Monday, Dec. 22, 2008 • 7:00 p.m. (EST)
A.J. Palumbo Center (5,358) • Pittsburgh, Pa.
N.C. CENTRAL VISITS IN FINAL PRE-CHRISTMAS GAME
This is the third of three games in six days for the Dukes who snapped a two-game losing streak with the win over Rice. It is also the fourth of four consecutive home games for the DU.
North Carolina Central, which is in its second season as a Division I Independent, is 0-8 on the road this season. The Eagles have played just twice at home. Vincent Davis leads three NCCU players who are scoring in double figures with a 13.2 ppg. average. Freshman Jamar Briscoe has two of the three highest scoring games posted by an Eagle this season including 26 vs. High Point on Dec. 3.
Bob Cousy Award nominee (nation's top collegiate point guard) Aaron Jackson leads the Dukes with a 16.8 ppg. scoring average. Jackson, DU's lone senior, is averaging 5.8 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 2.4 steals per game. He is shooting .588 from the field. Sophomore forward Damian Saunders (15.3 ppg.) leads DU in rebounding (7.4 rpg.) and blocks (19). He is shooting .592.
The Dukes will break for Christmas following the NCCU game and will return to action on Sunday, Dec. 28 at Robert Morris.
- Duquesne, one of the youngest teams in the nation with eight scholarship freshmen and 12 underclassmen, snapped a two-game losing streak with an 80-64 win over Rice on Saturday
- Senior G Aaron Jackson - one of 34 preseason Bob Cousy Award nominees - led DU with 16 points ... he added 7 rebounds and 8 points in 33 minutes
- The Dukes had five double-digit scorers against the Owls with freshman Melquan Bolding (14 points) and sophomore David Theis (9 points) posting new career highs
- Sophomore F Damian Saunders has 18 rebounds in his past two games (9 each vs. Old Dominion & Rice) ... he leads the Dukes a 7.4 rpg.
- Either Jackson or Saunders has led the Dukes in scoring in nine of 10 games
- Freshman Eric Evans averaged 14.5 points on 11-of-15 shooting in two games last week to earn A-10 Rookie of the Week honors for a second time (11/23 & 12/21) ... he had a career-high 18 points vs. Old Dominion (8-of-11)
- DU's four losses have come to teams with a combined 36-6 record (Duke is 10-1, Pitt is 12-0, WVU is 8-2 and Old Dominion 6-3)
This is the first meeting between Duquesne and North Carolina Central, which is in its second season as a Division I Independent ... the Eagles' 2008-09 schedule includes 21 road games covering approximately 25,344 miles in 14 states ... NCCU has a storied history at the Division II level including six trips to the NCAA playoffs ... the Eagles won a regional title in 1993 and National Championship in 1989 ... North Carolina Central has produced two Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers in legendary Boston Celtic Sam Jones (1954-57) and former head coach John B. McLendon.
QUICK PLAYER NOTES
- Freshman Melquan Bolding joined the starting lineup on Dec. 3 at Pitt ... scored all of his nine points in the first five minutes of the win at Radford ... also recorded season highs for assists (3) and steals (3) at RU ... scored a career-best 14 vs. Rice ... has scored seven points four times including at both Duke and Pitt ... he has also pulled down a season-best six rebounds twice ... is third on the team with 13 offensive boards ... played a season-high 28 minutes at Pitt and 23 more at Radford ... is 7-of-10 from the foul line in DU's past two games
- Sophomore Bill Clark has started all 10 games ... second on the team with 30 assists, including a career-best six at Saint Francis ... his three high scoring games of the season have come at home (14 points each vs. High Point and Furman and 13 vs. WVU) ... broke a streak of three consecutive single-digit scoring games with 10 at Radford and followed that by hitting 3-of-10 3-pointers in scoring 13 in a career-high 40 minutes vs. West Virginia ... has hit two or more 3-pointers in a game five times
- Junior Jason Duty, who entered the USC Upstate game averaging 4.7 ppg., scored all of his career high 17 points in the first 13 minutes ... went 4-of-6 from the 3-point arc in posting his third career double-digit scoring game vs. the Spartans ... his previous scoring high was 13 set as a freshman vs. Dayton ... is 14-of-14 from the foul line this season and 35-of-40 (.875) for his career ... has started all 10 games, and hit at least one 3-pointer in eight of them ... broke out of a four-game 2-of-15 3-point shooting slump to hit 5-of-10 from the arc in DU's past two games
- Freshman Eric Evans has scored in double digits five times (18 vs. Old Dominion, 16 at Saint Francis, Pa., 15 at Radford, 14 vs. Furman and 11 vs. Rice) ... was named A-10 co-Rookie of the Week following the SFU game ... leads DU's eight freshmen in minutes/g. at 23.4 ... followed his first scoreless game of the season (vs. West Virginia) with a season-high 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting vs. ODU ... scored all of his 11 points vs. Rice in 16 second-half minutes ... has hit at least one 3-pointer in eight games ... became the first player other than Aaron Jackson or Damian Saunders to lead the Dukes in scoring when he posted 18 points vs. Old Dominion
- Aaron Jackson, the Dukes only senior and only scholarship upperclassman, leads team scoring (16.8 ppg.), assists (61, 6.1 apg.) and steals (24, 2.4 spg.) and is second in rebounding (5.8 rpg.) ... shooting .588 from field ... was 2-of-13 from the 3-point arc before hitting 5-of-6 in scoring a career-high 36 points at Radford ... went 15-of-17 from the field vs. RU for the best shooting performance by a DU player since Ruben Montanez went 15-of-17 in a win over Saint Peter's on Feb. 17, 1973 ... followed that with 19 vs. West Virgina to earn Atlantic 10 co-Player of the Week honors (12/14) ... has a 2.3-to-1 assist/turnover ratio (61-27) ... has made five more free throws (38-of-48) than any other DU player has attempted (Damian Saunders is 19-of-33) ... has flirted with a triple-double on four occasions (20 points, 7 assists & 7 steals at Saint Francis, Pa., 20 points, 10 rebounds & 6 assists in 28 minutes vs. Furman, 8 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists vs. Old Dominion and 16 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists vs. Rice) ... his seven steals at Saint Francis, Pa. tied the second-highest total in school history ... became the 13th player in school history to post 10 or more assists in a game with a career-high 10 at USC Upstate ... averaging a team-high 35.3 minutes/g.
- Freshman Oliver Lewinson has played in seven games ... has logged double digit minutes three times including three times in DU's past four games (11 at Pitt, 12 at Radford and 10 vs. Old Dominion) ... had four points and three boards at Radford ... added three more rebounds vs. ODU
- Freshman Aleksandar Milovic logged a total of 11 minutes in two games before playing a season-high 19 at Pitt ... saw the added time due to injuries to two fellow forwards (David Thies, bruised kidney & Rodrigo Peggau, sore knee - were both not in uniform at Pitt) ... did not play at Radford or vs. WVU before seeing five minutes of action vs. ODU ... has scored two points and has three rebounds in four games played
- Freshman B.J. Monteiro started the first five games before providing a spark off the bench in the past five ... posted season highs for points (7) and rebounds (4) in the opener vs. High Point ... has come off the bench to score 17 points in 43 total minutes in Duquesne's past five games
- Freshman Shawntez Patterson has played in one game (one minute vs. High Point)
- Freshman Rodrigo Peggau played in four games before his season was ended prematurely by Dec. 18 right knee surgery ... underwent surgery on the knee in May and had a scope done Sept. 15 ... looked to be coming around, scoring five points in 19 seconds at Saint Francis and following that with eight points and seven rebounds in 16 minutes vs. Furman before knee pain took its toll ... will apply for a medical hardship waiver at the conclusion of the season
- Freshman Chase Robinson has played in six games with a season-high 13 minutes vs. Furman ... scored five in the opener vs. High Point ... has yet to commit a turnover ... 1-of-4 from the 3-point arc
- Sophomore Damian Saunders leads the team in rebounding (7.4 rpg.) and is second in scoring (15.3 ppg.) ... has a team-best 30 offensive rebounds ... has scored in double digits in nine of 10 games (season-opening streak of eight-straight ended with nine points vs. Old Dominion) ... has scored 20 or more three times (21 vs. High Point, 20 at USC Upstate & a career-high 22 at Duke) ... had a career-high six steals vs. High Point and tied his career high with four blocks at Pitt ... is shooting better from the field (.592) than he is from the foul line (19-of-33, .576) ... has two double-doubles (20-12 at Upstate and 22-10 at Duke) ... named A-10 co-Player of the Week following the Duke game (11/30) ... has led the team in scoring four times and in rebounding eight times
- Sophomore David Theis was averaging 14.2 minutes in DU's first five games before being sidelined with a bruised kidney ... suffered the injury at USC Upstate and played a career-high 27 minutes at Duke before experiencing discomfort ... had seven points at Duke also tied his career best with two steals vs. the Blue Devils ... missed the next two games at Pitt and at Radford ... was cleared to practice on Dec. 10 ... scored eight points in a career-best 34 minutes in his return game vs. WVU ... went 2-of-2 from the 3-point arc against the Mountaineers ... added a new career-high nine points and career-best five rebounds vs. Rice ... has set a new career scoring high in three of his last four games played (7 at Duke, 8 vs. WVU and 9 vs. Rice) ... shooting .519 from the field (4-of-8 from the 3-point arc).