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UMass Vs. Duquesne: Dukes Slow Down Minutemen

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.

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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).

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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.

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T.J. McConnell wrecked havoc on both ends of the floor, posting four steals while putting up 15 points.

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The game would remain close throughout the night, with neither team able to take full control until the late stages.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.