The big question facing the Duquesne Dukes tonight was whether or not they would be able to handle the frantic pace of VCU's "havoc" defense when the two teams met at the Consol Energy Center.
Um, that would be no.
Not even close, actually.
The 22nd-ranked Rams' full-court pressure took the Dukes right out of the game almost from the start, and by the time the Dukes knew what hit them they trailed by 20 en route to an ugly, 90-63, loss.
VCU was simply too fast, played even faster, and had far too many weapons for the Dukes, who trailed 44-18 at the half and went into the locker room looking shell-shocked.
The Rams started slow offensively and as a result led only 13-12 with 14 minutes left in the first half.
But VCU caught fire and quickly turned the game into a laugher with a 26-2 run over the next 11 minutes, and once the Dukes finally broke through and scored again, the game was for all intents and purposes, over.
And then the Rams ended all doubt about the outcome with a 14-6 run to start the second half.
VCU (16-3, 4-0 in Atlantic 10) was led by Rob Brandenberg with 22 points and Treveon Graham, who scored 20 points. The Dukes (7-11, 0-4) were led by Derrick Colter (15 points), Quevyn Winters (12 points) and Sean Johnson, who scored 11.
Duquesne has now lost six games in a row and seven of eight.
Paul Zeise: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @paulzeise.