Backed by a strong defense forcing 29 turnovers, the Duquesne Dukes were able to halt the potent Massachusetts Minutemen offense and pull out an 80-69 victory at the A.J. Palumbo Center Wednesday night.â†µ
The Minutemen (14-5, 3-2 A10) were kept from scoring their average of 77.3 points per game due to many mental lapses and great defensive play from the Dukes (12-7, 3-2 A10).
On offense, Duquesne benefited from stellar play yet again from B.J. Monteiro and Sean Johnson. Monteiro scored a game-high 23 points, while Johnson scored 20 while shooting 4-of-5 from behind the arc and pulling down nine rebounds.â†µ
T.J. McConnell wrecked havoc on both ends of the floor, posting four steals while putting up 15 points.â†µ
The game would remain close throughout the night, with neither team able to take full control until the late stages.â†µ
The Minutemen would lead for most of the first half, though never by more than three points. A 5-0 run by the Dukes to end the first half would give them a 41-38 lead going into halftime.â†µ
After going up 43-38 to start the half, the Minutemen would string together an 8-0 run to go up 46-43. From there, the Dukes would finally break the game open with a 17-6 run that gave them a 50-42 lead with 10:54 to play.â†µ
Though the Minutemen would cut the deficit back down to four, the Dukes would fend off their comeback attempts, seeing their lead grow to as much as 75-63 with 2:33 to play.â†µ
While the Dukes were able to fend off what many consider to be a solid UMass squad, they face another tall task this Saturday, when they travel to the Chaifetz Arean to take on the Saint Louis Billikens. Tip off is scheduled for 8:00 P.M.