Duquesne Wins Second Exhibition, 99-86
Nov. 9, 2002
PITTSBURGH, PA - -- Junior college transfers Elijah Palmer and Ron Dokes combined for 37 points as Duquesne completed its exhibition season with a 99-86 victory over Team Nike on Saturday night at the Palumbo Center. Senior Kevin Forney added 16 points and junior Jimmy Tricco scored 12 for the Dukes.
"I was pleased with our effort," said Duquesne head coach Danny Nee. "Elijah and Ron were something else with their rebounding. We have a team. We're all on the same page. I like our group."
Team Nike, made up of former NCAA Division I players, jumped out to a 28-20 lead on the strength of 10 quick points from Keith Friel before Duquesne rallied to take a 29-28 lead on a dunk and tip-in by Palmer with 8:05 to go in the half. The two teams battled back-and-forth before a Dokes dunk gave DU a lead it would never relinquish at 43-42 with 1:33 to go.
Junior Jimmy Tricco caught fire early in the second half to give the Dukes some breathing room. The Gonzaga transfer, who was making his first appearance as a Duke, drilled his third three-pointer in the opening 2:30 of the second half to give the Dukes a 58-45 lead. Tricco, whose last game action came in the 2001 NCAA Tournament, missed DU's exhibition opener on Nov. 3 with back spasms.
"My back got a little tight, but it felt great to get back out there into the action," said Tricco who hit 4-of-6 three-point attempts in 16 minutes.
Senior forward Brad Midgley came off the bench to add 10 points, five assists and five rebounds for the Dukes. Freshman point guard Bryant McAllister added five assists and turned it over just once in 15 minutes.
"We're improved from last year," said Nee. "It's a whole different animal. We have better players and more of them. Jimmy [Tricco], Ron [Dokes] and Elijah [Palmer] - they're good players. But they are going to get tested real quick."
The Team Nike game was the final exhibition game for the Dukes, who defeated Latvia-Select 109-94 on Nov. 3. Duquesne opens its regular season with five games in 10 days beginning at (#4 ESPN/USA Today) Pittsburgh on Nov. 23.
"Over the next 12 days we really have to improve our defense," said Nee. "We have a lot to do to prepare for those first five games."
Duquesne shot 64.7 percent from the field in building its lead to as many as 22 points in the second half. For the game, the Dukes converted at a 55.4 percent rate. Dokes and Palmer led both teams with 13 and 12 rebounds respectively. Forney, who like Tricco, missed the exhibition opener (suspension) hit 6-of-8 shots from the field and also handed out five assists in 19 minutes.
Charlie Wills led Team Nike with 18 points. John Harris and Friel finished with 14 points each.