Dec. 31, 2013
GAME 12 - APPALACHIAN STATE (4-8) at DUQUESNE (6-5)
Thursday, January 2, 2014 7:00 EST Pittsburgh, Pa. A.J. Palumbo Center (4,406)
Radio: WPGB-FM 104.7 Ray Goss (`58) (pxp), Jarrett Durham (`71) (analyst)
The Last Meeting
November 28, 2012
Dukes Notch 73-72 Win at Appalachian State
Jerry Jones scored a career high 22 points and freshman Quevyn Winters added a big 3-pointer and rebound in the last minute to lead Duquesne to a 73-72 win at Appalachian State.
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THE SERIES VS. APPALACHIAN STATE
This is the third meeting between the Dukes and Mountaineers with each owning a win on the opponent home court ... App State defeated DU 71-68 on Dec. 31, 2005 in the consolation game of the Duquesne Holiday Tournament ... Duquesne returned the favor with a 73-72 win at Appalachian State on Nov. 28 of last season.
NOTING APP STATE
The Mountaineers are members of the Southern Conference ... the series with Duquesne is tied at 1-1 ... this is the second game of a home-and-home series ... DU posted one of its two road wins last year at Appalachian State (73-72 on Nov. 28) ... Jerry Jones scored a career-high 22 points in the victory ... App State returns four starters from a team that won seven of its last 11 to finish 15-16 ... 6-6 junior Xavier transfer Jay Canty, who averaged 14.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last season - his first at App State, has missed the Mountaineers first 12 games (academics) ... he could make his 2013-14 debut vs. the Dukes ... juniors Mike Neal (12.6 ppg., 38 assists, 14 steals) and Tab Hamilton (13.8 ppg., 30 3-pointers) are also back along with 6-6 senior forward Tevin Baskin (12.0 ppg., 5.5 rpg.) ... former North Carolina star Jason Capel is in his fourth season as head coach of the Boone, N.C. school.
APPALACHIAN STATE LATELY
The Mountaineers are coming off back-to-back 100-68 & 97-70 home wins over Milligan and Bluefield College ... App State is 0-6 on the road with losses at NC State (77-98), Cincinnati (49-77) and Georgia (53-71) among others ... the Mountaineers are averaging 73.4 points and giving up 74.8 points per game ... they are 4-0 when holding opponents to 70 or fewer points ... 6-8 sophomore forward Michael Obacha has been on a rebounding tear with 13, 14, 17 & 12 rebounds in his past four games (14.0 rpg. over that span and 9.9 on the season).
70 IS THE KEY
Duquesne is 6-2 this season (and 13-7 under Jim Ferry) when scoring 70 or more points. Appalachian State is 4-0 this season when holding opponents to 70 or fewer points.
Leftovers from Duquesne's 88-69 win at Texas-Pan American on Dec. 29: the Dukes never trailed in posting their third consecutive road win ... it marked the second consecutive game in which DU never trailed ... the Dukes led by as many as 18 in the first half and 19 in the second ... Duquesne set a Jim Ferry Era highs for field goals (34) and tied the Ferry Era mark for margin of victory (+19) ... Ovie Soko scored 17 of his team-high 21 points in 14 first half minutes ... Micah Mason, in just his second game back from the broken bone in his hand, went 4-of-5 from the 3-point arc in adding 14 points ... Jeremiah Jones had 11 points and a career-high 9 rebounds ... Tra'Vaughn White scored 10 off the bench ... Derrick Colter had 9 points and 8 assists with just one turnover ... Jeremiah Jones (32 minutes) was the only player to play over 28 minutes ... the Dukes shot .500, marking the third-straigh game DU has been at or over 50% from the field ... the Dukes held the Broncs to 38.9 percent shooting in the second half (.435 for the game) ... DU assisted on 18 of 34 field goals and went 13-of-18 from the foul line ... the Dukes were +9 in rebounding margin (42-33) and outscored UTPA 46-24 in the paint.
IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
Duquesne is 224-234 (.489) 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 (57-123 on the road & 21-39 neutral). The Dukes have not had a losing non-conference record since 2006-07. DU is 13-12 in non-league play under Jim Ferry (9-4 at home, 4-6 on the road & 0-2 neutral).
Duquesne, which extended its win streak to three with an 88-69 win at Texas-Pan American on Sunday, returns home for the first time since Dec. 14 to face Appalachian State in its second-to-last non-conference game on Thurs, Jan. 2 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) (WPGB-FM 104.7). DU is looking to post four straight wins for the first time under second-year coach Jim Ferry.
Duquesne, which is 35-8 in non-conference home games at Palumbo Center since 2007-08, is 3-3 at home this season (3-2 at AJP). App State, which is coming off back-to-back home wins over Milligan (100-68) and Bluefield College (97-70), is 0-6 on the road.
Duquesne has shot 50 percent or better in its past three games (54.4%, 93-of-171). It is the first time since November/December of 2011 (vs. La.-Lafayette, Pitt and Tenn. Tech) that DU has shot 50 percent or better in three-straight games. The last time the Dukes shot 50 percent or better in four consecutive games was in January of 1992 (Jan. 11 .532 at WVU, Jan. 13 .565 vs. Temple, Jan. 18 .517 vs. St. Bona & Jan. 20 .511 at GW).
In six games with first-year Drake transfer Micah Mason in the lineup, Duquesne is 4-2 and shooting .495 and averaging 16.8 assists per game. In five games Mason missed with a broken hand, the Dukes went 2-3 and shot .425 with 13.2 assists/g. Mason has scored 14 points in each of his two games played since his return (at UMass Lowell and at UTPA), He is 10-of-15 from the field (8-of-11 from 3-point) with five assists and zero turnovers over that span.
Five of the Dukes' top seven scorers are first year players: UAB transfer Ovie Soko (17.7 ppg.), JC transfer Tra'Vaughn White (13.4), first-year Drake transfer Micah Mason (10.5), JC transfer Dominique McKoy (10.2) and freshman Desmond Ridenour (5.9).
Eight players have scored 10 or more in a game and five are averaging in double figures for the Dukes who are averaging 79.3 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 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 and followed that with 14 more (4-of-5 from 3-point) at UTPA. 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.
The Dukes, who are 51-of-62 (.823) from the foul line in their past three games, have made 14 more free throws (215-314) than their opponents have attempted (138-201). DU, which is averaging 28.5 free throw attempts per game, is outscoring its opponents by 77 points (7.0 ppg.) from the charity stripe. Senior forward Ovie Soko, who is challenging the school record for free throw attempts per game (he is currently at 9.4), has made good on 39-of-45 free throw attempts (.867) in his past five games (.718 for the season).
DU has won three in a row on the road for the first time since 2010-11 (five straight). The three road wins have already eclipsed last year's total (2-12).
Senior Ovie Soko (17.7, 8.9) has posted four double-doubles this season. The UAB transfer has totaled 14 or more points in 10 of 11 games. 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 has scored 23, 22 and 21 points in his past three 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 (10.1 ppg.) leads the team with 42 assists and 18 3-pointers.
Sophomore forward Jeremiah Jones who, like Colter, has played in 41 consecutive games, is the Dukes' top defender. Jones, who is averaging 27.7 min/g., has 23 assists and just eight turnovers this season. He has scored in double figures in DU's past three games (10, 11 & 11 points).
First-year forward Dominique McKoy missed just seven shots in the month of December (24-of-31, 10.7 ppg. in six Dec. games). The 6-8 JC transfer is shooting a team-best .724. McKoy, who has had at least six rebounds in nine of 11 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 hit four 3-pointers in his return at UMass Lowell on Dec. 21 and added four more in the Dec. 29 win at UTPA. Mason is 17-of-28 from the arc (.607) with 14 assists and two turnovers in 149 total minutes.
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 eight of 11 games. 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 30 of his 41 points in the second half of DU's past three games.
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.
Senior Jerry Jones has scored in double digits in twice in DU's past six 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 two turnovers in 146 minutes this season.
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").
UP NEXT: DU opens A-10 play at home against Fordham on Wed., Jan. 8 at 7:00 p.m.