Duquesne put up a fight against the University of Massachusetts last night, but wasn’t able to cash in late to sneak out with a win. Minutemen won and will face top seeded Temple on Friday in Atlantic City, N.J.
There were eight ties and 14 lead changes and a stretch late in the second half where it looked like the Dukes were going to get it done.
From today’s PG: "Duquesne dumped in first round: Minutemen strong down the stretch, outlast Dukes in fast-paced game, 92-83."
That, of course, ended the A-10 season for the Dukes at 16-15, and 7-10 against Atlantic 10 opponents.
For those of you waiting 30-plus years for a ride to the NCAA tournament, this has to be another disappointing ending to add to the list.
Duquesne lost six of seven games to end the year, and no matter how or why, that’s not good. It dropped them into that No. 9 seed spot, which sent them on the road and we saw how important it was to get a home game in the first round.
All of the home teams won in last night's first round around the A-10: UMass, Saint Joseph's, Dayton and La Salle.
Even a small run in the A-10 tourney could have helped to erase that late season slide.
Of course the Dukes will lose seniors B.J. Monteiro and Eric Evans, both 1,000 point scorers and key contributors.
Maybe the only plus of having a small senior class is that the Dukes only lose a small senior class. But both were key pieces to the team though, even though Evans hit a late shooting slump.
Monteiro finishes as the team’s leading scorer with 14.8 points a game, and as the top rebounder with 5.4 a game.
From a leadership and attitude standpoint both players will be sorely missed. Coach Ron Everhart said the other day Evans in particular is a guy he would like to have back on his coaching staff one day when his post-college career comes to an end.
***Here is a quick quote from Masslive.com on what Coach Derek Kellogg had to say after the game:
"That team played well, I thought Duquesne came at us with everything they had, took a lead late in the second half and I thought the guys on the team made a concerted effort to try and win the basketball game. To have the crowd into it the way it was, that was a big-time ending and I thought it was a big-time college atmosphere.''