Dec. 19, 2013
GAME 9 - DUQUESNE (4-5) at UMASS LOWELL (1-10)
Saturday, December 21, 2013 • 2:00 EST • Lowell, Mass. • Tsongas Center (6,496)
Radio: WPGB-FM 104.7 Ray Goss (`58) (pxp), Jarrett Durham (`71) (analyst)
America East Streaming Video (multimedia tab click "live events")
THE SERIES VS. UMASS LOWELL
This is the first meeting between the Dukes and River Hawks ... UMass Lowell is the last of four America East opponents on the DU schedule ... the Dukes lost to New Hampshire and defeated Albany and UMBC at home ... UML is one of five-first time opponents on the 13-game non-conference schedule ... this is the first game of a home-and-home series.
MORE ON UMASS LOWELL
The River Hawks are making the transition from Division II to Division I ... Lowell, Mass. is located 45 minutes north of Boston ... 5-10 senior guard Akeem Williams (14.0 ppg., 4.2 rpg., 2.3 apg.) was named to the NABC 2013 Division II All-District team ... Williams currently ranks seventh on UMass Lowell’s all-time scoring list with 1,769 points ... the River Hawks finished 15-13, with an 8-5 home record, last season ... UML is in its first season under head coach Pat Duquette who was hired in May ... Duquette was an assistant at Boston College for 13 seasons and associate head coach at Northeastern for the past three.
SAINT FRANCIS LEFTOVERS
Leftovers from Duquesne’s 78-71 win at Saint Francis on Tuesday: the Dukes rallied from a 35-22 deficit with 2:17 left in the first half to pull out the win ... the 13-point comeback was DU’s second-best under Jim Ferry ... DU, which trailed 37-27 at the half, scored 51 points on 63 percent shooting in the second 20 minutes ... Ovie Soko (23 points) and Tra’Vaughn White (16 points) combined to score 29 in the second half ... there were three ties and 12 lead changes before Duquesne took the lead for good on a White drive with 3:00 left ... Soko was 10-of-10 from the foul line and White went 6-of-8 from the field ... Desmond Ridenour contributed a career-high 11 points off the bench ... Jeremiah Jones added 10 points and 4 assists ... the Dukes shot a Jim Ferry Era best 22-of-25 (.880) from the foul line ... DU also attempted a Ferry Era low 13 3-pointers ... the Dukes outrebounded the Red Flash 20-11 in the second half.
IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
Duquesne is 222-234 (.487) in non-conference games since 1976-77 as members of the Eastern 8/Atlantic 10 and Midwestern Collegiate Conference (1992-93 only), including a 146-72 mark at home (55-123 on the road & 21-39 neutral). The Dukes have not had a losing non-conference record since 2006-07. DU is 11-12 in non-league play under Jim Ferry (9-4 at home, 2-6 on the road & 0-2 neutral).
ON THE ROAD
Duquesne, which won a total of 17 road games in 10 seasons from 1997 through 2006, has posted 36 road wins over the past eight years. Of the 36 wins, 25 have come by double digits. From 1996-97 through 2005-06, Duquesne posted a total of three double-digit road victories. DU is 1-1 on the road this season with a 78-71 win at Saint Francis, Pa. on Dec. 17. The Dukes are 3-13 on the road under Jim Ferry.
• Duquesne, which snapped a two-game losing streak with a 78-71 win at Saint Francis, Pa. on Tuesday, stays on the road to face UMass Lowell on Sat., Dec. 21 at 2:00 p.m. (WPGB-FM 104.7). DU is looking to post back-to-back road wins for the first time under second-year coach Jim Ferry. The last time the Dukes won two in a row on the road was during the 2010-11 season (five straight).
• UMass Lowell is coming off a 62-48 America East Conference-opening home loss to Vermont on Wednesday. The River Hawks, who have dropped three in a row, are 1-2 at home. UML played eight of its first 10 on the road with losses at Atlantic 10 schools Rhode Island (79-68) and St. Bonaventure (67-58).
• This is the first meeting between Duquesne and UMass Lowell.
• The Dukes have made 20 more free throws (186-277) than their opponents have attempted (115-166). DU, which is averaging 30.8 free throw attempts per game, is outscoring its opponents by 71 points from the charity stripe. Senior forward Ovie Soko, who is on a school record pace for free throw attempts per game (10.2), leads the way at 65-92 from the stripe. Soko has made good on 30-of-34 free throw attempts in his past three games.
• 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 12 scholarship players on the 2013-14 roster brought a combined total of 10 seasons of Division I experience into the season.
• Five of the Dukes’ top seven scorers are first year players: UAB transfer Ovie Soko (16.9 ppg.), JC transfer Tra’Vaughn White (13.6), JC transfer Dominique McKoy (10.6), first-year Drake transfer Micah Mason (8.8) and freshman Desmond Ridenour (5.9). Mason, who has missed the past five games with a broken bone in his hand (suffered Nov. 20 vs. Albany), is awaiting clearance to return to action.
• Eight players have scored 10 or more in a game for the Dukes who are averaging 76.6 ppg.
• The Dukes, who had nine scholarship players in uniform vs. Pitt & UMBC, received a boost with the debut of freshman forward Isaiah Watkins against Penn State on Dec. 11. The 6-7, 220-pound Canadian, who underwent leg surgery on Jan. 31 in his hometown of Toronto, had additional arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Oct. 3. He was cleared to practice on Monday, Dec. 2. Sophomore guard Micah Mason (8.8, 2.8), DU’s top 3-point shooter, has missed five games with a broken hand suffered on Nov. 20 vs. Albany. 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.
• Senior Ovie Soko (16.9, 9.8) has posted four double-doubles this season. The UAB transfer has totaled 14 or more points in eight of nine games as a Duke. The last Duquesne player to average a double-double for an season was Damian Saunders in 2009-10 (15.0, 11.3). Prior to Saunders, you have to go all the way back to 1981-82 (Bruce Atkins 16.1, 10.4) to find a double-double Duke.
• Soko, who is 65-of-92 from the line, is on pace to break Sihugo Green’s school record for free throw attempts per game set in 1955-56 (9.56). Soko is at 10.22 through nine games.
• 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 (10.8 ppg.) leads the team with 30 assists and 16 3-pointers (.381).
• 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 six of nine games at Duquesne. 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. The Dukes are 0-3 when White scores fewer than 10. White has converted a team-high six traditional three-point plays.
• First-year JC transfer F Dominique McKoy is 19-of-24 from the field (.792) in his past five games - bringing his overall percentage to a team-best .723. McKoy, who has had at least six rebounds in eight of nine games, has scored in double digits six 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.
• 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. Mason, who is 9-of-17 from the arc with two turnovers in 96 total minutes, is awaiting clearance to return to action.
• Senior Jerry Jones has scored in double digits in two of DU’s past four games. He scored 10 points and handed out a career-high six assists in 23 turnover-free minutes vs. Robert Morris. Jones scored 14 in 20 minutes in the win over UMBC. He has one turnover in 114 minutes this 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. The Ohio native, who had five field goals against the Red Flash, is averaging just under 19 minutes per game off the bench.
• 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: Duquesne breaks for Christmas before heading to Edinburg, Texas to face UT-Pan American on Dec. 29 in the last of three consecutive road games. DU returns home to face Appalachian State on Jan. 2.