Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009 • 7:00 p.m. (EST)
A.J. Palumbo Center (5,358) • Pittsburgh, Pa.
STREAKING DUKES HOST DAYTON
Duquesne (12-4, 3-0), off to its best conference start in school history, puts its seven-game win streak on the line against Dayton (15-2, 1-1) on Saturday, Jan. 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Palumbo Center.
The Dukes, who erased an 11-point second-half deficit to defeat George Washington 88-83 on Wednesday, face a Dayton team picked to finish third in a preseason poll of league coaches. The Flyers, who are coming off a 72-71 home win over Fordham, are 2-2 on the road. Duquesne, which has won five in a row at home, is 7-2 at the Palumbo Center.
Dayton, which is limiting opponents to 57.3 ppg., will face a DU team that has scored 54 points in the second half of its last two games and is averaging 79.6 ppg. overall. Duquesne has scored at least 76 points in every game during its current win streak.
True freshmen Melquan Bolding (26 points), Eric Evans (13 points) and B.J. Monteiro (7 points) combined for 46 points in the win over GW. Duquesne's lone senior and leading scorer - point guard Aaron Jackson (17.8 ppg. & 6.1 apg.) - is questionable for the UD game with a bruised tailbone suffered against GW.
Sophomores Damian Saunders and Bill Clark are averaging 14.4 and 11.9 ppg. respectively for DU. Evans is the fourth Duke in double figures at 10.1 ppg. Chris Wright and Marcus Johnson pace Dayton at 12.0 ppg. and 11.6 ppg. respectively. Following the Dayton game, DU hits the road for six of its next nine.
- Duquesne, one of the youngest teams in the nation with eight scholarship freshmen and one scholarship upperclassman, is off to its best start since 1979-80 at 12-4
- The last time DU opened with a better record was in 1971-72 (19-4 on the way to a 20-5 finish)
- DU's current seven-game win streak is the school's longest since a seven-game streak in 1980-81
- The last time a Duquesne team won eight in a row was in 1971-72
- Senior G Aaron Jackson (17.8 ppg.) - one of 34 preseason Bob Cousy Award nominees (nation's top collegiate point guard) - ranks in the Top 5 in six different A-10 categories: assists (1st), steals (2nd), ast/TO ratio (2nd), scoring (4th), FG% (4th), FT% (4th) ... he and Temple's Dionte Christmas are the only A-10 players with two 30-point games this season
- Jackson & soph. F Damian Saunders (14.4 ppg.) both began the week ranked among the top 25 nationally in field goal pct.
- Freshman Melquan Bolding, who is coming off a career-high 26 point game vs. GW, is averaging 13.6 ppg. during Duquesne's current win streak
- Three of DU's four losses have come to teams that are either ranked or have been ranked this season (No. 1 AP Pitt, No. 2 Duke & WVU)
Dayton leads the overall series 40-18, including an 18-5 advantage in Atlantic 10 regular-season games ... in games played at Pittsburgh, the Flyers hold a 15-11 edge ... UD had won 18 of 19 meetings, including eight in a row at the Palumbo Center before Duquesne's 93-89 win in Dayton's last visit two years ago ... Duquesne made it back-to-back wins over the Flyers for just the third time in the 58-game series with a 63-61 win at UD Arena last season ... DU, which has defeated Dayton in three of the past five meetings, has never beaten the Flyers three-straight times in a series that dates back to Jan. 5, 1953.
- A victory over Dayton would:
- Improve Duquesne's all-time school best conference opening record to 4-0.
- Up DU's record to 13-4 and its overall win streak to eight games, which would be the best record and longest win streak by a Duquesne team since 1971-72 (DU win eight in a row in opening 19-4 on the way to a 20-5 finish).
- Mark the first time in the 59-game series that Duquesne has defeated Dayton three-straight times.
Duquesne began the week as one of two schools in the country with two players ranked among the nation's top 25 in field goal percentage. Sophomore forward Damian Saunders started the week ranked 23rd at .596 and senior guard Aaron Jackson was 25th at .590. South Carolina State's Jason Johnson (.660) and Jason Flagler (.597) were the only other teammates that began the week in the Top 25.
Aaron Jackson, a career .518 shooter who is converting at a .587 rate this season, started the week as the second-best shooting guard in the nation behind Jason Flagler of South Carolina State (22nd at .597). Jackson enters the Dayton game needing three assists to reach 100 in a season for the third time in his career. Only five other players in school history: Norm Nixon & Clayton Adams (4 times) and Kenya Hunter, Tony Petrarca and Mike James (3 times) have posted three or more 100 assist seasons (Jackson had 97 assists as a freshman).
IN GOOD COMPANY
DU, which began the season as one of three Atlantic 10 teams (Fordham and St. Bonaventure were the others) without a player named to the A-10 preseason first, second or third teams, is one of just two schools to produce two different A-10 Players of the Week this season. Sophomore Damian Saunders was honored the week of Nov. 30, while senior Aaron Jackson has been honored twice (Dec. 14 & Jan. 4). The only other conference school to have two different players named Player of the Week this season is nationally ranked Xavier (B.J. Raymond and Derrick Brown).
Stats from Duquesne's current seven-game win streak - the longest since a seven-game streak in 1980-81: five different players are averaging double figures (Jackson 19.0, Clark 14.3, Saunders 13.6, Bolding 13.0 and Evans 11.0, Jason Duty is at 9.1 ppg.) ... as a team DU is averaging 86.1 ppg. and is winning by an average margin of +14.1 ppg. ... the Dukes are averaging 10.3 three-pointers made and are outrebounding opponents by +7.4 per game ... Aaron Jackson (11-of-22) and Bill Clark (16-of-32) are both shooting 50 percent from the 3-point arc ... Jason Duty is 14-of-31 (.452) ... the Dukes have made 18 more free throws (151-of-205) than their opponents have attemped (100-of-133) ... DU has made 13 3-pointers in each of its past two games (13-27 at SBU & 13-28 vs. GW).
QUICK PLAYER NOTES
- Freshman Melquan Bolding, who was named to the A-10 preseason All-Rookie team, joined the starting lineup at Pitt on Dec. 3 ... he has scored in double digits in five of his past seven games including a career-high 26 vs. George Washington on Jan. 14 ... he has also had a pair of 16-point outings (at both Robert Morris and St. Bonaventure) in his last seven outings and is averaging 13.6 ppg. over that span ... scored 14 in 22 minutes vs. Rice on Dec. 20 for his first double-digit game ... scored all of his nine points in the first five minutes of his second start, a win at Radford ... also recorded three assists and three steals at RU ... went 4-of-6 from the 3-point arc and matched his steals high (3) at Robert Morris ... added four more "3's" in the 26-point outburst against GW ... has pulled down a season-best six rebounds five times ... had a career-high four assists in the A-10 opener vs. Charlotte ... is fourth on the team with 25 offensive boards
- Sophomore Bill Clark, who has started all 15 games, has eclipsed his career scoring high in two of DU's past four games ... scored 18 of his then 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 3-point in the second half vs. BGSU ... the four 3-pointers tied his career high set last year against USC Upstate ... topped his career scoring high two games later with 24 at St. Bonaventure (4-of-7 from the arc) ... in between he posted 15 points and a career high 14 rebounds in the A-10 opening win over Charlotte ... the double-double vs. Charlotte was the second of his career (first this season) ... is second on the team with 50 assists, including a career-best six in a game three times ... had 41 assists in 30 games last season ... five of his top six high scoring games this season have come at home (21 vs. Bowling Green, 15 vs. Charlotte, 14 vs. High Point & Furman and 13 vs. WVU) ... has scored in double digits 11 times ... has hit three or more 3-pointers in a game five times ... leads the team in 3-pointers made with 31 (.403) ... has scored in double digits in DU's past six games ... averaging 16.2 ppg. over that six-game span
- Junior Jason Duty, who entered the season with two career double-digit scoring games, has reached double figures in five of DU's past seven outings (six total this season) ... 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 13 points and five rebounds at St. Bonaventure, 12 points, six rebounds and four assists vs. NC Central ... is 22-of-24 from the foul line this season and 43-of-50 (.860) for his career ...made his first 14 free throws of the season before missing his first attempt vs. NCCU ... has started all 16 games, and hit at least one 3-pointer in 14 of them ... broke out of a four-game 2-of-15 3-point shooting slump to hit 17-of-37 from the arc in DU's past eight games ... is second on the team with 26 3-pointers (.394) ... has hit at least three 3-pointers in a game five times this year ... made 14 3-pointers in each of his first two seasons at DU ... has 26 assists and just 13 turnovers ... had 31 assists in 45 career games entering this season
- 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 eight 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 23.4 ... has hit at least one 3-pointer in 13 games with a season high three (3-of-6) vs. NC Central & at St. Bonaventure (3-of-4) ... also had five steals against NC Central ... became the first player other than Aaron Jackson or Damian Saunders to lead the Dukes in scoring when he posted the 18 points vs. Old Dominion ... broke out of a three-game 2-of-12 3-point shooting slump by going 3-of-4 from the arc at St. Bona ... is 5-of-8 from 3-point in his past two games
- Lone senior Aaron Jackson, who leads team scoring (17.8 ppg.), assists (97, 6.1 apg.) and steals (34, 2.1 spg.) and is second in rebounding (5.7 rpg.), has been named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week twice this season ... has won the honor four times in his career, two shy of the school record set by Bruce Atkins from 1979-82 ... shooting .587 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) ... added 30 points and six assists in the A-10 opening 76-71 win over Charlotte and followed that with 25 points and eight assists at St. Bonaventure ... with the Charlotte game tied at 69-69 Jackson scored the go-ahead bucket with 1:22 to go, then stole the ball and fed Damian Saunders for a layup to put the Dukes up four ... he then hit 3-of-4 free throws over the final 24 seconds to seal the win ... has a 2.3-to-1 assist/turnover ratio (97-43) ... has made 12 more free throws (70-of-86) than any other DU player has attempted ... 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 ... his 6.1 assists per game average is on pace to challenge the school record of 6.0 held by Norm Nixon ... Jackson is averaging a team-high 34.8 minutes/g.
- Freshman Oliver Lewinson has played in 12 games ... has logged double digit minutes four times with a career high of 15 at St. Bonaventure ... 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) ... has played in seven games
- Freshman B.J. Monteiro started the first five games of the season ... his opening day start marked the fourth consecutive season at least one true freshman was in DU's opening day starting lineup ... posted season highs for points (7) and rebounds (4) in the opener vs. High Point ... has provided spark of the bench in the past two games with four points in six minutes and St. Bonaventure and all seven of his points in nine second-half minutes of DU's come-from-behind win over GW ... saw his consecutive games streak snapped at 12 against Bowling Green also DNP vs. Charlotte ... has attempted 24 free throws
- Freshman Shawntez Patterson has played in three games
- Freshman Rodrigo Peggau played in four games before his season was ended prematurely by Dec. 18 right knee surgery ... 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 nine 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 (8.1 rpg.) and blocked shots (35) and is second in scoring (14.4 ppg.) ... has a team-best 49 offensive rebounds ... has scored in double digits in 14 of 16 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 ... added five steals at St. Bonaventure ... is shooting better from the field (.595) than he is from the foul line (32-of-58, .552) ... has four double-doubles (20-12 at Upstate, 22-10 at Duke, 18-10 vs. NC Central & 12-11 vs. Charlotte) ... 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 12 times ... has a team-high 23 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 five field goal attempts in his past four games (35 total minutes) ... shooting .444, including 4-of-11 from the 3-point arc