Constant Center (8,424) • Norfolk, Va.
Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009 • 7:00 p.m.
DUKES CLOSE OUT 2009 AT ODU
Duquesne (9-4), coming off an 86-56 win over Saint Francis, Pa. on Dec. 22, completes the non-conference portion of its schedule at Old Dominion (8-4) on Wed., Dec. 30 at 7:00. Old Dominion, the preseason favorite to win the Colonial Athletic Association, is 6-0 at home including an impressive 81-48 win over Atlantic 10 member Charlotte on Dec. 23.
Duquesne is the fourth of four A-10 teams on ODU's schedule (the Monarchs dropped tight games at Richmond, 67-60, and at Dayton, 58-50). UR was picked to finish third and Dayton first in the preseason A-10 coaches poll.
Duquesne, which is making its first trip to Old Dominion since January of 1982, is 1-3 on the road with the lone win coming at Iowa (52-50) on Nov. 17. This is head coach Ron Everhart's second game against a member of the CAA since coming to Duquesne prior to the 2006-07 season (the first game was ODU's 86-60 win over the Dukes at the Palumbo Center last year). Everhart is familiar with the CAA having competed in that league while at Northeastern in 2005-06. Everhart led the Huskies to a 12-6 conference record and fifth place finish in `06.
Points will be at a premium as Old Dominion enters the game leading the nation in scoring defense (53.9 ppg.), while Duquesne ranks 77th at 63.2. DU ranks tied for 22nd in FG% defense (.376), ODU is tied for 32nd (.385). DU is looking to tie the school record for pre-New Years wins set in 1953-54 (10-0).
This is the sixth meeting between Duquesne and Old Dominion, with ODU holding a 4-1 series advantage ... it is the second meeting of a home-and-home series that began with ODU's 86-60 win over Duquesne at the Palumbo Center last season ... the 26-point margin of defeat was DU's worst at home since a 31-point setback to West Virginia (85-54) on Dec. 9, 2007 ... this will be Duquesne's first appearance at Norfolk, Va. since 1982 ... prior to last year, the last time the two met was a 96-85 Monarchs' win at the Civic Arena on Dec. 5, 1987 ... DU and ODU met in a home-and-home series in 1979-80 and 1980-81 with Old Dominion winning the first game 65-60 at Norfolk, Va. on Jan. 24, 1980 ... ODU also won the return game 73-70 at the Civic Arena on Dec. 9, 1980 ... Duquesne's lone win came in its last visit to ODU on Jan. 25, 1982 by a 79-75 score ... Old Dominion - a member of the Colonial Athletic Association - has made five consecutive post-season appearances: 2005 (NCAA), 2006 (NIT semifinal), 2007 (NCAA), 2008 (CBI quarterfinal) and 2009 (CIT Champions) ... the Monarchs are in their ninth season under head coach Blaine Taylor (175-99 at ODU and 310-160 in his 15th season overall) ... ODU's 119 wins over the past five seasons are the most of any Division I school in Virginia.
MORE ON THE MONARCHS
Old Dominion is 8-4 on the season including a 6-0 record at home ... Duquesne is the fourth of four Atlantic 10 teams on the ODU schedule ... the Monarchs lost at Richmond (67-60) and at Dayton (58-50) - teams picked to finish first and third respectively in the A-10 preseason coaches poll - before dismantling Charlotte (81-48) at home on Dec. 23 ... the Monarchs led by as many as 37 in defeating a Charlotte team that entered the game with a 9-1 record ... ODU shot 53 percent and outrebounded Charlotte 47-26 ... Charlotte, which entered the game averaging 80.1 ppg., trailed 40-13 at the half .. ... ODU owns one of the Colonial Athletic Association's marquee wins, a 61-57 win at No. 11 (AP) and previously unbeaten Georgetown on Dec. 19 ... 6-10 junior Gerald Lee leads a balanced ODU attack with a 13.7 ppg. scoring average ... in all, seven different players are averaging six or more points per game ... in addition, six players have 15 or more assists ... ODU was picked to win the 12-team CAA in that league's preseason poll ... Lee, who had a team-high 15 points in Old Dominion's 26-point win over Duquesne last season, was a preseason first team all-conference pick ... Lee was also the CAA preseason pick for preseason co-Player of the Year ... ODU has won nine in a row at home.
- Duquesne is holding opponents to 63.2 points per game ... it is the lowest opponent scoring average since 1961-62 (61.1 ppg.)
- Opponents are also shooting .376 from the field ... that number is the lowest by DU opponents since 1956-57 (.355) ... last year, Duquesne ranked 309th of 330 teams in scoring defense (74.7 ppg.) and 294th in field goal percentage defense (.462)
- Only two teams, Western Carolina & IUPUI, have shot over 40 percent against the Dukes this season
- DU's four losses have come to teams that begin the week with a combined 39-8 record (Western Carolina 10-2, West Virginia 10-0, Pittsburgh 10-2 and IUPUI 9-4)
- DU has clinched its third consecutive winning non-conference season for first time since 1992-94
- Damian Saunders began the week leading the nation in double-doubles with 10 ... he is ranked 3rd in rebounds/g. (13.1), 3rd in steals/g. (3.1) and t12th in blocks/g. (3.2)
- DU finished final exams on Dec. 15 ... classes resume Jan. 7
- Next game: the Dukes open A-10 play at home vs. Richmond on Jan. 6
Sophomore B.J. Monteiro (12.8 ppg., 5.6 rpg.) has been a pleasant surprise as a starter in place of the injured Melquan Bolding (out 4-6 weeks, wrist surgery) ... Monteiro has led the Dukes in scoring four times including two of the past four games ... he scored 14 of his team-high 17 in the second half of DU's win over Robert Morris and followed that with a career-high 27 in the 2OT victory over Canisius ... in his first start, at Iowa, Monteiro blocked Eric May's field goal attempt at the buzzer to preserve DU's 52-50 win ... Monteiro, a former high school teammate of Damian Saunders, has set a new career scoring high three times this season (18 vs. Arkansas-Monticello, 21 vs. Radford & 27 vs. Canisius) ... his career best, and only double-digit scoring game, entering the season was 12 (last year at Dayton) ... he has scored in double digits seven times ... junior Bill Clark is averaging a team-high 15.1 ppg. ... Clark, who opened the season with seven consecutive double-digit scoring games (including 20 or more three times), scored just 14 points on 4-of-25 shooting (.160) in the three games prior to the Dec. 16 game vs. Canisius ... Clark posted his fourth career double-double (first this season) with 17 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and three steals in 50 minutes vs. the Golden Griffins ... Clark shook off a two-game 2-of-14 3-point shooting slump to hit a career-high six from the arc (on 14 attempts) vs. Pitt (23 points) ... since the Pitt game he is 4-of-28 from the arc and has failed to make a 3-pointer in three of th past five games ... Clark, who entered the season a .361 career 3-point shooter, is shooting .273 from the arc ... Clark leads the Dukes with 24 3-pointers made ... the 6-5 Californian has grabbed at least nine rebounds four times, including three times in DU's past seven games ... fellow junior Damian Saunders, who is the first DU player in 39 years to open a season with six consecutive double-doubles, has posted 10 double-doubles in 13 games ... Saunders has set new career highs for points (24 vs. Binghamton), rebounds (19 vs. Nicholls State) and blocks (7 vs. Canisius) and tied his career-best for steals (6 at Iowa) in DU's first 13 games ... his 10 double-doubles are the most by a DU player since Derrick Alston had 12 in 1992-93 ... Saunders leads the Dukes with 23 dunks, bringing his career total to 83 ... the Connecticut native has pulled down 15 or more rebounds in a game seven times ... his career high entering this season was 14 ... Saunders flirted with a triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and a career high seven blocks vs. Canisius ... Saunders has struggled from the 3-point arc where he is shooting .176 (6-of-34) ... he has never shot under 34 percent from arc (.348 as a freshman and .343 as a sophomore) ... sophomore point guard Eric Evans, who entered the Dec. 19 game at IUPUI 3-of-33 from the 3-point arc, hit 4-of-8 from long distance in scoring a career high 20 points ... he followed that by hitting 7-of-8 from the field (including 3-of-4 from 3-point) in scoring 17 in 25 minutes vs. Saint Francis, Pa. ... Evans, who leads the Dukes with 50 assists, has struggled from the field where he is shooting .359 ... in his past two games his is 15-of-25 (.600), including 7-of-12 (.583) from the 3-point arc ... he is shooting .430 on two-point attempts ... Evans (50-40) is one of just two Dukes with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio ... senior guard Jason Duty (22-9) is the other ... Duty badly jammed his right (shooting) shoulder during the Nov. 25 game at Western Carolina and shot .242 (8-of-33) overall and 5-of-26 from the 3-point arc in the ensuing six games before going 3-of-4 (3-of-3 from 3-point) in scoring all nine of his points in the first halfvs. Saint Francis, Pa. ... Duty, who missed the Dec. 9 WVU game with a sprained ankle suffered late in practice on Dec. 7, is a career .352 3-point shooter ... true freshman Sean Johnson has seen action in all 13 games ... he scored seven in 24 minutes vs. Savannah State, topped that with eight points in 19 minutes at No. 6 (AP) West Virginia and added 10 in 24 minutes vs. Robert Morris ... he had eight in 17 minutes vs. Canisius ... Johnson is 15-of-35 from the field in and averaging 7.3 ppg. his past six games ... he has six assists and two turnovers in his past two games (40 total minutes) ... sophomore Oliver Lewinson had two points, five rebounds and two steals in a career-high 22 minutes at West Virginia ... he added three boards in five minutes vs. Canisius ... freshman Andre Marhold came off the bench to grab four rebounds and block two shots in 16 minutes at WVU ... Marhold has played in 12 games ... redshirt freshman Rodrigo Peggau who played in four games last season prior to opting for knee surgery, has seen action in 10 games ... the Brazilian had nine points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes vs. Pitt and added eight points and seven boards in 15 minutes vs. Robert Morris.
SAINT FRANCIS, PA. LEFTOVERS
Duquesne, used a 13-0 run to break a 5-5 tie in cruising to an 86-56 home win over Saint Francis, Pa. ... the win was DU's 16th in a row over the Red Flash in Pittsburgh ... the 30-point margin of victory was Duquesne's largest in the series since a 31-point win (98-67) over the Red Flash on Jan. 16, 1978 ... DU tied its season scoring high with 86 points ... the Dukes shot a season-best .574 from the field and handed out a season-high 20 assists (on 31 field goals) ... all 14 players in uniform saw action with 10 scoring ... 11 players saw action in the first half ... DU's seven first half 3-pointers were more than they had in each of their previous five games ... Eric Evans hit 7-of-8 shots including 3-of-4 3-point attempts in scoring 17 points in 25 minutes ... Evans also handed out a game-high six assists ... Damian Saunders posted his 10th double-double of the season with a game-high 18 points and 12 rebounds ... he also added three assists, four blocks and two steals in 31 minutes ... Saunders was the only DU player to log 30 minutes in the game ... the next highest was Bill Clark (16 points) with 26 ... DU outrebounded SFU 44-28 ... the +16 margin was the Dukes' largest this season ... Duquesne never trailed in the game
NOTES FROM THE DUKES CLIPBOARD
- Duquesne returns four starters from last year's 21-13 NIT team.
- One of the key returnees, 6-3 sophomore Melquan Bolding, is out 4-6 weeks with a fractured wrist suffered in the opener vs. Nicholls State. Bolding, who had a team-high 25 points vs. Nicholls, had surgery on his right (shooting) wrist Nov. 17 and had a hard cast removed on Dec. 1.
- DU's 21 wins last season were the most since the 1971 NCAA team went 21-4.
- DU, which has gone 10-19, 17-13 & 21-13 in three seasons under head coach Ron Everhart, is looking for its third consecutive winning campaign. The last time that happened on the Bluff was from 1968-73 when Red Manning's Dukes finished above .500 six straight times.
- Duquesne was coming off a 3-24 season, and had finished above .500 once (1994) in the 21 years prior to Everhart taking over in 2006-07.
- Juniors Damian Saunders (second team) and Bill Clark (third team), both preseason All-Atlantic 10 picks, have led the way for the Dukes so far. Saunders is averaging 13.9 ppg., 13.1 rpg., 3.1 spg. and 3.2 bpg. and Clark a team-high 15.1 ppg. (with 24 3-pointers).
- Duquesne, which entered the season as the fifth-highest scoring team in the nation over the previous three seasons (79.8 ppg. in the Everhart Era), is averaging 67.7 ppg.
- Only two teams, Western Carolina (.455) & IUPUI (.500), have shot over 40 percent from the field against the Dukes.
- Opponents are shooting .376 and averaging 63.2 ppg., an improvement of 8.8 percent in defensive field goal percentage and -14.4 in opponent points per game over DU's first three seasons.
- The current .376 opponent field goal percentage is the lowest forced by a Duquesne team since 1956-57 (.355). The 63.2 opponent points per game are the lowest since 1961-62 (61.1 ppg.).
- Entering this season Duquesne was 1-19 under Ron Everhart when scoring fewer than 70 points. So far this season, the Dukes are 3-3 when scoring under 70 (the wins: 52-50 at Iowa, 58-44 over Savannah State and 59-54 over Robert Morris).
- DU has held second half leads in 11 of 13 games this season.
- The Dukes have also held a double-digit lead in nine of 13 games (at WVU, vs. Robert Morris, vs. Canisius & at IUPUI are the exceptions).
- DU has played three overtime games this season. The school record for overtime games in a season is four, done three times (1993-94 last). The Dukes have played two double-overtime games, marking the first time since 1938-39 that a Duquesne team has played more than one multiple-overtime game in a season.
- Duquesne faced an Atlantic 10-tying high five NCAA tournament teams in non-conference play in Binghamton (W, 70-52, neutral), Pitt (L, 67-58 in 2OT at Mellon Arena), Radford (W, 71-63, home), Robert Morris (W, 59-54, home) and at No. 6 (AP) West Virginia (L, 68-39). La Salle is the only other conference school that played as many 2008-09 NCAA tournament teams in non-league play.
- Five players have scored 20 or more in a game: Bill Clark (three times), B.J. Monteiro (two times) and Damian Saunders, Eric Evans and Melquan Bolding (once each). In addition, five players have led the Dukes in scoring at least once this season.
- Five active Dukes are averaging over 30 minutes per game (Bill Clark, 36.9, Damian Saunders, 35.9, Jason Duty, 31.9, Eric Evans, 32.7 and B.J. Monteiro, 32.0).
- Duquesne has now opened with at least four consecutive wins in each of the past three seasons (4-0 this season, 4-0 last year and 6-0 in 2007-08). The 2007-08 start was the school's best in 28 years. The last time Duquesne put together three consecutive seasons with 4-0 (or better starts) was from 1961 through 1963 (4-0, 7-0 & 5-0).
- Junior forward Damian Saunders was the first Duquesne player in 39 years to open a season with six-straight double-doubles. His 10 double-doubles are the most by a DU player since Derrick Alston's 12 in 1992-93.
- Everhart's Dukes are 10-11 in non-conference road games (1-3 this season).
- DU is 45-6 when leading with 5:00 minutes left under Everhart (7-1 this season).
- DU is 9-0 when holding opponents under 60 points under Everhart (5-0 this season).
- According to research compiled by the University of Central Florida sports information department, only nine Division I schools have more underclassmen than Duquesne's 10.