PREVIEW: St. Bonaventure at Duquesne
Jan. 31, 2017
Duquesne (9-13, 2-7) returns to Pittsburgh for its lone home game in 20 days when it hosts St. Bonaventure (13-7, 5-3) on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 8:00 p.m. The 117th meeting between the two will be televised by ASN with Tim Neverett & Tom Pecora on the call. DU, who is in the midst of four-of-five on the road, is 7-6 at home (7-5 at Palumbo Center). SBU is 4-2 on the road.
Duquesne, which lost over 70 percent of its scoring from last season, has incorporated a number of newcomers into the 2016-17 rotation. DU's top four scorers - all starters - are first-year players: freshman Mike Lewis II (12.9 ppg.), graduate transfer Emile Blackman (12.0 ppg.), freshman Isiaha Mike (10.9 ppg.) and Nebraska transfer sophomore Tarin Smith (9.7 ppg.). None of DU's top eight scorers averaged more than 9.2 minutes per game last year. Mike (23 points), Blackman (22), Lewis II (21) and Smith (12) all scored in double-digits in DU's last game, on Saturday at Richmond.
Lewis II, who has scored in double digits a team-high 16 times, and Mike, who is coming off a 23-point game at Richmond, have combined to earn Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week six times - three for Lewis II and three for Mike. It is the first time DU has had two multiple Rookies of the Week in the same year. The six total Rookies of the Week have tied the school record.
SERIES QUICK NOTES
St. Bonaventure is Duquesne's most frequent all-time opponent ... this is the 66th consecutive season the two have met ... this is the 12th consecutive year the two are meeting home-and-home ... last year, the two split the series, with the Dukes winning 95-88 at home, and the Bonnies taking an 80-76 decision in the rematch at Olean, N.Y. ... DU's Eric James averaged 15.5 ppg. in the two games ... returnees accounted for 50 of the 171 points (29.2%) DU scored vs. SBU last season.
The Bonnies have won 10 of the past 14 ... four of the past six have been determined by four or fewer points.
ON THE BONNIES
The Dukes, who were 20-of-86 (.233) from the 3-point arc in their previous four games, went 11-of-23 (.478) from long distance at UR.
Isiaha Mike averaged 19.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in DU's games at Davidson and at Richmond to earn A-10 Rookie of the Week honors for a third time on Monday. The 6-8 Canadian entered the week with 15 points in his previous three games.
Freshman Mike Lewis II (12.9 ppg.), who saw a streak of 14 double-digit games snapped at Davidson (6 points), came back to score 21 at Richmond. The St. Louis, Mo. native, who is averaging 14.4 ppg. in A-10 play, hit a career-high five 3-pointers (in eight attempts) vs. the Spiders. Lewis II enters the St. Bonaventure game with a streak of 20 consecutive free throws made spanning six games. He hasn't missed a free throw since Jan. 7.
Lewis II (12.9 ppg.) and Mike (10.9 ppg.) are the highest scoring freshman duo in the Atlantic 10.
Grad transfer Emile Blackman, who is tied with Lewis II with a team-high 14.4 ppg. scoring average in conference play, averaged 19.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in DU's two games last week. Blackman shot 50 percent from the field, 60 percent from 3-point (6-of-10) and 85.7 percent from the foul line in the two games. His 22 points at Richmond are a season high.
Mike (23 points), Blackman (22 points) and Lewis II (21 points) all topped the 20-point mark at Richmond. It was the first time since 2010 that three Dukes scored 20 or more in the same game.
First-year Nebraska transfer Tarin Smith had 12 points, a career-high eight rebounds and seven assists (with one turnover) at Richmond.
DU has held seven teams under 40 percent shooting this season: Loyola, Md. (.365), UT Martin (.348), Cleveland State (.385), Pitt (.333), Jackson State (.355), Colgate (.371) & at Fordham (.388). The Dukes are 6-1 in those games.