Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009 • 7:00 p.m. (EST)
The Palestra (8,722) • Philadelphia, Pa.
DUKES & HAWKS MEET AT THE PALESTRA
Duquesne (12-5, 3-1), which saw its seven-game win streak snapped in a 78-69 home loss to Dayton on Saturday, heads to Philadelphia to face the surging Saint Joseph's Hawks (9-7, 3-0) on Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Philly's historic Palestra.
SJU, winner of four in a row, is coming off a 78-69 home victory over Charlotte on Sunday. Saint Joe's is 4-3 at The Palestra, which is serving as the Hawks temporary home while renovation work is being completed at their on-campus facility, Alumni Fieldhouse.
Duquesne, which has won three in a row on the road for the first time since 1985, is 5-2 away from the Palumbo Center with the losses coming at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium and Pitt's Petersen Events Center. DU is looking to post six road wins for the first time since 1985-86.
The Dukes, who were outscored 39-31 in the second half of the loss to Dayton, have allowed their past two opponents - George Washington (.638) and Dayton (.580) - to shoot a combined .608 from the field. Duquesne's lone senior and leading scorer - point guard Aaron Jackson - scored 18 vs. UD despite playing with a bruised tailbone suffered against GW.
A-10 Player of the Year candidate, 6-9 senior Ahmad Nivins, leads Saint Joe's at 19.6 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. Darrin Govens (13.9 ppg., 42 3-pointers) and Tasheed Carr (12.6, ppg.) are also averaging in double figures for the Hawks. The SJU game begins a stretch of six of nine on the road for the Dukes.
- Duquesne, one of the youngest teams in the nation with eight scholarship freshmen and one scholarship upperclassman, saw its longest win streak in 28 years (seven games) snapped in Saturday's 78-69 loss to Dayton
- DU, which opened with a school best 3-0 conference record, is looking to go 4-1 in league play for the first time since 1983-84
- Senior PG 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 (2nd), ast/TO ratio (2nd), steals (3rd), FT% (3rd), scoring (4th), FG% (4th)
- Jackson & soph. Damian Saunders (14.4 ppg.) are currently ranked among the top 30 nationally in field goal pct.
- Soph. Bill Clark is averaging 18.0 ppg. in A-10 play ... he is 12-of-23 from the 3-point arc in four conference games
- DU's five losses have come to teams that are a combined 72-15 through Monday
- The Dukes are looking to extend their road win streak to four ... it is the longest streak since 1985
This is the 44th meeting in a series that dates back to Feb. 25, 1938 ... Saint Joseph's leads the series 33-10, including an 16-1 advantage in regular season Atlantic 10 games played at Philadelphia ... Saint Joe's had won 10 in a row and 16 of 17 against the Dukes, before DU snapped the streak with a 102-88 win at the Palumbo Center last season ... Shawn James posted the first triple-double in school history (17-11-10) as DU posted the highest point total by either team in the history of the series ... Aaron Jackson had 18 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists as Duquesne posted its largest margin of victory in the series since a 96-70 win (+26) over SJU in 1990 Atlantic 10 Championship at The Palestra ... the Hawks were without Ahmad Nivins (injured) for that game ... the Dukes have struggled mightily against the Hawks in Philadelphia with their lone conference win coming on Feb. 15, 1992 by a 77-74 score on Hawk Hill ... since then, the Saint Joe's has won eight in a row over the Dukes in the City of Brotherly Love ... two years ago, Saint Joseph's held Duquesne to 12 first half points in an 89-41 win at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse ... that's a turnaround of 62 points in the past two meetings.
- A victory over Saint Joseph's would:
- Extend Duquesne's road win streak to four. The last time a DU team won three in a row on the road prior to this season, was the last two games of 1985 and first three of 1985-86 (five total).
- Be DU's first over the Hawks in Philadelphia since Feb. 15, 1992 (77-74 at Alumni Fieldhouse).
- Give Duquesne six road wins for the first time since 1985-86 (6-8). The Dukes enter the game with a 5-2 road record.
Duquesne begins the week as the only school in the country with two players ranked among the nation's top 30 in field goal percentage according to CBS Sportsline Stats. (NCAA stats for this week were delayed due to MLK Day and weren't available for inclusion in this release.) Sophomore forward Damian Saunders began the week 20th at .593 and senior guard Aaron Jackson was 27th at .583.
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).
Notes from Saturday's 78-69 home loss to Dayton: ... there were six ties and 10 lead changes in the first half before Dayton took the lead for good with five seconds left ... DU pulled to within three with 8:41 left but could get no closer ... Duquesne assisted on 19 of 26 field goals and forced 24 Dayton turnovers ... Dayton outscored the Dukes 42-30 in the paint and 43-8 in bench points ... returnees accouted for 56 points ... freshmen Melquan Bolding (2-of-10), Eric Evans (1-of-8) and B.J. Monteiro (0-of-2) were a combined 3-of-20 from the field.
LIFE WITH FRESHMEN
Duquesne, which began the season as one of the youngest teams in the nation with eight scholarship freshmen, has seen the ups-and-downs that come with a young roster. On Jan. 14, freshmen Melquan Bolding (26 points), Eric Evans (13 points) and B.J. Monteiro (7 points) combined for 46 points in an 88-83 win over George Washington. Three days later, the same threesome went 3-of-20 from the field in combining for nine in a 78-69 loss to Dayton. Said head coach Ron Everhart earlier this season when asked if he knows what to expect from his freshmen for each game: "Each game, I don't know what I'm going to get for each practice." In the past four games, DU's freshmen have scored nine, 34, 46 and nine points.
THE MAGIC NUMBER IS 70
In 76 games under Ron Everhart, the Dukes are 38-21 when scoring 70 or more points, including an 12-1 mark this season. On the other hand, when scoring under 70 Everhart's Dukes are 1-16 (0-4 this year).
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 eight 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 eight outings and is averaging 12.5 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 ... tied for fourth on the team with 28 offensive boards
- Sophomore Bill Clark, who has started all 16 games, has eclipsed his career scoring high in two of DU's past five 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 52 assists, including a career-best six in a game three times ... had 41 assists in 30 games last season ... six of his top seven high scoring games this season have come at home (21 vs. Bowling Green, 19 vs. Dayton, 15 vs. Charlotte, 14 vs. High Point & Furman and 13 vs. WVU) ... has scored in double digits 12 times ... has hit three or more 3-pointers in a game six times ... leads the team in 3-pointers made with 34 (.415) ... has scored in double digits in DU's past seven games ... averaging 16.6 ppg. over that seven-game span ... is 16-of-28 (.571) from the 3-point arc in his past five games
- Junior Jason Duty, who entered the season with two career double-digit scoring games, has reached double figures in five of DU's past eight 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 17 games, and hit at least one 3-pointer in 15 of them ... broke out of a four-game 2-of-15 3-point shooting slump to hit 19-of-41 from the arc in DU's past nine games ... is second on the team with 28 3-pointers (.400) ... 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 28 assists and just 13 turnovers ... had 31 assists in 45 career games entering this season ... second on the team with 62 career games played
- 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 23.5 ... 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 ... has attempted 58 free throws (.776)
- Lone senior Aaron Jackson, who leads team scoring (17.8 ppg.), assists (101, 5.9 apg.) and steals (34, 2.0 spg.) and is second in rebounding (5.4 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 .583 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 2.1-to-1 assist/turnover ratio (101-49) ... has made ten more free throws (72-of-89) 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 5.9 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 34.9 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 two of DU's past three 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 in 10.5 minutes per game
- 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 (8.0 rpg.) and blocked shots (36) and is second in scoring (14.4 ppg.) ... has a team-best 52 offensive rebounds ... has scored in double digits in 15 of 17 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 and four against Dayton ... is shooting better from the field (.593) than he is from the foul line (34-of-62, .548) ... 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 13 times ... has a team-high 24 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 five rebounds vs. Rice ... had a career-high six rebounds in 12 minutes vs. Dayton ... shooting .462, including 4-of-12 from the 3-point arc