ALBANY, N.Y (AP) — Saint Mary’s senior forward Alex Ducas was knocked out of Gaels’ second-round NCAA Tournament game against UConn on Sunday with a first-half back injury.
The Australian had to be helped off the court with 4:52 left in the half after going down away from the play. He was standing on the sideline opposite the Huskies’ bench when he grabbed his lower back and slowly went down to the court at MVP Arena.
Saint Mary’s trainers attended to him and he gingerly walked off the court with people supporting him. He went directly to the locker room and returned to the Gaels’ bench in the second half but it was clear he was unable to play. He could not stand up straight and gingerly lowered himself when sitting.
“His back just kind of slipped out of place,” Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett said. “It’s not the first time it’s happened. He’d done well all season, and he was really starting to play his best basketball. It’s just one of those deals. He didn’t get hit or anything. He just — I don’t know. Sometimes things like that happen.”
Without its third-leading scorer and against a deep and talented UConn team, Saint Mary’s lost 70-55.
Ducas had scored eight points in the opening 15 minutes. He came in averaging 12.6 points and 4.4 rebounds for the fifth-seeded Gaels of the West Coast Conference.
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