Dukes Host Charlotte in A-10 Opener Wednesday

Duquesne (9-4), winner of four in a row, hosts Charlotte (5-7) on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the Atlantic 10 opener for both schools.

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CHARLOTTE (5-7, 0-0) at DUQUESNE (9-4, 0-0)
Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2008 • 7:00 p.m. (EST)
A.J. Palumbo Center (5,358) • Pittsburgh, Pa.

DUQUESNE RADIO: KQV-AM (1410) with Ray Goss & George Von Benko
STREAMING AUDIO: RedZoneMedia.com
ADDITIONAL MEDIA: Live stats and video available at www.GoDuquesne.com

DUKES HOST CHARLOTTE IN A-10 OPENER

Duquesne (9-4), winner of four in a row, hosts Charlotte (5-7) on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 7:00 p.m. (KQV-AM 1410) in the Atlantic 10 opener for both schools. This marks the second straight year the Dukes will open league play at home after starting on the road for seven consecutive seasons from 2000-01 through 2006-07. DU is 16-15 in A-10 openers, including an 11-5 mark when opening at home.

DU finished non-conference play with a 76-65 home win over Bowling Green on Dec. 31. The Dukes won nine pre-January games for the second consecutive year under Ron Everhart. The nine pre-New Year's wins are the second-most in school history (the 1953-54 Dukes were 10-0 as of Jan. 1). DU has also put together back-to-back winning non-conference records for the first time since 1993 & 1994.

Aaron Jackson - the Jan. 4 Atlantic 10 Player of the Week - leads the Dukes with a 17.0 ppg. scoring average. Jackson, DU's lone senior, averaged 16.5 points, 7.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals in Duquesne's two wins last week. Sophomore forward Damian Saunders (15.5 ppg.) leads DU in rebounding (7.7 rpg.) and blocks (28).

Charlotte, which saw its four-game win streak snapped by an 85-75 loss at Maryland on Saturday, has four double digit scorers led by Lamont Mack at 11.9 ppg. Rashad Coleman (11.3 ppg.) led Charlotte with 21 points against the Terps.

DUQUESNE LATELY

  • Duquesne, one of the youngest teams in the nation with eight scholarship freshmen and 12 underclassmen, has won four in a row
  • DU has had a pair of five-game streaks and one six-game win streak under current head coach Ron Everhart ... Everhart's teams own three of the nine longest winning streaks posted by Duquesne teams since 1969-70
  • Senior G Aaron Jackson (17.0 ppg.) - one of 34 preseason Bob Cousy Award nominees (nation's top collegiate point guard) - will be playing in his 100th (of a possible 100) career game ... Jackson needs eight points to become Duquesne's 32nd 1,000-point scorer
  • Either Jackson or soph F Damian Saunders (15.5 ppg.) has led the Dukes in scoring in 11 of 13 games ... Saunders (.620) and Jackson (.576) both began the week ranked among the top 35 nationally in field goal pct.
  • Sophomore G/F Bill Clark is coming off a career-high 21 point game vs. Bowling Green ... DU's four losses have come to teams with a combined 45-7 record (Duke 12-1, Pitt 14-0, WVU 11-2 & Old Dominion 8-4)
  • Duquesne's 19 non-conference victories over the past two seasons (DU was 10-3 last year) are the most in back-to-back years since 1980 (11-6) & 1981 (8-8)

THE SERIES

This is the seventh meeting between Duquesne and fourth-year Atlantic 10 member Charlotte ... the 49ers lead the series 5-1, including a 2-1 mark in games played at Pittsburgh ... the Dukes are 0-3 in Atlantic 10 games between the two ... on Dec. 1, 1993, Jeff Mullins' 49ers defeated John Carroll's Dukes 81-58 at Charlotte Coliseum ... later that season, Duquesne returned the favor with a 75-73 win at the Palumbo Center in the opening round of the NIT ... in December 1994 Charlotte defeated Duquesne 79-70 at the Palumbo Center to complete a home-and-home series ... in the first A-10 meeting, Charlotte defeated Duquesne 77-71 at Charlotte ... two years ago, Charlotte defeated the Dukes 99-90 in Pittsburgh ... DU senior Aaron Jackson was scoreless in 19 minutes in that game ... Jason Duty, the only other current roster member who played in that game, had two points in 17 minutes ... last year, Duquesne, down two with 1:42 to go, couldn't close the gap in an 89-82 loss at Charlotte ... Bill Clark was Duquesne's top returning scorer in that game with 14 points ... DU, which entered last year's game having had five players foul out in its first 26 games, had three players disqualified on the afternoon.

    A victory at Charlotte would:
    • Snap a four-game Duquesne series losing streak and be DU's first win over the 49ers in Atlantic 10 play.
    • Give the Dukes a 1-0 start in conference play for the second consecutive season.

STRAIGHT-SHOOTERS

Duquesne began the week as one of two schools in the country with two players ranked among the nation's top 35 in field goal percentage. Sophomore forward Damian Saunders started the week ranked 16th at .620 and senior guard Aaron Jackson was 33rd at .576. Saunders has gone 19-of-26 (.731) from the field in his past three games. Jackson - a career .512 shooter, saw in percentage "dip" to .576 with a 5-of-11 effort versus Bowling Green. South Carolina State's Jason Johnson (.663) and Jason Flagler (.608) are the only other teammates in the Top 35. Jackson began the week as the third-best shooting guard in the nation behind Flagler (20th) and Paul Delaney III of UAB (22nd at .602).

UP AND DOWN VS. BGSU

Duquesne's 76-65 win over Bowling Green on Dec. 31 was truly a tale of two halves. The Dukes scored a season-low 26 first half points on 28.1 percent shooting in falling behind 33-26 and followed that by scoring a season-high 50 points in the second half (on 64.0 percent shooting) to erase 10-point deficit. DU's second-half point total was particularly impressive considering that Bowling Green entered the game holding opponents to 61.1 ppg.

WINNING BIG

Duquesne's nine wins have all come by double digit margins ranging from 10 to 29. The Dukes have won their games by an average margin of +17.8 ppg.

TURNAROUND ON THE GLASS

The Dukes, who were outrebounded 138 to 87 (that's 46.0 to 29.0, -17.0/g.) in the three games prior to their four-game winning streak, have outrebounded their past four opponents 157-111 (39.3 to 27.8, +11.5/g.).

QUICK PLAYER NOTES

  • Freshman Melquan Bolding, who joined the starting lineup on Dec. 3 at Pitt, has established a new career scoring high in two of DU's past four games (14 vs. Rice and 16 at Robert Morris) ... totaled 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 ... went 4-of-6 from the 3-point arc and matched his steals high (3) at Robert Morris ... added 10 points vs. Bowling Green ... he has pulled down a season-best six rebounds three times ... is third on the team with 19 offensive boards
  • Sophomore Bill Clark, who has started all 12 games, scored 18 of his career-high 21 points against Bowling Green in the second half to help Duquesne erase a 10-point deficit in a 76-65 win ... was 7-of-8 from the field - including 4-of-4 from the 3-point in the second half vs. BGSU ... the four 3-pointers tied his career high set last year against USC Upstate ... is second on the team with 41 assists, including a career-best six at Saint Francis & at Robert Morris ... had 41 assists in 30 games last season ... his four high scoring games this season have come at home (21 vs. Bowling Green, 14 vs. High Point & Furman and 13 vs. WVU) ... has scored in double digits eight times ... hit 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 six times ... leads the team in 3-pointers made with 22
  • Junior Jason Duty, who entered the season with two career double-digit scoring games, has reached double figures in three of DU's past four outings ... entered the Nov. 25 USC Upstate game averaging 4.7 ppg. before scoring all of his career high 17 points in the first 13 minutes ... went 4-of-6 from the 3-point arc vs. the Spartans ... his previous scoring high was 13 set as a freshman vs. Dayton ... added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists vs. NC Central and 11 at Robert Morris ... is 19-of-20 from the foul line this season and 40-of-46 (.870) for his career ...made his first 14 free throws of the season before missing his first attempt vs. NCCU ... has started all 13 games, and hit at least one 3-pointer in 11 of them ... broke out of a four-game 2-of-15 3-point shooting slump to hit 10-of-22 from the arc in DU's past five games ... is second on the team lead with 19 3-pointers (.373) ... made 14 3-pointers in each of his first two seasons at DU
  • Freshman Eric Evans has come off the bench to win or share Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors three times ... has scored in double digits six times with a career high of 19 vs. North Carolina Central (10-of-12 from the line) ... was named ROW for the third time after the Dec. 22 NCCU game ... earned rookie honors for the first time (11/23) after scoring 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting at Saint Francis, Pa. ... named ROW for a second time (12/21) after averaging 14.5 ppg. on .733 shooting (11-of-15) in games against Old Dominion and Rice ... followed his first scoreless game of the season (vs. West Virginia) with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting vs. ODU ... scored all of his 11 points vs. Rice in 16 second-half minutes ... leads DU's eight freshmen in minutes/g. at 23.5 ... has hit at least one 3-pointer in 11 games with a season high three (3-of-6) vs. NC Central ... also had five steals against NCCU ... became the first player other than Aaron Jackson or Damian Saunders to lead the Dukes in scoring when he posted the 18 points vs. ODU
  • Lone senior Aaron Jackson, who leads team scoring (17.0 ppg.), assists (79, 6.1 apg.) and steals (31, 2.4 spg.) and is second in rebounding (5.8 rpg.), has been named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week twice this season ... shooting .576 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 Virginia to earn Atlantic 10 co-Player of the Week honors (12/14) ... has a 2.1-to-1 assist/turnover ratio (79-38) ... has made 12 more free throws (56-of-69) than any other DU player has attempted (Damian Saunders and Eric Evans have both attempted 44) ... 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 ... added nine assists vs. Bowling Green ... earned A-10 Player of the Week for a second time (Jan. 4) after averaging 16.5 points, 7.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals in wins at Robert Morris and vs. Bowling Green ... averaging a team-high 34.5 minutes/g.
  • Freshman Oliver Lewinson has played in nine games ... has logged double digit minutes three times (11 at Pitt, 12 at Radford and 10 vs. Old Dominion) ... had four points and three boards at Radford ... grabbed a season high six rebounds in seven minutes vs. NC Central
  • 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 Theis, 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
  • Freshman B.J. Monteiro started the first five games before providing a spark off the bench in the past seven ... posted season highs for points (7) and rebounds (4) in the opener vs. High Point ... his opening day start marked the fourth consecutive season at least one true freshman was in DU's opening day starting lineup ... current Dukes Aaron Jackson (2005-06) and Bill Clark (2007-08) also started the first game in their freshman year ... Monteiro came off the bench to score 27 points in 70 minutes seven games prior to seeing his consecutive games streak snapped at 12 against Bowling Green
  • Freshman Shawntez Patterson has played in two games (vs. High Point & at Robert Morris)
  • 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 eight games with a season-high 13 minutes vs. Furman ... scored five in the opener vs. High Point ... 2-of-7 from the 3-point arc
  • Sophomore Damian Saunders leads the team in rebounding (7.7 rpg.) and blocked shots (28) and is second in scoring (15.5 ppg.) ... has a team-best 36 offensive rebounds ... has scored in double digits in 12 of 13 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 and vs. Bowling Green ... is shooting better from the field (.620) than he is from the foul line (26-of-44, .591) ... has three double-doubles (20-12 at Upstate, 22-10 at Duke & 18-10 vs. NC Central) ... 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 10 times ... has a team-high 21 dunks
  • 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 then career-high 27 minutes at Duke before experiencing discomfort ... had seven points at Duke and tied his career high 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 ... is scoreless with two field goal attempts in his past two games (21 total minutes) ... shooting .485, including 4-of-9 from the 3-point arc