Red Out Night for Dukes vs. No. 9 Xavier Sat

Duquesne (14-7, 5-3), coming off a 78-74 overtime loss at Saint Louis on Wednesday, returns home to face No. 9 (AP) Xavier (20-2, 8-0) on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 7:00 p.m. (Eastern). The game will be televised regionally by CBS College Sports (will air live on FSN Pittsburgh and FSN Ohio).

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#9 (AP/ESPN) XAVIER (20-2, 8-0) at DUQUESNE (14-7, 5-3)
Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009 • 7:00 p.m. (EST)
A.J. Palumbo Center (5,853) • Pittsburgh, Pa.

TELEVISION: CBS College Sports Regional syndication with Ryan Ruocco & John Griffin
DUQUESNE RADIO: KQV-AM (1410) with Ray Goss & George Von Benko
STREAMING AUDIO: RedZoneMedia.com
LIVE STATS: GameTracker at GoDuquesne.com
STREAMING VIDEO: All-Access at GoDuquesne.com

DUKES HOST LEAGUE-LEADING XAVIER

Duquesne (14-7, 5-3), coming off a 78-74 overtime loss at Saint Louis on Wednesday, returns home to face No. 9 (AP) Xavier (20-2, 8-0) on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 7:00 p.m. (Eastern). The game will be televised regionally by CBS College Sports (will air live on FSN Pittsburgh and FSN Ohio).

The Dukes, who are 0-2 against ranked teams this season (at then-No. 7 (AP) Duke and at then-No. 3 (AP) Pitt), will be looking for their first win over a ranked team since a 78-70 victory over No. 16 (AP) Xavier on Jan. 25, 1997 at Cincinnati Gardens (a span of 24 games).

Xavier is the highest ranked team to play at the Palumbo Center since No. 9 (AP) Saint Joseph's on Jan. 10, 2004 (L, 78-61).

DU's last win over a Top 10 team was on Dec. 15, 1992 at home over No. 10 (AP) Florida State.

Head coach Ron Everhart is 0-6 vs. ranked teams at Duquesne with two of the losses coming by five or fewer points (73-68 to No. 12 Pitt on Dec. 5, 2007 and 80-78 at No. 22 Rhode Island on Jan. 13, 2008).

DU is 1-2 against ranked Xavier teams at Palumbo Center despite outscoring the Musketeers by a combined 240-234 in the three games. Six Dukes are averaging in double figures in A-10 play led by Aaron Jackson at 18.8 ppg. DU's three leading scorers, Jackson (17.7 ppg. overall), Damian Saunders (14.0) and Bill Clark (12.9) are all shooting better than .500.

DUQUESNE LATELY

  • Duquesne, one of the youngest teams in the nation with eight scholarship freshmen and one scholarship upperclassman, is two wins shy of clinching its second consecutive winning season ... the last time that happened was in 1979-80 & 1980-81
  • Senior PG Aaron Jackson (17.7 ppg.), one of 34 preseason Bob Cousy Award nominees (nation's top collegiate point guard), is coming off a 29-point effort at Saint Louis
  • Jackson ranks in the Top 5 in six different A-10 categories: FT% (2nd), ast/TO ratio (2nd), assists (3rd), steals (t3rd), scoring (4th) & FG% (4th)
  • Damian Saunders blocked a career-high six shots and posted his fifth double-double of the season (14-10) at SLU
  • Jason Duty is third the A-10 in 3-point pct. (.425)
  • Bill Clark is averaging 16.6 ppg. and shooting .557 in A-10 play
  • No. 9 (AP) Xavier is the highest ranked team to play at the Palumbo Center since No. 9 (AP) Saint Joseph's visited on Jan. 10, 2004 (L, 78-61)
  • DU defeated the Musketeers 93-91 in XU's last visit to the Palumbo Center (Jan. 31, 2007)
  • Jackson and Duty are the only two current Dukes who played in that game

THE SERIES

Xavier leads the series 25-16, including a 10-9 edge in games played at Pittsburgh ... DU snapped a six-game series losing streak with a two-game sweep in 2003-04 (including a 74-68 Cintas Center win) before XU went on to win the next three ... the Dukes defeated the Musketeers 93-91 at Pittsburgh two years ago to make it 3-3 in six meetings, before No. 10 (AP) XU posted an impressive 75-48 win at Cintas Center last year ... in the last Pittsburgh meeting, Aaron Jackson scored off an inbounds pass with 22 seconds left as Duquesne held off a furious Xavier comeback to defeat the Musketeers 93-91 ... Duquesne, which led by 19 with 14:28 left and 16 with 7:15 remaining, saw Xavier mount a 23-7 run to tie the game at 91-91 on a pair of Derrick Brown free throws with 41 seconds remaining ... DU has won two of the past three meetings at the Palumbo Center ... head coach Ron Everhart is 1-1 vs. the Musketeers.

    A victory over Xavier would:
    • Be Duquesne's first over a ranked team since Jan. 25, 1997 (at No. 16 (AP) Xavier). It would also be DU's first win over a Top 10 team since a 91-84 win over #10 (AP) Florida State at home on Dec. 15, 1992.
    • Pull the Dukes within one victory of clinching a second consecutive winning season. The last time Duquesne posted back-to-back winning seasons was 1980 & 1981. DU's last winning season prior to last year (17-13) was 1993-94.

DUQUESNE VS. AP RANKED XAVIER TEAMS

Duquesne is 2-5 all-time versus ranked Xavier teams, with two of the meetings coming before the Musketeers joined the Atlantic 10. The average score in the seven games is Xavier 77.0, Duquesne 68.3. DU was unranked at the time of all seven games.

DID YOU KNOW?

Three of the seven meetings between ranked Xavier teams and Duquesne have been played at the Palumbo Center. In those three games, Duquesne - despite going 1-2 - has outscored the Musketeers 240-234.

SLU LEFTOVERS

Notes from Wednesday's 78-74 overtime loss at Saint Louis

  • Duquesne rallied from an eight-point deficit with 2:33 left in regulation to tie the game on a buzzer-beating Aaron Jackson jumper
  • DU was held to a season "low" 19 3-point attempts (5-of-19)
  • DU's eight assists on 27 field goals were a season low
  • The Dukes were whistled for a season high-tying 23 fouls
  • Damian Saunders (:06 left in regulation) and Bill Clark (1:08 in OT) both fouled out ... Saunders had 14 points, 10 rebounds three steals and a career-high six blocked shots ... Clark had 13 points ... Saunders and Clark both played 40 minutes
  • Aaron Jackson, who played all 45 minutes, was 10-of-19 from the field and 8-of-10 from the foul line
  • Fiver players played at least 35 minutes ... in addition to Jackson, Saunders and Clark, Jason Duty played 38 minutes and Eric Evans 35 minutes
  • There were 14 ties and 14 lead changes in the game
  • Duquesne was outscored in points-off-turnovers 10-7
  • Duquesne is now 2-2 in Atlantic 10 road games with a pair of big wins (+18 at St. Bonaventure & +21 at Fordham) and two overtime losses (at Saint Joseph's (99-98) & at Saint Louis (78-74)

A LITTLE LOVE FROM SI.COM

Duquesne's Aaron Jackson was named to SI.com's All-Underrated Team by John Gasaway of Basketball Prospectus on Jan. 30. The list, designed to recognizing the "nation's most under appreciated talent," was based on two criteria: "1.) You must be having a phenomenal season while playing a major role on your team and 2.) Must be someone who should be but is not usually included in any garden variety discussion of the best players in the country at your position. In the story, Gasaway says "Jackson's case is interesting because it demonstrates how a player that flourishes as a senior is almost always overlooked. If you're going to play the way Jackson is playing point guard this season, better to to is as a freshman or even as a sohomore, so that your name can get out there." The story goes on to compare Jackson's stats to those of a "mystery sophomore" who turns out to be Wake Forest's Jeff Teague. "Teague should be given a bit of a break here because hte plays a more prominent role in his offense than Jackson does. My purpose, however, is not to ding a great player like Teague, but merely to suggest that Jackson too is having a great year."

AND THIS FROM JAY BILAS' FEB. 5 BLOG

If you haven't seen Duquesne point guard Aaron Jackson you need to check him out. Jackson is everything you want in a point guard, and everything you want in a senior. As a freshman, Jackson battled through a 3-24 season. He was one of five players shot in a 2006 campus shooting, when he was grazed by a bullet. Now he is one of the most productive and efficient players in the nation. The 6-foot-4 Jackson is in the top five in the Atlantic 10 in scoring, assists, steals, field goal percentage and free throw percentage. Jackson is good in transition and can really finish plays, and he is a worker. This summer, he was the MVP of the Pittsburgh Pro-Am League, winning the award over the likes of Sam Young, DeJuan Blair, Levance Fields and Alex Ruoff. Jackson is the best guard Duquesne has had since Mike James, who was the best since Norm Nixon.

WISE GUY

Junior guard Jason Duty was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 2 Basketball Team released on Feb. 5. Duty, who has a 3.75 GPA as an accounting major, will have his name placed on the national ballotwith 39 other Division I players. The 2008-09 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Basketball Team will be released on Wednesday, Feb. 25.


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