Dec. 26, 2013
GAME 11 - DUQUESNE (5-5) at TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN (4-9)
Sunday, December 29, 2013 3:00 EST Edinburg, Texas UTPA Fieldhouse (2,500)
Radio: WPGB-FM 104.7 Ray Goss (`58) (pxp), Jarrett Durham (`71) (analyst)
THE SERIES VS. TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN
This is the first meeting between the Dukes and Broncs ... UTPA 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 UTPA
Texas-Pan American is in its first season as a member of the Western Athletic Conference ... first meeting between the Dukes and Broncs ... UTPA is in its first season under head coach Dan Hipsher ... Hipsher, a 35-year veteran, is best known as head coach at Akron for nine seasons before serving as an assistant at Arkansas and South Florida ... he was associate head coach at Alabama for four years prior to taking the UTPA job ... the Broncs return two starters from a team that finished 16-16 with an 11-2 home record last season ... UTPA added a familiar face in former UMass G/F Javorn Farrell who is eligible this season as a fifth-year transfer ... the 6-5 Farrell, who leads the Broncs in scoring (16.2 ppg.) and is second in rebounding (5.1 rpg.), had 20 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds in an A-10 Championship First Round win over Duquesne in 2011-12 ... this will be Duquesne's fifth game in the state of Texas (2-2), and first since an 81-64 win at Houston Baptist on Jan. 8, 2011 (DU has played at Rice three times).
UMASS LOWELL LEFTOVERS
Leftovers from Duquesne's 95-77 win at UMass Lowell on Dec. 21: the Dukes never trailed in posting their second consecutive road win ... DU led by as many as 17 in the first half and 25 in the second ... Duquesne set Jim Ferry
Era highs for points (95), field goals (33), field goal percentage (62.3%), 3-pointers (13) and assists (27) ... DU assisted on 27 of 33 field goals, with seven players handing out 3 or more ... Micah Mason
, in his first game in a month (missed five games with a hand injury), went 5-of-7 from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point, in scoring 14 points ... Tra'Vaughn White came off the bench to score 15 ... he went 4-of-4 from the arc, with all four of his attempts coming in the second half ... Ovie Soko
led the Dukes with 22 points ... Jeremiah Jones
, who led DU with six assists, chipped in 11 points ... Duquesne assisted on 27 of 33 field goals and went 16-of-19 from the foul line ... it was DU's first game with its entire 14-man roster healthy.
IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
Duquesne is 223-234 (.488) 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 (56-123 on the road & 21-39 neutral). The Dukes have not had a losing non-conference record since 2006-07. DU is 12-12 in non-league play under Jim Ferry (9-4 at home, 3-6 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 37 road wins over the past eight years. Of the 37 wins, 26 have come by double digits. From 1996-97 through 2005-06, Duquesne posted a total of three double-digit road victories. DU is 2-1 on the road this season with a 78-71 win at Saint Francis, Pa. on Dec. 17 followed by a 95-77 victory at UMass Lowell. The Dukes are 4-13 on the road under Jim Ferry.
Duquesne, which posted back-to-back road wins prior to breaking for Christmas, makes to 1,675 mile trip to Edinburg, Texas to face Texas-Pan American on Sun., Dec. 29 at 3:00 p.m. (ET) (WPGB-FM 104.7). DU is looking to post three straight wins for the second time under second-year coach Jim Ferry. This is the first time the DU has won two in a row on the road since 2010-11 (five straight). The two road wins match last year's total.
UTPA is coming off an 82-56 loss at SMU on Dec. 18. The Broncs, who have dropped five in a row, are 1-3 at home. UTPA has played seven of its past eight on the road.
This is the first meeting between Duquesne and Texas-Pan American. DU is 2-2 all time in the Lone Star State with wins in its past to games (at Rice and at Houston Baptist).
Duquesne entered Christmas break red hot, shooting a combined 57.3 percent (59-of-103) in back-to-back wins at Saint Francis, Pa & at UMass Lowell..
The Dukes, who are 38-of-44 (.864) from the foul line in their past two games, have made 15 more free throws (202-296) than their opponents have attempted (132-187). DU, which is averaging 29.6 free throw attempts per game, is outscoring its opponents by 70 points from the charity stripe. Senior forward Ovie Soko, who is on a school record pace for free throw attempts per game (9.7), has made good on 33-of-39 free throw attempts (.846) in his past four games (.701 for the season).
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 (17.4 ppg.), JC transfer Tra'Vaughn White (13.7), JC transfer Dominique McKoy (10.4), first-year Drake transfer Micah Mason (9.8) and freshman Desmond Ridenour (5.9).
Eight players have scored 10 or more in a game for the Dukes who are averaging 78.4 ppg.
The Dukes fielded their entire roster for the first time on Dec. 21 at UMass Lowell. 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 (9.8, 13-of-23 from 3-point), 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 on Dec. 21. 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 (17.4, 9.2) has posted four double-doubles this season. The UAB transfer has totaled 14 or more points in nine of 10 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 68-of-97 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 9.70 through 10 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 (10.2 ppg.) leads the team with 34 assists and 17 3-pointers.
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 seven of 10 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. and followed that with 15 points (4-of-4 from 3-point) at UMass Lowell. The Dukes are 0-3 when White scores fewer than 10. White has scored 26 of his 31 points in the second half of DU's past two games.
First-year JC transfer F Dominique McKoy is 23-of-29 from the field (.793) in his past six games - bringing his overall percentage to a team-best .731. McKoy, who has had at least six rebounds in eight of 10 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. The injury sidelined him for five games. Mason, who hit four 3-pointers in his return at UMass Lowell on Dec. 21, is 13-of-23 from the arc with 12 assists and two turnovers in 121 total minutes.
Senior Jerry Jones has scored in double digits in twice in DU's past five games. 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. Jones. He has one turnover in 129 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 over 18 minutes per game off the bench.
UP NEXT: Duquesne rings in the New Year at home against Appalachian State on Thurs., Jan. 2.