March 7, 2014
GAME 29 - DUQUESNE (12-16, 4-11) at GEORGE MASON 11-18, 4-11)
Saturday, March 8, 2014 • 7:00 EST • Fairfax, Va. • Patriot Center (10,000)
Television: MASN with Bill Rohland and Craig Esherick
Radio: WPGB-FM 104.7 Ray Goss (`58) (pxp), Jarrett Durham (`71) (analyst)
The Last Meeting
February 8, 2014
A.J. Palumbo Center
George Mason defeats #DUQMBB, 74-68
Sherrod Wright scored a game-high 23 points as George Mason ended a nine-game losing streak with its first Atlantic 10 win, 74-68 over Duquesne at the Palumbo Center.
Duquesne (12-16, 4-11), coming off a 78-74 loss to UMass, hits the road to face George Mason (11-18, 4-11) in its final regular-season game on Sat., Mar. 8 at 7:00 (ET) (MASN TV & WPGB-FM 104.7). The winner of the DU/GMU game will avoid the Mar. 12 opening round game at the 2014 Atlantic 10 Championship. A Duquesne win would secure a No. 10 seed and Thursday 6:30 p.m. start against the No. 7 seed. A loss would seed the Dukes at No. 12 and put them in the Wednesday night 7:00 p.m. game vs. No. 13 Fordham. The 12/13 winner plays the No. 5 seed on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
SERIES QUICK NOTES
• This is the 8th meeting in a relatively new series that dates to New Year’s Eve of 2001 ... Mason leads the series 5-2 ... this is the second meeting between the two as members of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
• George Mason has won two of three meetings in Fairfax, Va. ... in the last meeting in Virginia, Duquesne snapped an 18-game GMU Patriot Center win streak with a 75-64 victory on Dec. 21, 2011 ... it was Mason’s first double-digit loss at home in over four years ... Jerry Jones is the only current player who saw action in that game (4 pts & 5 rebs in 21 minutes).
• Mason is one of four home-and-home opponents for the Dukes ... DU split with Saint Louis (home loss, road win) and St. Bonaventure (home win, road loss) and was swept by La Salle ... GMU recorded its first A-10 win on Feb. 8 at Duquesne by a 74-68 score.
ON THE PATRIOTS
• George Mason, picked to finish 8th in the A-10 preseason poll, is 4-11 in conference play ... the Patriots, who got off to an 0-8 league start, have won four of their past seven ... the streak started with the Patriots’ first A-10 win on Feb. 8 over Duquesne at Palumbo Center (74-68) ... GMU has three overtime losses in A-10 play ... The Patriots are 6-7 at home, including a 1-6 mark in conference play (the win came on Feb. 26 over Richmond) ... George Mason is coming off a 59-57 win at La Salle on Thursday night ... Mason’s bench, led by 15 points and 8 rebounds from Marko Gujanicic outscored La Salle’s 31-9 ... the Patriots bolstered by a 43-35 rebound advantage, outscored the Explorers 28-18 in the paint and 16-8 in second chance points.
Leftovers from DU’s 78-74 loss to UMass on Wednesday: Duquesne had three possessions down two in the final 1:43, but couldn’t convert ... Ovie Soko turned it over with 1:09 left, Micah Mason had a shot blocked at :27 and a Jerry Jones baseline drive rimmed out at :07 ... Duquesne’s largest lead was 11 (27-16) with 9:20 remaining in the first half ... UMass’ largest lead was eight (66-58) with 8:39 left ... there were 8 ties and 11 lead changes ... UMass took the lead for good on a Trey Davis 3-pointer with 1:43 left ... Mason (4-6 from 3pt) led the Dukes with 20 points and 5 assists ... Soko posted an 18-13 double-double and Dominique McKoy added 12 points and 7 boards ... DU assisted on 19 of 25 field goals ... both teams shot 45 percent ... the Dukes outrebounded the Minutemen 36-32 and outscored UMass 14-9 off turnovers ... UMass had 14 second-chance points to 5 for DU ... Duquesne did not have a second chance point in the second half ... UMass hit seven of its 10 3-pointers in the second half.
• Micah Mason, who has hit four three pointers in three of DU’s past four games, is averaging 2.9 3-pointers per game in conference play. Mason is coming off the first two 20-point games of his career (career high 22 at Saint Louis followed by 20 vs. UMass).
• Duquesne is 25-60 (.417) from 3-point in its past three games. DU has assisted on 52 of its 68 field goals (76.5%) over that span.
• DU’s last three conference losses have all been decided in the final minute (at St. Bonaventure, vs. Dayton and vs. UMass). DU also led Saint Louis in a final minute defeat on Jan. 22.
• DU has won two of its past three road games.
• Duquesne began the week as one of only 17 Division I schools with a better winning percentage on the road (.500) than at home (currently .400).
• This is just the fifth time in the past 43 seasons (since 1971) that Duquesne has won six or more road games (1980, 1986, 2009 & 2011 are the others). DU’s six road wins have tripled last year’s total (2-12).
• Senior F Ovie Soko (18.2 ppg.), who is 0.4 ppg. ahead of Fordham’s Jon Severe (18.3 ppg.) in the A-10 scoring race, is bidding to become the seventh Duke - and first since Bryant McAllister in 2006 - to lead the conference in scoring. Soko, who has posted over 35 percent of his points from the foul line, ranks second nationally in total free throw attempts with 273 in 28 g. His 9.75 FTAs/g. are on school record pace.
• Sophomore G Micah Mason leads the nation in 3-point shooting percentage (.571). His 43 3-pointers in conference play are the most by any A-10 player. Mason, who has 67 assists and 11 turnovers, has the highest offensive efficiency rating in the nation (all players) according to KenPom.com.
• 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.
• Four of Duquesne’s conference losses have come by four or fewer points, including the past three. DU led Saint Louis by two with 51 seconds left on Jan. 22, trailed by two with a chance to tie it at the line with :17 left on Feb. 19 at St. Bonaventure, missed a free throw with a chance to tie it with :18 left vs. Dayton three days later and had three possessions down two in the final 1:43 vs. UMass.
• Ovie Soko (18.2, 7.9), is the fifth Duke in the past 20 years to top the 500-point mark in a season (510). The other most recent 500-point scorers: Bill Clark (520 in 2011), Aaron Jackson (657 in 2009), Bryant McAllister (513 in 2006) and Mike James (526 in 1998).
• Soko leads the A-10 in scoring (0.4 ppg. ahead of Fordham’s Jon Severe). Soko, who has scored 20 or more in a game 12 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. McAllister is the last Duke to lead the A-10 in scoring. DU has produced six A-10 scoring champions.
• First-year Drake transfer Micah Mason, the top 3-point shooter in the Missouri Valley Conference last season (40-of-79, .506), leads the nation in 3-point shooting percentage (.571). The sophomore guard was granted a waiver by the NCAA on Nov. 8 - the day before the season opener against Abilene Christian - and responded by drilling 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 has had three five 3-pointer games this season (5-7 at WVU, 5-7 vs. Saint Louis & 5-6 vs. St. Bonaventure). Mason is 64-of-112 from the arc (.571) with 67 assists and 11 turnovers this season (6.1-to-1 ratio).
• Mason had two of his top 3-point shooting days against Saint Louis’ nation’s-best 3-point defense. Mason hit five 3-pointers on seven attempts in scoring 15 points vs. the Billikens on Jan. 22 and added a career-high 22 (4-of-5 from 3-point) in DU’s 71-64 win at SLU on Feb. 27. That’s 9-of-12 from the arc in two games vs. Saint Louis.
• Mason has shot 50 percent or better from the 3-point arc in 18 of 23 games. The only exceptions were the season-opener against Abilene Christian (1-of-4), at VCU (0-of-4), at George Washington (3-of-8), vs. Richmond (3-of-7) & vs. Dayton (2-7). He has hit at least one 3-pointer in 22 of the 23 games he’s played and has hit four or more in a game nine times. Nearly 75 percent of his career field goal attempts have come from beyond the 3-point arc. He is shooting .545 from 3-point for his career (104-of-191).
• 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 (8.8 ppg.) leads the team with 95 assists (1.86-1 assist-to-turnover ratio). He has scored in double digits in eight Atlantic 10 games and has hit at least one 3-pointer in 23 of 28 games. His coast-to-coast running 3-pointer at the horn gave the Dukes an 83-81 A-10 win over St. Bonaventure on Jan. 25. He followed that by scoring all 11 of his points in the final 4:50 of DU’s come-from-behind win at NJIT. The Dukes, who trailed by 10 with 9:32 left, took the lead for good on the second of back-to-back Colter 3-pointers with 3:58 left. Colter, who has started every game in his Duquesne career (58), has never gone more than two games without a 3-pointer.
• 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 .596 (2nd in A-10). McKoy, who has had at least six rebounds in 24 of 28 games, has scored in double digits 16 times. He posted his first career double-double (12-10) vs. Penn State and followed that with a career-high 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 nine A-10 games and has scored in double digits in 10 of his past 17 outings.
• Sophomore forward Jeremiah Jones who, like Colter, has played in every game in his Duquesne career (58 and counting with 50 starts), has established himself as one of the Dukes’ top defenders. Jones, who is averaging 25.1 min/g., has 45 assists and 28 turnovers this season after having 28 and 28 last year. He has scored in double figures nine times. His last double-digit game was Jan. 18 at VCU (10 pts.).
• Senior Jerry Jones has scored in double digits four times this season. He came off the bench to score a season-high 19 points in 20 minutes - including 16 in the final 12:15 - to spark the Dukes to a 71-64 win at No. 10 (AP) Saint Louis. He went 8-of-10 from the the field (3-of-4 from 3-point) against the Billikens. Earlier in the season, Jones 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 39 assists and 16 turnovers on the season.
• 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. He had this third eight-point game (4-5 from field) at URI. The Ohio native’s 55 assists rank third on the team and his 24 steals are tied with Ovie Soko for team high.
• Freshman forward L.G. Gill came off the bench to score a career-high 19 at Rhode Island on Feb. 15. Gill, who was 10-of-45 from 3-point entering the game, drilled 5-of-6 from beyond the arc at URI. Gill’s previous high game was 7 points (four times). Earlier in the season, the Richmond native made a highlight reel play with a block of 7-0 St. Bonaventure center Youssou Ndoye’s dunk attempt in an 83-81 DU win. Gill’s 19 points at Rhody are tied with Jerry Jones (19 at Saint Louis) for most by a Duke off the bench this year and most by a player off the bench since Jones scored 22 last year at Appalachian State (Nov. 28, 2012):
UP NEXT: Duquesne heads to Brooklyn for the 2014 Atlantic 10 Championship at Barclays Center March 12-16. A Dukes win over George Mason will put them in the 6:30 p.m. game on Thursday against the No. 7 seed. A loss will place them in the opening round game vs. Fordham on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.