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Soko Leads #DUQMBB to Atlantic 10-Opening 87-81 Win Over Fordham

 

 

Jan. 8, 2014

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PITTSBURGH - Ovie Soko scored a career-high 29 points as Duquesne survived a long-distance shooting barrage to extend its win streak to five with an 87-81 Atlantic 10 Conference-opening win over Fordham at Palumbo Center.

The five-game streak, which has enabled the Dukes (8-5, 1-0) to match last year's win total (8-22), is DU's longest since the 2010-11 team won 11 in a row.

Fordham (7-7, 0-1), which went 16-of-41 from 3-point, was led by Jon Severe who hit 7 3-pointers in scoring a game-high 35 points.

Derrick Colter had 14 points and Jeremiah Jones added 12. Dominique McKoy posted his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Dukes.

Duquesne, which led by 15 with 11 minutes left, saw its lead cut to three when Branden Frazier, who scored 14 of his 15 points in the second half, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 77-74 with 2:21 left.

"We were up 20, and it went from 20 to 12 in a heartbeat and I wouldn't say it was mistakes by us," said Duquesne coach Jim Ferry. "It was tough shots that they made. Then it was a battle."

Jeremiah Jones hit a free throw and Jerry Jones came up with a steal, missed the layup and Colter was whistled for a foul on a made put-back that sent Frazier to the line for a 1-and-1 with 1:34 left.

Frazier missed and Colter was fouled on a drive and converted a pair of free throws to make it 80-74.

The teams exchanged free throws before Severe was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 34.9 seconds left and hit all three to make it a one-possession game.

Jeremiah Jones had three big rebounds and converted 5-of-6 free throws in the final 33 seconds to seal the win.

"We had big stops down the stretch, competed on the glass and we made the key free throws down the end of the game," said Ferry.

It was the Severe Show early, as the Fordham freshman scored 15 of the Rams' first 23 points. Duquesne led 24-23 with just under 10 minutes left before going on a 14-4 run started by a layup, 3-pointer, free throw and dunk from Soko.

The dunk, which brought the crowd to its feet, came off an off-the-backboard pass from Colter to cap a 3-on-1 break.

The DU lead reached 16 before Mandell Thomas hit a 3-pointer at the horn to make it 48-35 at the half.

Soko, who scored 14 in the final 9:30 of the first half, scored twice in the opening two minutes of the second half. Micah Mason, who finished with a career-high 7 assists, gave the Dukes a 55-35 lead on 3-pointer at the 18:15 mark.

Fordham quickly rallied to cut it to 12 on a pair of Thomas 3-pointers. The Rams pulled to within eight on two more 3-pointers from Frazier around the 15 minute mark.

Duquesne hosts 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 participant La Salle in an NBCSN nationally televised game on Sunday, Jan. 12 at 2:30 p.m. It will be DU's annual "Red Out."

NOTES
• Duquesne's five-game win streak, in addition to being the longest under Jim Ferry, is the school's longest since the 2010-11 Dukes won 11 in a row ... the win snapped a six-game Atlantic 10 losing streak dating back to last season.

• Senior forward Ovie Soko (career-high 29 points), topped the 20-point mark for the fifth consecutive time (23 at Saint Francis, 22 at UMass Lowell, 21 at Texas-Pan American & 22 vs. Appalachian State the others). The last Duke to top 20 in five-straight games was Bryant McAllister who did it in his final five games as a Duke in 2006.

• Soko, who has scored 20 or more a team-high six times this season, had 20 in the first half. The last Duke to have 20 in a half was B.J. Monteiro who scored 23 of 30 in the first half of a 77-67 win over Fordham on Feb. 15, 2012.

• The Dukes have yet to lose (5-0) with the starting lineup of Jeremiah Jones, Ovie Soko, Dominique McKoy, Micah Mason and Derrick Colter.

• Duquesne assisted 19 of 25 field goals. Micah Mason led the way with a career-high 7.

• Junior forward Dominique McKoy posted his third career double-double (10-10). McKoy, who went 5-of-7 from the field, is shooting a team-best .703 on the season.

• Duquesne hosts 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 participant La Salle on Sunday, Jan. 12 at 2:30 p.m. The game, which will be DU's annual "Red Out", will be televised nationally by NBCSN.

 

 

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