Georgia Tech (10-3) ended Duquesne’s (10-3) four-game win steak tonight at the McCamish Pavillon in Atlanta, Georgia, 73-67. Do not let the score fool you, Duquesne, at many points in this back and forth matchup, had an opportunity to take a stranglehold of this game and grab a win.
Led by Micah Mason’s offensive display, the Dukes were scrapping with the Yellow Jackets up until the very last second. Look at the stats: Seven ties and 11 lead changes show just how close this matchup was for both teams, despite Georgia Tech being a member of the basketball-heavy ACC.
Ultimately, Georgia Tech was able to halt Duquesne’s up-tempo offense to a tee, after the Dukes piled on 15 fast break points early compared to the Yellow Jackets’ measly two points.
What led to Duquesne’s demise: They were unable to record a single bucket from the 8:25 mark until there was 2:22 left in the second half — downright ridiculous. Adding to the Dukes’ deficiencies was GT’s Adam Smith, who knocked down a few three-balls when the teams were still nodded up, began a 12-0 run for the Yellow Jackets.
“Those back-to-back threes by Smith really hurt us,” says Dukes’ head coach Jim Ferry.
Marcus Georges-Hunt (20 points), a Georgia Tech guard, and Nick Jacobs (14 points) were the reinforcement for the Yellow Jackets to stay competitive in a game that the Dukes were leading in for much of the first half.
However, another aspect that played into the Yellow Jackets’ favor was free throws. Georgia Tech was able to score at an extremely higher rate: 17-4.
Offensively for the Dukes, with the exception of Mason, Eric James and Darius Lewis, Duquesne was not able to create much in terms of substantial offensive stability tonight.
James was making his first career start for the Dukes — because of Jeremiah Jones’ season-ending ACL tear — and did not disappoint. He went 4-8 from the field while putting up 11 points and setting a personal career-high with 11 rebounds; Lewis was 4-7 with nine points for Duquesne.
Mason, a three-point specialist, was able to produce a spark at any point for the Dukes by knocking down a three from practically anywhere on the floor. That includes a first half shot that was about six to eight feet behind the arc, which gave Duquesne a 36-35 lead at the half.
In spite of a strong first half, Duquesne seemed as if they lost a step or two in the second half, including star point guard Derrick Colter; he went 1-10 from the field in the second half. Many of the Duke’s strong shooters had the same fate as Colter.
When it comes to losing to Georgia Tech, coach Ferry said, “Our guys fought hard, but I think we got a little run down. That is a credit to them.”
Following three days of practice after this loss, Duquesne will open up Atlantic 10 play as they host the Dayton Flyers (9-2) on their floor, the Palumbo Center, this Saturday at 2:30 pm. The game will be available for viewing nationally on NBCSN.
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