#DUQMBB Runs Away From Appalachian State, 79-55
Jan. 2, 2014
PITTSBURGH - Ovie Soko scored 22 points and Tra'Vaughn White added 14 off the bench as Duquesne held Appalachian State to an opponent season low point total in a 79-55 win over the Mountaineers at Palumbo Center.
The victory - Duquesne's fourth in a row - upped the Dukes' record to 7-5 entering Atlantic 10 play. Appalachian State, which got 18 points from Tab Hamilton, fell to 4-9.
The four-game win streak is DU's longest since the 2010-11 team won 11 straight.
Duquesne substituted freely in the opening 20 minutes, using 11 players in building a 49-24 halftime lead. Soko led the way with 15 points. The DU bench, paced by eight points from White, outscored App State's 17-2 in the first half. The Dukes assisted on 15 of 16 first half field goals.
"That's the best first half of basketball we've played since I've been here," said second-year head coach Jim Ferry. "We've tried to play this way all year, but we've never had all of our pieces. This was the third game we've had our whole team. It's taken us a while to get to this point. I think everyone is kind of getting into their roles now."
Soko, who topped the 20-point mark for the fourth consecutive time, had a pair of dunks early in the second half as the Dukes maintained at least a 19-point lead for the remainder of the game.
Six players finished with five or more rebounds to help the Dukes to a 52-33 advantage on the glass.
DU, which assisted on 22 of 29 fields, had five players with at least three assists and none with more than four. Ten of the 11 players who saw action scored and all had at least one rebound.
Duquesne's balance was best reflected in a 32-7 advantage in bench points.
"I think it's starting to come together," said Ferry. "I think we're defending significantly better and offensively we are starting to flow and click with one another. Our focus is still about getting better - getting better defensively - and getting more cohesive, because the real deal starts on Wednesday night. The league is a beast and we are going to have to play well every night to compete in this league."
Duquesne opens Atlantic 10 play at home against Fordham on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Duquesne's four-game win streak is its longest under Jim Ferry ... it is the longest since DU won 11 straight in 2010-11.
The 24-point margin of victory was a Jim Ferry Era high, besting the previous mark of 19 set on Nov. 9 vs. Abilene Christian (94-75) and matched Dec. 29 at Texas-Pan American (88-69).
The Dukes trailed at 3-2 for 20 seconds of the game's opening minute ... it was the first time DU trailed in a game since the second half at Saint Francis on Dec. 17 (the Dukes did not trail in wins at UMass Lowell and Texas-Pan American).
Senior forward Ovie Soko, who finished with 22 points (8-of-11 from the foul line), topped the 20-point mark for the fourth consecutive time (23 at Saint Francis, 22 at UMass Lowell, 21 at Texas-Pan American). Soko has now scored 20 or more in a team-high five games this season. He is 47-of-56 (.839) from the foul line in his past four games.
Junior forward Dominique McKoy, who finished with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting, is 32-of-44 from the field in his past eight games. He is shooting a team-best .701 on the season.
Sophomore guard Micah Mason, who finished with 9 points, is 11-of-15 from the 3-point arc in three games back from a hand injury (he missed five games due to a broken bone in his hand suffered Nov. 20 vs. Albany) ... Mason, who has scored 37 points in his three games back (12.3 ppg.), is 13-of-20 from the field with eight assists and one turnover over that span. Mason is shooting .625 (20-of-32) from the arc on the season.
Junior guard Tra'Vaughn White has scored in double figures in four consecutive games. He has yet to score in single digits in four games off the bench (vs. Albany, at UMass Lowell, at Texas-Pan American and vs. Appalachian State).
Duquesne, which opens Atlantic 10 play at home against Fordham on Wednesday, has one more non-conference game remaining - at NJIT on Wednesday, Jan. 29.