M. basketball at Duquesne

Update, 9:25 p.m….Final score: Duquesne 92, GW 65. Not much to say except that the Colonials, who are now 0-8 on the road, played some sloppy basketball and could not keep up with Duquesne’s pace and ability to shoot the ball. Karl Hobbs received a technical foul with a little less than nine minutes remaining because of something he said to a referee, GW’s third-straight game with a technical called on its head coach.

Update, 8:01 p.m….There is a reason Duquesne is third in the nation in average points per game, with 85.6. The Dukes play a very fast-paced game and one the Colonials cannot keep up with, as GW trails 53-32 at the half. The game has also been chock full of turnovers, more from sloppiness on the Colonials’ part, such as misdirected passes, although the Dukes having been pressing to the point where GW often can’t find an open player.

I’m in Pittsburgh where the men’s basketball team will be facing Duquesne. The Dukes (12-5, 2-2 Atlantic 10) are coming off an 83-67 win over St. Bonaventure and have to be one of the biggest surprises of the A-10 this season. Just a season after losing many of its players during a campus shooting and finishing with a 3-24 record, the Dukes have come back and really competed all season. Their five losses are to now-ranked Drake University, then-No. 12 Pitt, West Virginia, then-No. 22 Rhode Island and Fordham. Duquesne is also a pretty young team, starting no seniors, three juniors, a sophomore and a freshmen.

The Colonials (5-9, 1-3 A-10) are still looking for their first win on the road. They’ve also lost three games in a row, although looked much more put together in the last two, against Xavier and Rhode Island. If GW can play against the Dukes as well as they did against the other two teams, they have a good shot at winning this game. Sports Information Director Brad Bower told me that the team came right to the AJ. Palumbo Center last night upon arriving in Pittsburgh and practiced from 8 p.m. to about 10:15 p.m. before checking into the hotel. Perhaps the extra time in the gym, combined with the way the arena resembles Smith Center (see below) will give the Colonials some comfort.

The A.J. Palumbo Center, located right inside Duquesne’s main gate, is a lot like Smith Center in both structure and feel. The arena seats 5,358 and has bleachers for the student section and real seats for ticketed spectators. The main difference is that there are bleachers behind both baskets that are closer to the court than sections of seats behind the baskets at Smith Center. The student section is about half full, as is the entire arena.

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