Dukes’ strong first half prevails in opener

By Julian Routh | News Editor

A strong first half was too much to handle for Abilene Christian in Duquesne’s season opening 94-75 win on Saturday.

The Dukes, who got off to a 12-0 start, shot 55.2 percent from the field in the first half and outrebounded the Wildcats 25-16.

Coach Jim Ferry said his team, who led 54-29 at half, was “locked in defensively” in the first 20 minutes.

“I thought we came out with great focus. Great energy and aggressiveness,” Ferry said. “I thought we set the tone for the how the game was going to be played.”

Duquesne stepped off the gas defensively in the second half and allowed ACU to shoot at a near 17 percent better rate. However, the first half margin was too wide for the Wildcats to overcome.

Sophomore guard Derrick Colter led the way with 23 points and fifth year senior transfer Ovie Soko recorded a double-double.

But even Soko noticed the problems in the second half, and said the team needs to play with intensity for the full 40 minutes.

“I think we started off the game with a lot of energy,” Soko said. “In the second half, we dropped off a lot.”