Feb 23 / Rob

Duke Suffer Tough Loss on One of Those Nights

The Dukes dropped a home game to Hofstra by the score of 77-61. For most of the second half the Dutchmen (that’s right) lead hovered around 20. In short, it was not a great game. It was never really in doubt actually. We’d love to really ignore it, but we get paid to write about, so here goes. (Wait, we don’t get paid for this? Kind of makes us question the last 9 years.)

We could rant and rave (like we’ve been known to do), but the truth is that this is just one loss. It was a rather ugly loss in a lot of ways, but it was just one loss. Hofstra is a solid team and the Dukes mumps-adjusted schedule caught up with them. JMU looked a little sluggish out of the gate, and Eli Pemberton made them pay. Ironically enough, Hofstra stormed out to a big lead, despite getting pretty much nothing from Justin Wright-Foreman, the CAA’s leading scorer. That’s not to say that he didn’t play well. He simply didn’t need to do much, because the rest of the team was knocking down shots with ease. He got his in the second half though, and finished in double figures for the umpteenth time in a row.

Overall, it was just a bad night for Lou Rowe’s squad. There’s really no need to break it down much further, which is good because I need to leave for work. The defense, which has improved so much all year, was a sieve for most of the first half. Hofstra’s players drove to the bucket with virtually no resistance. And the Dukes, who aren’t exactly the Golden State Warriors when it comes to shooting, had a particularly poor night from the field. As a team, JMU went 5 for 20 from long range. They definitely didn’t lose because of the refs, but the officials didn’t do them any favors either. And the few times they looked poised to make a run, they caught questionable whistles.

To virtually nobody’s surprise, Matt Lewis still played well in the loss. He paced JMU with 23 points. Perhaps more importantly, he showed some fire as a competitor. While fans like us had declared the game over shortly after the break, he never let up. And we don’t know if there’s such a thing as a good technical, but the one he drew for being a little too pumped up after a basket might have qualified. The kid can flat out play and he showed last night that he’s never going to go down quietly. We sound like a broken record, but the future is bright with this kid on the roster. Last night was just one of those nights. The shots didn’t fall and the defense was flat. It stinks, but it happens. Rowe and the Dukes have a chance to right the ship on Saturday versus a Delaware team that had an absolutely epic and demoralizing collapse against Drexel.

Leave a Comment