Duquesne routed at No. 15 Butler
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INDIANAPOLIS — Duquesne and Butler are two programs on opposite end of the college basketball spectrum.
It showed Tuesday.
Duquesne was looking for its second consecutive road win, but the No. 15 Bulldogs quickly erased those hopes in a 68-49 win, as the Dukes lost for the 13th time in the last 14 games.
“We played really hard tonight but I think we were out-talented,” Duquesne coach Jim Ferry said. “That's one of the best defensive teams, they're extremely disciplined.”
The Dukes (8-18, 1-11 Atlantic 10) nearly kept it a competitive game early, trailing 20-14 with under six minutes to play in the first half.
Butler freshman Kellen Dunham got hot, scoring a total of eight points on three consecutive possessions, as part of a 16-6 run that led to a 36-22 halftime lead for the Bulldogs.
“They're so balanced as a team offensively you can't just focus on one guy and then it allows each guy to play to his strengths,” Ferry said. “I don't think there is a kid on that team that tries to do something they can't do.”
The Bulldogs (22-5, 9-3) put the game away early in the second half, scoring on seven of their first 10 possessions to take a 52-33 lead.
Duquesne's zone defense didn't work against Butler, as the Bulldogs shot 44 percent from the field and 48 percent from 3-point range. They made 7 of 14 from beyond the arc in the decisive first half.
Duquesne, coming off an upset victory at Temple on Saturday, didn't have enough offense to keep pace. The Dukes shot 37 percent from the field and just 24 percent from 3-point range.
It was just the third time this season the Dukes failed to score at least 50 points. The others were a 57-43 loss to North Dakota State on Nov. 20 and a 66-45 loss to Pitt on Dec. 5.
“They're a very disciplined team and over-help on all drives, making it really hard to get into the lane,” said Duquesne freshman Jeremiah Jones, who finished with nine points. “Against a team like that you really have to do kick-outs and we didn't do a very good job of that in the first half. But give them credit because they're a very well-coached team.”
Butler's size allowed it to hold a 36-28 edge in rebounding, as Duquesne managed just six offensive rebounds.
“We couldn't sniff an offensive rebound,” Ferry said.
Derrick Colter scored 11 points and was the only Duquesne player to reach double figures.
Rotnei Clarke led Butler with 16 points, while Khyle Marshall added 14 and Dunham had 11.
“They're a pretty good team but I think we'll be there one day,” Jeremiah Jones said.
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