Red and Blue Defeats Latvia-Select, 109-94
Nov. 3, 2002
Senior forward Brad Midgley and junior forward Ron Dokes led a balanced attack with 21 points each in pacing Duquesne to a 109-94 win over Latvia Select in DU's exhibition opener on Sunday. Midgley and Dokes were joined in double figures by sophomore center Simplice Njoya and junior swingman Elijah Palmer who added 20 points each. The Dukes, playing without starting guards Jimmy Tricco (back spasms) and Kevin Forney (one-game suspension), shot 60 percent in the second half to break open a close game.
"I felt a little vulnerable going in without Jimmy and Kevin," said Duquesne head coach Danny Nee. "They're our starting one and two guards. Latvia shot extremely well early in the game and gave us all we could handle. I thought we did a nice job under adverse conditions. We played well without Jimmy and Kevin, and I didn't know if we could."
Latvia got out of the blocks quick, opening the game with back-to-back three pointers and a fast break layup to take an 8-0 lead. Duquesne battled back to tie the game at 21-21 on a Midgley free throw with 11:25 to go in the half. The Dukes led by as many as nine before Latvia, who hit 8-of-14 three-point attempts in the opening 20 minutes, cut the lead to 49-48 at the half.
Neither team led by more than five until Palmer buried a three-pointer with 14:07 left to give the Dukes a 70-63 advantage. Palmer then scored on a layup at the 10:25 mark to put Duquesne up 79-68. The Dukes maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way.
Dokes and Palmer, both first-year junior college transfers, posted double-doubles with 13 and 10 rebounds respectively. They both hit 8-of-16 shots from the field. Njoya, who fouled out with four minutes remaining, added six boards and a game-high four blocked shots. True freshman Bryant McAllister, thrust into a starting role because of the Forney suspension, scored eight points, handed out six assists and posted a game-high three steals in 23 minutes.
"Kevin was suspended for a rules violation last spring," said Nee. "I had actually forgotten about it until my assistant coaches reminded me. I hated to do it because Kevin has been working so hard. But he understood. It was good for Bryant to get some game experience."
Tyler Bluemling also saw action at the point, adding six points and six assists in 20 minutes of action.
Duquesne, who shot just 39 percent in the first half, finished the game 48.7 percent from the field and 5-of-10 from the three-point arc. The Dukes were outstanding from the free throw line where they converted 30-of-31 attempts. Arturs Stalbergs and Ugis Vilums paced five Lativa Select players in double digits with 17 points each. For the game, Latvia shot 48.9 percent (14-of-29) from the three-point arc.
"We're a work in progress," said Nee. "And we will be a work in progress through November and December."
DU completes its exhibition season on Saturday, November 9 against Team Nike. The Dukes open the regular season at Pittsburgh on Saturday, November 23.