By Joseph Sykes | Sports Editor
The Duquesne men’s basketball team improved their overall record to 2-0 with a blowout win Monday night over the New Orleans Privateers 95-75 at the A.J. Palumbo Center.
Straight from the opening tipoff, the Dukes jumped on New Orleans, as L.G. Gill, Derrick Colter and Micah Mason nailed three-straight from behind the arc for the club’s first nine points. By the end of the half, the Red & Blue tallied a 3-point percentage of 61.5 percent, knocking down 8 of 13. Duquesne made 14 threes in the game and had a field-goal percentage of 61 percent.
The highlight of the matchup was Mason’s dominating performance both from the 3-point line and from the paint. In the first half alone, the senior sharpshooter tallied 13 points, nine of which were 3-pointers. Mason, who led the team in scoring, completed the game with 28 total points – a career high.
When asked about how refreshing it was to find an early-season rhythm, Mason said it was all about teamwork.
“We just got to continue to follow the game plan and stay focused each and every game,” Mason said. “Because next, we have a Big-10 team in Penn State and it’s just the same focus each and every game.”
Head coach Jim Ferry, however, was proud to talk about Mason’s stellar performance.
“With Micah, he’s not just a 3-point shooter. He’s a deadly 3-point shooter, don’t get me wrong, but the kid really knows how to play,” Ferry said. “He can break guys off the dribble, make layups and get fouled. This is the way we need Micah to play. It will help us tremendously.”
Heading into the final frame, the Dukes kept their hot hand, but did suffer some adversity after freshman Nakye Sanders fell awkwardly to the floorboards. The good news, however, is that Sanders’ injury may only be a tweaked knee, according to Ferry.
In the opening two games this season, the Dukes were able to find a way to score at least 95 points (They scored 96 in their opener against Seton Hill on Friday). While his squad is excelling in the scoring department, Ferry believes they need to continue to get better day in and day out, especially on defense.
“It’s all early season basketball,” he said. “ We got to keep focusing on ourselves, keep focusing on getting better. We’re better than we are defensively then at this time last year. But we’re not where we should be and we’re not where we want to be.”
The Dukes continue their home stand this Friday night at 7 p.m. when they take on the Penn State Nittany Lions at CONSOL Energy Center. After that, the Red & Blue take a trip down south to the Sunshine state for the annual Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Florida. They’ll face Pepperdine in the first round of the tourney next Monday.