Nov. 13, 2017

 Game 2 VMI (0-1) at Duquesne (1-0)
 Date | Time Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. ET
 Location A.J. Palumbo Center (4,390) | Pittsburgh, Pa.
 Game Notes Duquesne Game Notes
 Watch Atlantic 10 Network
 Listen WJAS 1320 AM / iHeartRadio
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Duquesne, which opened the Keith Dambrot Era with an 80-70 home win over St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday, welcomes VMI (0-1) to the Palumbo Center on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7:00 p.m. (Atlantic 10 Network).

• This is the 102nd season of basketball for Duquesne University (1,372-1,094). The Dukes started play in 1913-14 (DU did not field a team in 1944-45-46 due to World War II).

Rene Castro-Caneddy led four Dukes in double figures with 22 points to pace the Dukes to an 80-70 win over St. Francis Brooklyn in Saturday's season opener. It was the debut for DU head coach Keith Dambrot, who was introduced as the program’s 17th head coach on March 30. The first-year DU coach spent the past 13 seasons at Akron, where he led the Zips to a 305-139 record (23.5 wins per season) including 10 postseason appearances (3 NCAA, 5 NIT, 1 CBI & 1 CIT).

• With Saturday’s win over St. Francis Brooklyn, Duquesne upped its opening day record to 85-17, including a 80-4 record when opening the season at home. The Dukes are 94-8 all-time in the first home game of the season, including a 25-5 mark at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

• Duquesne returns two starters - 6-1 So. G Mike Lewis II and 6-2 Jr. G Tarin Smith from last year’s 10-22 (3-15, 14th in Atlantic 10) team. Lewis II, a member of the 2016-17 A-10 All-Rookie Team, was named 2017-18 third team preseason All-A-10 by the league’s coaches and media.

• DU’s other returnees include: 6-2 Gr. G Rene Castro-Caneddy, 6-6, Sr., F Eric James and 6-8 Gr. C Jordan Robinson. Six-five So., F Kellon Taylor, is currently doubling as a receiver for DU’s FCS football team and will not join the basketball team unitl the football season is concluded. Caleb Davis and Zach Snyder are back as well.

• Only six members of the current roster have started a Division I game. Aside from returning starters Mike Lewis II (32/31 last year) and Tarin Smith (32/32 in ‘17) the starting experience has been scarce. Rene Castro-Caneddy made his second start in 59 career games in the opener. Jordan Robinson started for the first time since Nov. 29, 2014 and Eric James made his first start since Mar. 21, 2016 when he took the floor vs. St. Francis Brooklyn. Injured F/C Chas Brown started all 18 games he played last year at Coppin State.

• Castro-Caneddy added a career-high four steals to go along with his 22 points vs. SPC. The Boston, Mass. native logged a career-high 37 minutes in just his second career start. Castro-Caneddy had never played more than 30 minutes in a game (twice) prior to Saturday.

Eric Williams Jr., the first DU freshman to post a double-double in a season opener (17 points & 12 rebounds in 26 minutes), was named Atlantic 10 co-Rookie of the Week on Monday.

• Dambrot added a four-man, April/May-assembled recruiting class consisting of 6-8 Fr. F Nicholas Kratholm (Louisville, Ky.), 6-9 Jr. F Marko Krivacevic (Szombathely, Hungary/Miami Dade College), 6-8 Fr. F Tydus Verhoeven (Manteca, Calif.) and 6-5 Fr. G Eric Williams Jr. (New Haven, Mich.). That class was supplemented by the addition of 6-8, 235-pound grad transfer Chas Brown. Brown averaged 12.6 points and 7.1 rebounds last season in earning team MVP honors at Coppin State. Four of the newcomers are 6-8 or taller. Brown (foot) and Krivacevic (wrist) are currenlty sidelined with injuries.

• Duquesne sandwiched the half with a 16-2 run to take control of the game.
Tarin Smith scored 16 of his 18 and Eric Williams Jr. scored 15 of his 17 in the second half.
• The Dukes won despite going 3-of-26 from the 3-point arc.
• DU, which was 15-of-25 from the foul line in the first half, rallied to make good on 16-of-20 attempts in the second.
• DU outscored SFC 31-13 from the stripe for the game.
• Duquesne shot 48.4 percent in the second half to bring its game total to 39.0 percent. St. Francis Brooklyn shot 40.0 percent.
• There were six ties and five lead changes before Duquesne took the lead for good on a Mike Lewis II free throw 18 seconds into the second half ... SFC’s largest lead was eight at 30-22 with 4:02 left in the first half ... DU’s largest lead was 16 (70-54) with 4:56 to go.

Series Record: VMI leads 1-0
At Pittsburgh: Never met
At Lexington, Va.: Never met
Neutral: VMI leads 1-0

Southern Conference ... located in Lexington, Va. ... will be the second meeting between the Dukes and Keydets and first since VMI’s 73-66 win over Duquesne in the first round of the NCAA East Regional at Raleigh, N.C. on Mar. 12, 1977 ... return a pair of starters in 6-6 senior forward Armani Branch (7.8 ppg. last year) and 6-2 junior guard Adrian Rich (6.5 ppg., 34 steals in 2017) ... the 2017-18 roster includes seven incoming freshmen ... Dan Earl, a former player at Penn State, is in his third season as head coach of the Keydets ... Earl came to VMI after serving as an assistant at both PSU and Navy.

VMI opened the season with a 102-67 loss at NC State on Nov. 10 ... freshman Bubba Parham led the Keydets with 22 points in 24 minutes ... Parham, who went 2-of-7 from 3-point, was 12-of-12 from the foul line ... VMI shot 36 percent, including 4-of-20 from the 3-point arc ... there was a total of 48 fouls called in the game ... the Keydets finished 27-of-35 (.771) from the foul line ... 11 players logged double digit minutes, with none playing more than 25 ... all seven VMI freshmen saw action vs. the Wolfpack ... the Keydets started four sophomores and a freshman at NC State.

The Dukes host Robert Morris on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m. (Atlantic 10 Network).




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