Dukes Rebound With 80-64 Victory over Rice

Duquesne's men's basketball team, with a brief return to the uptempo "10-40" style of the last two seasons, returned to form Saturday afternoon with an 80-64 victory over Rice at the Palumbo Center.

Box Score

The Duquesne jerseys may have been worn by the same people who lost to Old Dominion by 26 points Wednesday night, but the players were different. This was more like the running, pressing, passing team that DU fans have become familiar with in the Coach Ron Everhart era.

The "10-40" is a hockey line type substitution of five players for five players every three minutes or so designed to take advantage of Duquesne's speed and athleticism. Coach Everhart had been using a shorter bench of eight or nine this season. But after the uncharacteristic lackadaisical play earlier in the week, a pick-me-up was in order.

It worked. After a kick start, the Dukes returned to more traditional changes seven minutes in. The win over the Conference USA squad stopped a two-game losing streak and raised DU's non-conference record to 6-4.

One of the turn-arounds: DU had a 34-26 rebounding edge today after losing that battle the last six games,

Senior Aaron Jackson led five Duquesne players in double figures with 16 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. The Atlantic 10 Conference Co-Player of the Week was 6-of-8 from the floor including 2-of-3 beyond the arc and made both free throws.

Freshman Melquan Bolding scored a career-high 14 points and sophomore Damian Saunders put in 13 to go along with a game-best nine rebounds. Freshman Eric Evans, who tallied a career best 18 against Old Dominion, scored 11 this afternoon. Junior Jason Duty added 10.

The Dukes shot 53.2 percent (25/47) from the floor with 8-of-22 coming from three-point range (36.4%). While the team hit 16-of-20 (80.0%) from the line in the first half, DU ended up 22-of-31 for the game (70.6%).

After Suleiman Braimoh's layup at 12:15 of the first half cut Duquesne's lead to 16-15, the Dukes put together a 9-2 run for a 25-17 edge with 7:30 remaining before the break.

Duquesne extended the margin to as many as 10 points before settling for a 40-34 lead at the first half buzzer.

Rice never got within those six points in the second half. Sophomore David Theis, who scored a career-high nine points, hit a foul line jumper and a trey and Jackson turned a defesnive rebound into a fastbreak dunk by Saunders for a 7-0 run that gave DU its biggest lead of 16 (also the final spread) at 68-52 with 4:27 left to play.

Lucas Kuipers led 4-5 Rice with 16 points. Braimach added 12 and Cory Pflieger scored 11 points and pulled down a team-high five rebounds. Center Trey Stanton led with four assists.

The Owls shot almost as well from long distance as they did anywhere on the court. RU hit 10-of-25 3-pointers (40.0 percent) and made 41.2% (21/51) overall.

Duquesne completes the pre-Christmas schedule Monday evening, December 22, 2008, against North Carolina Central at 7:00 p.m. in the Palumbo Center.

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