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Duquesne Basketball: 3 takeaways from 1st round win over BYU Cougars

Duquesne Basketball got its first NCAA Tournament win since 1969, beating the BYU Cougars this afternoon.
Duquesne v BYU
Duquesne v BYU / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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Duquesne Basketball got its first NCAA Tournament win since 1969, beating the BYU Cougars this afternoon.

If you've been watching Duquesne Basketball for the past couple of weeks, what happened with the BYU Cougars was a repeat performance. They get an early lead (up 8 at halftime), before an offensive drought allows the opponent to come back. BYU did tie the game late but thanks to a late run, the Cougars were able to hold on for the 71-67 victory.

Here are some quick takeaways from the game.

1. Duquesne's style won out

The big question was whether or not the Dukes could get this game to an area they were comfortable in; low-scoring and physical. They did that for most of the game, holding BYU to just 30 points at halftime and holding everyone not named Jaxson Robinson in check. Them shooting 8/24 (33%) from deep played a big part in them losing this tight contest.

2. Elite interior defense on Traore on Khalifa

The frontcourt of David Dixon, Dusan Mahorcic, Fousseyni Drame and Jakub Necas deserves big credit for their two-way play, limiting the frontcourt duo of Fousseyni Traore and Aly Khalifa to 11 points on 4/18 shooting. Khalifa in particular had a rough game, going scoreless and more importantly, having one assist in 17 minutes. His passing surrounded by four shooters has been what made BYU successful and Duquesne making him ineffective was a big piece to the win.

3. Star performance from Necas

Dae Dae Grant finished the game with 19 points and made some big shots early to give the Dukes the lead. But the second-highest scorer was Jakub Necas, who finished with a season-high 12 points and six rebounds, in a season-high 30 minutes played. His defense (played 4 positions) and multiple made three-pointers were big for the team in the win.

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Not too long ago, Necas was getting 2-3 minutes a game in the first half in spot-minutes for the starters. But between this and his play in the A-10 Tournament, the freshman wing has become a key part for Duquesne Basketball. They'll need him to beat Illinois on Saturday.