Dukes Douse Red Flash
Dec. 22, 2009
PITTSBURGH - Damian Saunders posted his nation-leading tenth double-double with a game-high 18 points and 12 rebounds as Duquesne cruised to an 86-56 win over Saint Francis, Pa. at the Palumbo Center.
The win was Duquesne's (9-4) tenth in a row over the Red Flash (3-9) who have not beaten the Dukes in Pittsburgh since 1966.
Umar Shannon led Saint Francis, which saw its losing streak reach four, with 12 points.
"It was nice to play a game that wasn't a `grinder' or wasn't decided in the last three or four possessions," said Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart.
The Dukes broke an early 5-5 tie with a 13-0 run as five different players scored to make it 18-5 six minutes into the game. Duquesne, which played 10 players in the game's first 10 minutes, led by as many as 20 in building a 47-29 halftime lead.
Evans and Jason Duty went a combined 6-of-7 from the 3-point arc in scoring 13 and nine points respectively in the opening 20 minutes.
Duquesne hit 10 of its first 11 shots of the second half to build a 29-point lead with 10 minutes left.
The Dukes, who finished with a season-best 20 assists, shot a season-high .574. DU went 8-of-20 from the 3-point arc to match its best single-game 3-point percentage (.400).
"We did a nice job of getting the ball in the open floor and making some plays," said Everhart. "For the first time we shared the ball like we can share the ball. That's the way we have to play to have a good team."
Duquesne limited Saint Francis to .370 shooting. The Red Flash went 4-of-20 from the 3-point arc. SFU senior Devin Sweetney went 3-of-11 from the field in seeing his streak of 30 consecutive games in double figures snapped with nine points.
Duquesne breaks for the Christmas holiday prior to returning to action to complete the non-conference portion of the schedule at Old Dominion on Wed., Dec. 30. DU opens Atlantic 10 play on Wed., Jan. 6 vs. Richmond at the Palumbo Center.
Damian Saunders posted his nation-leading tenth double-double of the season (18-12) ... Saunders' 10 double-doubles are the most by a Duquesne player since Derrick Alston had 12 in 1992-93 (Duquesne's lone season as a member of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference) ... all of Saunders' 17 career double-doubles have come in his past 44 games ... Saunders is averaging 13.9 points and 13.1 rebounds per game ... his rebounds per game average is the best by a Duquesne player since Lionel Billingy averaged 13.1 rpg. in 1973-74 ... Saunders began the week ranked second nationally in rebounds per game.
Eleven different Dukes played - and eight scored - in the first half ... DU's seven first half 3-pointers were more than its total in each of the past five games ... all 14 Dukes in uniform played, 10 scored.
The Dukes got a season-high 19 bench points ... the previous best was 18 vs. Robert Morris.
Duquesne (9-4) has now posted nine wins prior to Jan. 1 for the third consecutive season (9-4 last year and 9-3 in 2007-08). The last time Duquesne had nine pre-January wins prior to Ron Everhart's arrival was in 1968-69 (9-1). The school record for pre-January wins is 10 (10-0 in 1953-54). The 2009-10 Dukes have one non-conference game remaining, at Old Dominion on Dec. 30.