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#DUQMBB Begins Atlantic Play at Home vs. Fordham



Jan. 6, 2014

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GAME 13 - FORDHAM (7-6, 0-0) at DUQUESNE (7-5, 0-0)
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 • 7:00 EST • Pittsburgh, Pa. • A.J. Palumbo Center (4,406)
Radio: WPGB-FM 104.7 Ray Goss (`58) (pxp), Jarrett Durham (`71) (analyst)

The Last Meeting
January 9, 2013
Bronx, N.Y.
Dukes Drop A-10 Opener, 82-75 at Fordham
Chris Gaston had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Branden Frazier added 16 points and 13 assists as Fordham (5-11, 1-0) shot 53.1 percent in defeating Duquesne (7-8, 0-1) 82-75 in the Atlantic 10 opener for both schools at Rose Hill Gym.

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• This is the 32nd game in a series that dates back to Dec. 22, 1949 ... Duquesne leads the series 18-13, including a 10-4 advantage in games played at Pittsburgh ... Duquesne head coach Jim Ferry is 1-1 all-time vs. Fordham with a win at Rose Hil Gym while at LIU (82-70 on Nov. 23, 2010) and a road loss last year (82-75 on Jan. 9, 2012).

• The Dukes snapped a five-game series losing streak with a 74-62 win at the Palumbo Center in 2008 ... DU has gone on to win the past two meetings at home (five of the past seven overall).

• Fordham snapped a four-game DU series streak with an 82-75 win at Rose Hill Gym last season.

• Duquesne is 11-10 against Fordham in Atlantic 10 regular-season play.

Fordham continues to show steady improvement under fourth-year head coach Tom Pecora ... Pecora, who led Hofstra to four 20-win seasons in his previous stint,  took over a 2-26 Fordham team and finished with seven wins in 2011, he upped that total to 10 in 2012 before falling to 7-24 last season ... the Rams, who boast one of the top scoring backcourts in the nation, have already matched last season’s win total (7-6) ... freshman guard Jon Severe (43 3-pointers), has won A-10 Rookie of the Week four times in averaging a conference-best 20.5 ppg. ... senior guard Branden Frazier is also among the leading scorers in the A-10 at 18.5 ppg. ... he also leads the team wtih 60 assists and is shooting .914 from the foul line (74-of-81).

Leftovers from Duquesne’s 79-55 win over Appalachian State on Jan. 2: the Dukes trailed for just 20 seconds (at 3-2) in posting their fourth consecutive win ... the win streak is DU’s longest under Jim Ferry and longest by a Dukes team since 2010-11 (11 straight) ... the Dukes led by as many as 27 in first half and 28 in the second ... the Dukes set a Jim Ferry Era high for margin of victory +24 and tied the Ferry Era mark for largest halftime margin +25 (49-24) set earlier this season vs. Abilene Christian ... App State’s 55 points, 20 field goals and .313 field goal pct were all Ferry Era opponent lows ... Over Soko scored 15 of his game-high 22 points in the first half to lead the Dukes ... it was his fourth consecutive 20+ point game ... Tra’Vaughn White came off the bench to add 14 ... Dominique McKoy added 10 points ... Duquesne assisted on 22 of 29 field goals ... five players had at least three assists and none had more than four ... all 11 who played had at least one rebound, including six with five or more to help the Dukes to a season-best +19 rebound margin (52-33) ... DU outscored the App State bench 32-7 ... guards Tra’Vaughn White (6), Micah Mason (6) and Desmond Ridenour (5) all posted career-high rebound totals.

Ovie Soko, who has scored 23, 22, 21 and 22 points in his last four games, is the first Duke to string together four consecutive 20-point games since Bryant McAllister in 2006. McAllister, who topped the 20-point mark 13 times in 26 games in 2005-06, topped 20 in the final five games of his career in 2006: 20 vs. Saint Louis, 21 at Xavier, 22 vs. St. Bonaventure, 23 at Charlotte and 22 vs. Saint Joseph’s. McAllister led the A-10 in scoring in all games (19.7 ppg.) and conference-only games (20.7 ppg.) on his way to earning second team All-Atlantic 10 honors that season. Tom Pipkins, DU’s No. 3 all-time scorer had three streaks of five 20-point games in his career (twice as a senior in 1996-97 and once as a junior in 1995-96).

Four of Duquesne’s past six opponents have had six or more days to prepare for their game with the Dukes: Robert Morris (6 days), Saint Francis, Pa. (9 days), Texas-Pan American (10 days) and Fordham (8 days).

DU is 7-2 this season (14-7 under Jim Ferry) when scoring 70 or more points.

Duquesne, which began the week ranked 8th in NCAA Division I for fewest total turnovers (123), has three players with over 150 minutes played and single-digit turnovers: Jerry Jones (2 turnovers in 163 minutes), Micah Mason (3 in 172) and Jeremiah Jones (9 in 327).

• Duquesne, which extended its win streak to four with a 79-55 win over Appalachian State on Thursday, opens Atlantic 10 play on Wednesday, Jan. 8 vs. Fordham at 7:00 p.m. (WPGB-FM 104.7). The four-game streak is DU’s longest since 2010-11 (11 in a row).

• Duquesne is 18-18 in Atlantic 10 openers, including a 12-6 mark when opening at home. This is the third time in seven years that the Dukes will begin conference play against Fordham (the two have split home wins, with the Rams taking an 82-75 decision at Rose Hill Gym last season and the Dukes winning at home, 74-62 in the 2008-09 opener).

• Duquesne is shooting 52.4 percent (122-of-233) during its current four-game win streak. The Dukes shot over 50 percent at Saint Francis, UMass Lowell and Texas-Pan American before connecting on 46.8 percent of its shots in the home win over App State.

• Duquesne has had its 14-man roster intact for just three games this season. Freshman Isaiah Watkins missed the first six games while recovering from knee surgery and sophomore guard Micah Mason missed five games between Nov. 30 and Dec. 17 with a broken bone in his hand. The complete lineup made its debut on Dec. 21 at UMass Lowell and came out with a 95-77 win. Since then the Dukes have added victories at Texas-Pan American (88-69) and home against Appalachian State (79-55).

• Duquesne is in its second season under head coach Jim Ferry. Ferry, who came to DU after leading LIU Brooklyn to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances (2011 & 2012), is the 16th coach in school history. This is the 98th season for Duquesne basketball.

• Only three scholarship players are back from last year’s 8-22 team: returning starters Derrick Colter and Jeremiah Jones along with senior Jerry Jones. DU also has three first-year players with Division I experience in senior Ovie Soko (88 games for UAB from 2010-12), JC transfer Dominique McKoy (30 games at Rhode Island in 2012) and sophomore Micah Mason (30 games at Drake last year). The 11 active scholarship players on the 2013-14 roster brought a combined total of 10 seasons of Division I experience into the season.

• The 2013-14 Dukes are one win shy of matching last year’s win total (8-22).

• The Dukes have yet to lose (4-0) with the current starting lineup of F Ovie Soko, F Jeremiah Jones, C Dominique McKoy, G Micah Mason and G Derrick Colter.

• Five of the Dukes’ top seven scorers are first year players: UAB transfer Ovie Soko (18.1 ppg.), JC transfer Tra’Vaughn White (13.4), first-year Drake transfer Micah Mason (10.3), JC transfer Dominique McKoy (10.2) and freshman Desmond Ridenour (5.8).

• Eight players have scored 10 or more in a game and four are averaging in double figures for the Dukes who are averaging 79.2 ppg.

• The Dukes fielded their entire roster for the first time on Dec. 21 at UMass Lowell. Freshman forward Isaiah Watkins, who underwent leg surgery on Jan. 31 in his hometown of Toronto, had additional arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Oct. 3 keeping him out of DU’s first six games. He returned to action vs. Penn State on Dec. 11. Sophomore guard Micah Mason missed five games with a broken hand suffered Nov. 20 vs. Albany. He made his return with 14 points (4-of-6 from 3-point) at UMass Lowell on Dec. 21. A second Canadian, freshman forward, 6-8, 255-pound Jordan Robinson, has not been certified as eligible by the NCAA and has yet to practice.

• The Dukes, who are 66-of-87 (.759) from the foul line in their past four games, have made 19 more free throws (230-339) than their opponents have attempted (145-211). DU, which is averaging 28.3 free throw attempts per game, is outscoring its opponents by 85 points (7.1 ppg.) from the charity stripe. Senior forward Ovie Soko, who is challenging the school record for free throw attempts per game (he is currently at 9.5), has made good on 47-of-56 free throw attempts (.839) in his past six games (.719 for the season).

• DU has won three in a row on the road for the first time since 2010-11 (five straight). The three road wins have already eclipsed last year’s total (2-12).

• Senior Ovie Soko (18.1, 8.8), who has scored 14 or more points in 11 of 12 games, has posted four double-doubles this season. The UAB transfer has scored 23, 22, 21 and 22 points in his past four games.

• First-year Drake transfer Micah Mason, the top 3-point shooter in the Missouri Valley Conference last season (40-of-79, .506), was granted a waiver by the NCAA on Nov. 8 - the day before the season opener against Abilene Christian. Mason, a sophomore, hit a 3-pointer on his first touch in a Dukes uniform, 28 seconds after entering the ACU game. The western Pa. native had his breakout game with 18 points on 5-of-7 3-point shooting at WVU, before breaking a bone in his right hand in the first half of DU’s 70-59 win over Albany three day’s later. The injury sidelined him for five games. Mason hit four 3-pointers in his return at UMass Lowell on Dec. 21 and added four more in the Dec. 29 win at UTPA. Mason is 20-of-32 from the arc (.625) with 17 assists and three turnovers in 172 total minutes.

Micah Mason has shot 50 percent or better from the 3-point arc in six consecutive games. The only time he did not, was the season-opener against Abilene Christian when he was 1-of-4.

• Sophomore guard Derrick Colter, who became just the fifth player - and first underclassman - to lead the Dukes in scoring and assists when he averaged 13.4 ppg. and 5.3 apg. last season, scored a team-high 23 in the opener against Abilene Christian and added 20 points, 7 assists and a career high-tying 4 steals vs. UMBC. Colter has reached the 20-point mark six times in his young career. Colter (10.1 ppg.) leads the team with 46 assists.

• First-year forward Dominique McKoy missed just seven shots in the month of December (24-of-31, 10.7 ppg. in six Dec. games). The 6-8 JC transfer is shooting a team-best .701. McKoy, who has had at least six rebounds in 10 of 12 games, has scored in double digits seven times. He posted his first career double-double (12-10) vs. Penn State and followed that with 16 points and 10 more boards vs. Robert Morris.

• Sophomore forward Jeremiah Jones who, like Colter, has played in every game in his Duquesne career (42 and counting), has established himself as the Dukes’ top defender. Jones, who is averaging 27.3 min/g., has 25 assists and just nine turnovers this season. He has scored in double figures in three of DU’s past four games.

• First-year transfer guard Tra’Vaughn White, who led the nation’s JC’s in scoring last year at 25.9 ppg., has scored double-digit points in nine of 12 games. He scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half to help the Dukes rally from a 10-point halftime deficit to post a win at Saint Francis, Pa. and followed that with 15 points (4-of-4 from 3-point) at UMass Lowell. The Dukes are 0-3 when White scores fewer than 10. White has scored 36 of his 55 points in the second half of DU’s past four games.

• Freshman guard Desmond Ridenour, who scored all nine of his points in 14 first-half minutes against Pitt, topped that with 11 points at Saint Francis. The Ohio native, who had five field goals against the Red Flash, is averaging just under 18 minutes per game off the bench.

• Senior Jerry Jones has scored in double digits this season. He had 14 points in 20 minutes in the win over UMBC and two games later added 10 points and a career-high six assists in 23 turnover-free minutes vs. Robert Morris. Jones. He has two turnovers in 163 minutes this season.

• Four players posted 40-plus inch running vertical jumps in July testing. The four highest-leaping Dukes are: Jeremiah Jones (42.5”), Derrick Colter (42.5”), Ovie Soko (40.5”) and Desmond Ridenour (40.5”).

• DU will play George Mason (2013 CBI finalist), La Salle (2013 NCAA Sweet 16), Saint Louis (2013 NCAA Third Round) and St. Bonaventure twice in Atlantic 10 play. Mason, La Salle and SLU all won at least 22 games last season. Duquesne and George Washington are the only schools who will face two of the Atlantic 10’s three returning 2013 NCAA tournament participants home-and-home. DU, GW and St. Bonaventure are the only schools with three 2013 post-season participants in their four-team pod.

UP NEXT: DU hosts La Salle in an NBCSN nationally televised Atlantic 10 game on Sun., Jan. 12 at 2:30 p.m. at Palumbo Center. The game will be DU's annual "RED OUT" where all fans are encourged to wear red. Free T-shirts, courtesy of UPMC Health Plan, UMPC Sports Medicine & Trib Total Media, will be distributed to fans prior to the game.



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