Dukes Drop A-10 Opener At St. Joe's, 76-56
Jan. 5, 2003
Philadelphia, PA -- - The Duquesne Dukes, who fought back to get within two in the second half, dropped their Atlantic 10 season-opener at Saint Joseph's, 76-56, Sunday afternoon at the Hawks' Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
Senior Kevin Forney, who returned to the starting lineup in his hometown Philly, paced the Dukes (6-8, 0-1 A-10) with a tieing career and game high of 22 points and a game-high seven rebounds. Junior Ron Dokes had 10 points and freshman Bryant McAllister distributed a team-high four assists.
Saint Joseph's (9-1, 1-0 A-10) was paced by junior Jameer Nelson, who also had 22 points, and sophomores Delonte West and Pat Carroll with 17 and 13 points respectively. Conference preseason first team point guard Nelson, who was limited to one assist, had a game best seven steals as the Hawks grabbed a season-high 18 steals.
St. Joe's, who opened strong with a 10-2 lead at the first media timeout, stretched their first half lead to as much as 17 at 36-19. But the Dukes fought back to cut the lead to 11 (37-26) at the half on a bucket by Simplice Njoya, two free throws by Elijah Palmer and a three by Jimmy Tricco.
Forney scored the first seven points of the second half, slicing the lead to 37-33 before Martelli called a 30-second timeout to stop the bleeding. After a West foul shot, Forney responded with a reverse layup at the 16:48 mark, his ninth point in three minutes. The Dukes cut the lead to two points, but that was as close as DU would get.
Leading 46-42, St. Joe's went on a 12-0 run to break the game open. Then Nelson went on a 8-0 run himself to build the lead to 66-42, the Hawks' largest of the contest. Both coaches substituted liberally down the end with the score ending at 76-56, including two free throws by St. Joe's walk-on senior guard, Phil Martelli Jr., sho was featured in the half-time of Comcast TV's broadcast.
The Dukes outrebounded St. Joe's 39-36, but shot just 35.8 percent from the floor and 31.8 percent (5-16) from behind the arc. DU did have a decent day at the charity stripe, hitting 72.3 percent (13-18). And once again, the Dukes broke the double-decade turnover mark with 24 miscues. Note: Coach Martelli earlier Sunday was one of three guests on ESPN's Outside the Lines show on the "perils of recruiting."
St. Joe's shot 40.6 percent from the floor and 47.1 percent from long distance. The Hawks were limited to 2-of-7 threes in the second half after hitting 6-or-10 in the opening stanza. SJU shot 66.7 percent (16-24) from the line, had five blocks to DU's three but also had 14 turnovers.
The Dukes open the home A-10 season on Wednesday, Jan. 8 vs. Temple (3-8, 1-0 A-10),at the Palumbo Center. Game time is 7:30 p.m. (EST). "Duquesne No. 1" foam fingers will be given to the first 500 fans in attendance. The giveaway is sponsored by Stargate.