Jan. 30, 2014
Game 20: DUQUESNE (10-9, 2-4) at LA SALLE (11-9, 3-3)
Saturday, February 1, 2014 4:00 EST Pittsburgh, Pa. A.J. Palumbo Center (4,406)
Radio: WPGB-FM 104.7 Ray Goss (`58) (pxp), Jarrett Durham (`71) (analyst)
Television: SNY with Frank Hanrahan (pxp), John Griffin (analyst)
** Game will also air locally live on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh **
The Last Meeting
January 12, 2014
A.J. Palumbo Center
CampusInsiders Live Stream
Duquesne, which completed the the non-conference portion of the schedule with a 71-64 win at NJIT on Wednesday, heads to Philadelpia for a rematch with La Salle at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday (WPGB-FM 104.7). The game will be televised by SNY (will air on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh locally) and will be live-streamed by CampusInsiders.com with Frank Hanrahan and John Griffin describing the action.
SERIES QUICK NOTES
This is the 70th meeting in a series that dates to Feb. 10, 1940 ... La Salle leads 39-30, including a 19-13 lead in Atlantic 10 regular season games ... in games played at Philadelphia, La Salle leads 23-10 ... in an oddity of sorts, La Salle has won five of the past six in Pittsburgh and Duquesne has won four of the past five in Philadelphia.
The Dukes and Explorers have split the past 10 meetings ... the average score in those games is Duquesne 82.1 and La Salle 81.0 (+1.1 ppg.).
This is head coach Jim Ferry's third meeting with La Salle (0-2).
ON THE EXPLORERS
La Salle, which returns four starters and 75 percent of its scoring from last year's 24-10 NCAA Sweet 16 team, was picked to finish 3rd in the Atlantic 10 in the preseason poll of league coaches ... the Explorers, who are 7-2 at home, dropped their third consecutive game, 69-47 at George Washington on Wednesday ... the 47 points were an Explorers' season low ... La Salle placed three on the A-10 preseason all-Conference team ... Sr. G Tyreek Duren (1st), Sr. G Tyrone Garland (3rd) and Jr. F Jerrell Wright (3rd) ... the three picks were more than any other league school ... Duren (14.7 ppg.), Garland (14.3 ppg.) and Wright (12.1 ppg.) are all averaging in double figures ... center Steve Zack is pulling down a team-high 9.5 rebounds per game ... Duren scored 23, Garland had 17 and Zack had 13 points and 11 rebounds in La Salle's 75-56 win over Duquesne on Jan. 12 at Palumbo Center (box score and full recap appear in the PDF release).
Leftovers from Duquesne's 71-64 non-conference win at NJIT on Wednesday: Derrick Colter scored all 11 of his points in the final 4:50 to help Duquesne erase a 10-point second half deficit ... DU was down 53-43 with 9:32 left before going on a 16-5 run ... Ovie Soko, who started the run with three free throws, finished with a game-high 25 points (11-of-16 from the line) ... Colter gave the Dukes their first lead since the first minute of the game with the second of back-to-back 3-pointers with 3:58 left ... Micah Mason (5-of-6 from the field) added 13 points and a career-high 7 rebounds ... Dominique McKoy's game-high 10 boards helped the Dukes to a 37-26 advantage on the glass ... DU outscored NJIT 15-4 off turnovers ... the Dukes won despite going 3-of-16 from 3-point ... Duquesne was the first Atlantic 10 team to play at NJIT ... with the win, DU tied the school record for non-conference road wins with four ... the Dukes went 4-1 in non-league road games ... it was DU's second 10-point, second-half comeback this season ... the other was at Saint Francis on Dec. 17.
70 THE KEY
DU is 10-4 this season (17-9 under Jim Ferry) when scoring 70 or more.
ON THE ROAD
DU, which won 17 road games in 10 seasons from 1997 through 2006, has posted 39 road Ws over the past eight years. Of the 39 wins, 27 have come by double digits. From 1997-06, Duquesne posted three double-digit road victories. DU is 4-3 on the road this season with consecutive wins at Saint Francis, Pa. (78-71), at UMass Lowell (95-77) and at Texas-Pan American (88-69). DU tied the school record with four non-conference road wins. The Dukes are 6-14 on the road under Jim Ferry.
DU is in the middle of a stretch of three in a row on the road. The Dukes traveled directly to Philadelphia following Wednesday night's game at NJIT. Duquesne, which is 4-3 on the road, is at George Washington on Feb. 5.
DU is one of six A-10 schools with winning road records (SLU, UMass, GW, VCU & SJU are the others). This is La Salle's first game at Tom Gola Arena since the passing of the National Basketball Hall of Famer - for whom the arena is named - on Jan. 26.
Duquesne ranks second in the A-10 in scoring (76.8) and assists/g (15.1 apg.). DU, which has had more assists than turnovers in 15 of 19 games, has posted 20 or more assists three times. DU leads the A-10 with a +1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio.
DU won't return to Palumbo Center until the annual Chuck Cooper Classic vs. George Mason on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 2:00 p.m.
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.
The 2013-14 Dukes matched last season's win total (8-22) with their 87-81 Atlantic 10-opening win over Fordham on Jan. 8 and eclipsed the eight-win mark with an 83-81 victory over St. Bonaventure on Jan. 25.
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.
Sophomores Derrick Colter and Jeremiah Jones have shown marked improvement from year one to year two. Although Colter's scoring average has dipped (-3.3 ppg.), he has been much more efficient as his field goal, 3-point and free throw percentages have all improved: FG (.376 to .401), 3PT (.314 to .390) & FT (.667 to .727). Jones' percentages are also up: FG (.392 to .425), 3PT (.315 to .361) and FT (.629 to .690). Jones, who was even in assists-to-turnovers last year (28-28), has 35 assists and 14 turnovers this year.
Five of the Dukes' top seven scorers are first year players: UAB transfer Ovie Soko (18.2 ppg.), JC transfer Dominique McKoy (10.5), JC transfer Tra'Vaughn White (9.6), first-year Drake transfer Micah Mason (9.6) and freshman Desmond Ridenour (5.6).
Eight players have scored 10 or more and six are averaging at least 7.8 points per game for the Dukes who are averaging 76.8 ppg.
The Dukes fielded their entire roster for the first time on Dec. 21 at UMass Lowell (4-5 at the time). 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.
The Dukes have made 20 more free throws than their opponents have attempted. DU, which is averaging 27.9 free throw attempts per game, is outscoring its opponents by 141 points (7.4 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 10.1), has had two games with 20 attempts (vs. Pitt & St. Bonaventure).
Ovie Soko (18.2, 7.5), who has scored in double digits 17 times, saw a streak of five consecutive 20-point games - including a career-high 29 in the A-10 opener vs. Fordham - snapped on Jan. 12 vs. La Salle (12 points). He was the first Duke to string together five consecutive 20-point games since Bryant McAllister did it in his final five games as a Duke in 2006. McAllister, who topped the 20-point mark 13 times in 26 games in 2005-06, 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. Soko scored 29 points in three games following his career-high 29-point outburst vs. Fordham, prior to scoring a game-high 18 against Saint Louis and adding 27 vs. St. Bonaventure & 25 at NJIT.
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 West Virginia, before breaking a bone in his right hand in the first half of DU's 70-59 win over Albany three days later. The injury sidelined him for five games. Mason hit four "3"s in his return at UMass Lowell on Dec. 21 and added four more in the Dec. 29 win at UTPA. He had his top A-10 outing with five 3-pointers on seven attempts in scoring 15 points vs. Saint Louis and matched that with five more in six attempts vs. St. Bonaventure (15 points). Mason is 36-of-59 from the arc (.610) with 36 assists and 6 turnovers this season.
Micah Mason has shot 50 percent or better from the 3-point arc in 12 of 14 games. The only exceptions were the season-opener against Abilene Christian (1-of-4) and at VCU (0-of-4). He has hit at least one 3-pointer in 13 of the 14 games he's played and has hit four or more in a game five times. Nearly 75 percent of his career field goal attempts have come from beyond the 3-point arc.
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 (10.2 ppg.), who leads the team with 73 assists, is tied for the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the A-10 (2.1-1). He has scored in double digits in five of six Atlantic 10 games (12.0 ppg.). His running 3-pointer at the final horn gaves the Dukes an 83-81 A-10 win over St. Bonaventure on Jan. 25. He scored all 11 of his points in the final 4:50 of DU's come-from-behind win at NJIT. The Dukes trailed by 10 with 9:32 left. The second of back-to-back 3-pointers by Colter gave the Dukes a 59-58 lead with 3:58 left. DU maintained the lead the rest of the game. Colter has started every game in his Duquesne career (49).
First-year forward Dominique McKoy, who missed just seven shots in the month of December (24-of-31, 10.7 ppg. in six Dec. games), is shooting an A-10-best .661. McKoy, who has had at least six rebounds in 17 of 19 games, has scored in double digits 12 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. He posted back-to back double-doubles in his first two A-10 games: 10-10 in the opener vs. Fordham and 15 points and a career-high 11 rebounds vs. La Salle. He has led DU in rebounding in all six A-10 games (and last seven games overall).
Sophomore forward Jeremiah Jones who, like Colter, has played in every game in his Duquesne career (49 and counting with 41 starts), has established himself as the Dukes' top defender. Jones, who is averaging 26.6 min/g., has 35 assists and 14 turnovers this season. He has scored in double figures nine times.
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. He added eight points and six assists all in 13 second-half minutes at Saint Joseph's and followed that with eight more points and four steals at VCU. The Ohio native has 42 assists - No. 2 on the team - and 25 turnovers in 16.6 min/g. off the bench.
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 10 times, including five off the bench. 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 7-3 when White scores 10 or more.
Senior Jerry Jones has scored in double digits three times 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. He tied his career high with four 3-pointers - including three in the last 59 seconds - in scoring 14 at Saint Joseph's. Jones has 22 assists and nine turnovers on the season.
Duquesne, which began the week 16th in NCAA Division I for fewest total turnovers, has four regulars with better than 2:1 assist/turnover ratios: Micah Mason - 6.0-to-1 (36-6), Jeremiah Jones - 2.5-to-1 (35-14), Jerry Jones - 2.4-to-1 (22-9) and Derrick Colter - 2.1-to-1 (73-34). Nine players have either led or tied for the team lead in assists in a game this season. DU began the week ranked 48th nationally in fewest turnovers/g. (currently at 10.8).
DU won three in a row on the road for the first time since 2010-11 (five straight) in late December (at Saint Francis, at UMass Lowell and at Texas-Pan American. The three road wins have already eclipsed last year's total (2-12). DU's four non-conference road wins tied the school record set in 2009 and matched in 2011. The 2014 Dukes' .800 winning pct. in road non-conference games (4-1) is the best in school history.
DU is playing 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: Duquesne returns to Pittsburgh Saturday night prior to heading to Washington D.C. to face George Washington on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7:00 p.m. (no TV).