Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008 • 2:00 p.m. (EST)
A.J. Palumbo Center (5,358) • Pittsburgh, Pa.
DUKES HOST FURMAN ON SUNDAY
Duquesne, which moved to 2-0 with an 83-72 win at Saint Francis on Thursday, returns home to host Furman (1-1) in a 2:00 matinee on Sunday, Nov. 23 (KQV-AM 1410). It is the second of four games in nine days for the Dukes who head to Spartanburg, S.C. on Monday morning to face South Carolina Upstate on Tuesday night. DU will then bus to Durham, N.C. to face nationally ranked Duke in an ESPN game on Friday, Nov. 28.
Duquesne's lone senior - guard Aaron Jackson - led the way in the win at Saint Francis with 20 points, seven assists and a career-high seven steals. Freshman guard Eric Evans added 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting at SFU. Bill Clark added 12 points and a career high six rebounds in a career-best 38 minutes. Duquesne defeated the Red Flash in spite of an 8-of-25 performance from the foul line.
Furman, which has been idle since Nov. 17, is 1-1 on the young season with a home win over Emory (67-51) and a loss at Charleston Southern (64-75). Sophomore guard Jordan Miller has led the way for the Paladins with a 19.0 ppg. scoring average. The Memphis native is 7-of-9 from the 3-point arc in two games. Six-ten senior forward Alex Opacic - a native of Sydney, Australia - is averaging 13.0 points and a team-best 7.5 rebounds per game. This is the second of four road games in a row for Furman which competes in the Southern Conference.
Duquesne is one of the youngest teams in the nation with eight scholarship freshmen and 12 underclassmen ... seven of the freshmen played in the season opening win over High Point and four - including Rodrigo Peggau for the first time - played on Thursday at Saint Francis, Pa. ... the Dukes, who went 8-of-25 from the foul line in their 83-72 win at SFU, are just .480 from the stripe through two games (24-of-50) ... meanwhile, opponents have missed just three of 30 free throw attempts (90.0%) ... senior G Aaron Jackson, who entered the season as the only player on the DU roster with a 20-point game (done three times as a sophomore), scored 20 points and added seven assists and a career-best seven steals at SFU ... Jackson's 35 career double-digit scoring games are eight more than the rest of the roster combined (Bill Clark 14, Saunders eight, Jason Duty & Jimmy Sherwood two each and Eric Evans one) ... DU is 23-10 when scoring 80 or more points in 61 games under Ron Everhart ... the Dukes are shooting .556 while holding opponents to .404 from the field ... DU is averaging 14.0 steals and forcing 23.5 turnovers per game ... the Dukes have assisted on 43 of 65 field goals (66.2%).
DUKES & PALADINS
This is the second meeting between Duquesne and Furman ... on Dec. 12, 1998 the Paladins defeated the Dukes 83-78 in overtime in a game played in Albany, N.Y. ... Furman is off to a 1-1 start with a 67-51 win over Emory and a 75-64 loss at Charleston Southern last Monday ... the Paladins were picked to finish fifth in the West Division of the Southern Conference by league media ... the Dukes play four in a row on the road following this afternoon's game including an ESPN nationally televised game at Duke on Nov. 28 (3:00 p.m.) ... Duquesne's next home game is Dec. 13 vs. West Virginia.
- A victory over Furman would:
- Even Ron Everhart's career record at 204-204.
- Be the second consecutive 3-0 start for the Dukes.
FOUR IN A ROW ON THE ROAD
The Dukes will pack their suitcases for their longest road trip of the year when they leave for Spartanburg, S.C. on Monday. Duquesne plays at South Carolina Upstate on Tuesday night before boarding a bus to Durham, N.C. on Wednesday for Friday's ESPN televised game at Duke. Duquesne will return to Pittsburgh Friday evening and will begin preparation for the Dec. 3 game at Pittsburgh. DU concludes the stretch of four consecutive road games at Radford on Dec. 10.
Duquesne's non-conference schedule has a distinct Carolina flair, as the Dukes will play a total of five schools from either North or South Carolina: High Point (High Point, N.C.), Furman (Greenville, S.C.), at South Carolina Upstate (Spartanburg, S.C.), at Duke (Durham, N.C.) and North Carolina Central (Durham, N.C.). The Dukes will also play Charlotte as part of the Atlantic 10 schedule. High Point and North Carolina Central are the only first-time opponents for the Dukes.
Three Connecticut natives are playing key roles for the Dukes in 2008-09. Three-year starter Aaron Jackson, a Hartford native (Northwest Catholic), is DU's top returning scorer (9.0 ppg.) and assist man (104). Jackson, who had 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the opener vs. High Point, followed that with 20 points, seven more assists and a career-high seven steals at Saint Francis, Pa. Sophomore forward Damian Saunders, who attended Waterbury Crosby High School, was a member of the 2007-08 Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team. Saunders, Duquesne's top returning rebounder (5.2 rpg.), shot blocker (39) and steals man (45), underwent successful surgery in early May to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle. He was cleared to participate in individual workouts on October 2. Saunders opened the season with a career-high 21 points and a career-best six steals vs. HPU. DU's third player from the Nutmeg State is true freshman G/F B.J. Monteiro, who was named 2008 Connecticut State Player of the Year by the Hartford Courant. Monteiro, was a freshman and Saunders a junior on a Crosby team that won a 2004-05 state title. Monteiro, who has started both games on the young season, added a second state crown last year. The Connecticut crew accounted for exactly half of Duquesne's 84 points (21 by Saunders, 14 by Jackson and 7 by Monteiro) in the opening day win over High Point.
CAREER POINT TOTALS
PLAYERS PTS Aaron Jackson 805 Rest of Team (14 players) 788
2008-09 DUKES SCORING DISTRIBUTION
(through two games)
CLASS PTS PCT First-Year Players (8) 57 34.1 Returnees (7) 110 65.9