In just under two minutes, Saunders hit a trey and, after stealing the ball from St. Francis's Cale Nelson, took the rock all the way for DU's first dunk of the game, and more importantly, their first lead at 7-6.
His four steals tied his season (and career, naturally) high, first recorded in Duquesne's 86-50 win at Rice in Katy, Texas in mid-Nov.
Saunders, who was a late signee with Duquesne after Marquette released the Notre Dame Prep star from his National Letter of Intent with the Big East school, is averaging 8.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.7 steals , 1.4 blocks and 2.1 assists while shooting 55.0 percent from the floor, including 38.5 from 3-point range. Foul shooting, at 53.3 percent (8-15), trails the Dukes' 75.2 percent average.
The 6-foot-7, 205 pounder was an All-Stater at Crosby High School in Waterbury, Conn. in 2005-06 after averaging 22.5 points, 15.8 rebounds and 8.0 blocks.
He averaged 8.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and close to three blocked shots per game for 32-3 Notre Dame Prep (Mass.), last season's national prep school champion.
The Dukes, who are 50th in the early RPI with the 65th best strength of schedule, return to action on Friday, December 28th when they host area-rival Robert Morris (7-4) at 7:00 p.m. Duquesne closes the calendar year on Sunday, Dec. 30th at 5:00 p.m. against a first-year Division I school, South Carolina Upstate (2-10). Both games at the Palumbo Center on the Bluff.