Dukes Fry Rice, 86-59
Nov. 18, 2007
The victory upped the Dukes' record to 3-0 - marking the first time since 1998-99 that a DU team has opened the season with three-straight wins. The 27-point margin was the largest in a road game since an 87-58 win (+29) at Robert Morris on Dec. 22, 1994. It was just the second time in the past 35 years that a Duquesne team won a road game by more than 25 points.
Paulius Packevicius led Rice (0-2) with 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
The game - Duquesne's first on the road this season - was played at Merrell Center in Katy, Texas which is approximately 30 miles from Rice's downtown Houston campus. The Owls' on-campus facility, Autry Court, is undergoing renovation. The crowd of 458 was the smallest a Duquesne team had ever played in front of on the road.
Neither team led by more than four in a first half that saw six ties and three lead changes. The Dukes, who went 0-of-8 from the 3-point arc in the opening 20 minutes, took a 32-30 halftime lead on a pair of Achara free throws with a minute left.
Duquesne scored the first five points of the second half and had a 43-38 lead with 15 minutes left when Achara, who scored 13 in the second half, started an 8-0 run with a pair of free throws and ended it with a layup off a pass from Mensah to make the score 51-38 with 13:11 to go. DU maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
The Dukes hit five 3-pointers in the second half in outscoring the Owls 54-29.
"We didn't convert a lot of transition opportunities in the first half," said Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart. "Rice did a good job of getting back. In the second half we made a few jump shots which opened things up inside. We really made some good decisions on the break."
Duquesne assisted on 20 of 27 field goals and went 27-of-35 from the foul line in a game that saw a total of 53 fouls called - including 30 on the Dukes.
Defensively, Duquesne held Rice to 32.1 percent shooting and forced 28 Owl turnovers. It marked the third-straight game DU has held its opponent under 40 percent. In 29 games last season, the Dukes held just two opponents under 40 percent.
Duquesne will be looking to go 4-0 for the first time since 1986-87 when they take the court at Oakland University on Tuesday night at 7:30 tip. The team will fly directly from Houston to Detroit early Sunday morning.
The previous smallest crowd a Duquesne team had played before on the road was 500 at Temple on Feb. 12, 1983.