That was a disappointing result to a generally well played game by the Dukes.
Dayton aren’t an incredibly experienced team, but they made fewer mistakes as the game got into crunch time than the Dukes. Duquesne had no answer for Obi Toppin who almost single handedly won the game for the Flyers. Jalen Crutcher coming alive from three certainly didn’t hurt (them).
Duquesne never looked intimidated in a tough building. They limited turnovers and made some huge shots in the first half. The crowd was QWIET more than LOWD for the first twenty-five plus minutes. They also hit 75% from the FT line even if they only got there eight times (seriously? 8 times?).
I thought the Dukes played pretty selfishly at times. Normally advanced beyond his year, Carry got into some sticky situations. In the first, he was almost trying to post up on a few occasions only to get trapped. He didn’t turn it over, but took bad shots that might as well have been turnovers. He finished with a very inefficient fifteen points. He could’ve had a double – double with assists today if he had just taken five to six fewer shots. The Dukes probably win in that scenario. Frankie Hughes took some poor second half threes and should have looked for his teammates.
Player of the Game
It was clearly Obi Toppin, but since we talk Duquesne hoops here, I have to give Eric Williams Jr. credit for getting his grove back a little today. He’s struggled to hit open shots in the last few weeks, but he was money tonight and killed the offensive glass
The Turning Point
Dayton picked up the momentum when Dwayne Cohill knocked down their first three of the game a decent chunk into the second half. Jalen Crutcher took the Cohill make as a sign that hitting jump shots was possible and he led the charge back with three big ones in a row.
When I Knew It Was Over
I didn’t feel great after the side out call went against Michael Hughes, but the Dukes gave themselves two opportunities to tie. The first was an awkward looking but open three by Carry, and the second resulted in the teams tenth turnover before they could find a shot.
Credit Where It’s Due
I could really just repeat my opening paragraph here, but I like the poise and confidence of a winning program Dayton showed. I think Duquesne believes they’ll win every game, but I have no doubt the Flyers believe they will, too. This is going to be a very fun double for the foreseeable future.
The Dukes are through the meat grinder of the middle section of their conference schedule. While they have to go on the road for five of the remaining nine games , they only have two games against teams currently occupying a top four spot. They close the season at home against Dayton in a match up that could ultimately decide who gets the bye.