went for 23 and was a matchup nightmare all game for the Dukes 4 men. Jacob Gilyard also gets a shout out here as he scored for 22 points and was unguardable getting to the rim much of the night.
That was a very satisfying win on a number of levels. The first level is obvious with the Dukes finally getting a win at Richmond. The second and not as obvious is the toughness and grit that Duquesne showed tonight. This was undoubtedly a game Duquesne would have lost last year and every year under the previous regime. Duquesne’s young guys don’t play like young guys. Their mental acuity when the game is on the line is like nothing we’ve seen at Duquesne since the 08-09 season. A win Sunday at GW would be huge going into a very difficult two game home stand with Saint Louis and VCU.
Enjoy this one Dukes fans cause we’ve earned the right to enjoy these games. You can feel the tide turning for the Duquesne program much like you can feel the tide turning for the Cleveland Browns. 14 games to go and 14 more chances to the shock the conference.