Jan. 5, 2015
This is the 51st game in a series that dates back to Feb. 25, 1938 ... Saint Joseph's leads the series 38-12, including a 15-8 advantage in games played at Pittsburgh ... SJU has won the past four - all by single-digit margins.
What was once a lopsided series has tightened considerably over the past eight years. The Dukes, who lost 16 of 17 to SJU from 1994 through 2007, have won three of the past eight with three of the five losses coming in OT.
Three of the past seven meetings have been decided in OT, with the Hawks winning all three: 99-98 at the Palestra in 2009, 93-90 in the quarterfinal of the A-10 Championship in Atlantic City in 2011 and 84-82 at Pittsburgh in 2012. SJU rallied from a 16-point deficit with under 10 minutes left to pull out the 2012 win. DU rallied from an 18-point second half deficit in the OT loss at the Palestra.
Saint Joe's had won 10 in a row in the series prior to DU's 102-88 win at the Palumbo Center on Feb. 6, 2008. Shawn James had the first triple-double in school history (17-11-10) as DU posted the highest point total by either team in the history of the series. The two have split the last two in Pittsburgh.
Duquesne has averaged 82.8 ppg. (662 points) in the past eight meetings with Saint Joseph's. The Dukes are 3-5 over that stretch. The average score is the past eight has been 82.8 for Duquesne to 82.0 for Saint Joe's.
MORE ON SAINT JOSEPH'S
SJU, the defending Atlantic 10 champions, were picked to finish 8th in the preseason poll of league coaches ... the Hawks opened A-10 play with a home 64-60 loss to George Washington on Saturday ... preseason All A-10 forward DeAndre' Bembry led the Hawks with a game-high 22 points ... Chris Wilson added 15 for SJU which rallied from a 53-33 deficit with 6:54 left ... the Hawks, who held GW without a field goal over the last 6:54 (the Colonials were 11-of-19 from the foul line over that stretch), cut the deficit to 62-58 with 12 seconds left, but could get no closer ... SJU, which scored 18 points in the first half, scored 24 in the final 5:44 ... Bembry leads the Hawks in scoring (15.9), rebounding (6.9), assists (33, tied for team lead), steals (24) and 3-pointers (16, tied for team lead) ... SJU is 2-3 on the road with wins at Drexel and Marist ... the Hawks, who have topped the 70-point mark twice in 11 games, began the week as the second-lowest scoring team in the A-10 at 61.0 ppg. ... SJU ranks last in the conference in field goal percentage (.405) and 3-point percentage (.264).
THE ATLANTIC "14"
For the third consecutive season, the membership of the Atlantic 10 has undergone a change. VCU and Butler joined the league in 2012-13. The next year, Xavier (Big East), Butler (Big East), Temple (American) and Charlotte (Conference USA) departed and George Mason (formerly of the CAA) became a league member. The conference will compete as a 14-team league in 2014-15 with 2014 Southern Conference champion Davidson in its first A-10 season. In the current make-up, each team will play a home-and-home with five schools and face every other team once in an 18-game schedule. DU's partners for 2014-15 are Davidson, Dayton, George Washington, Saint Louis and St. Bonaventure. In addition, all 14 conference members will compete in the Atlantic 10 Championship at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on March 11-15.
Duquesne (5-7, 0-1), coming off an 81-55 loss at Dayton on Saturday, hosts Saint Joseph's (6-6, 0-1) in its A-10 home opener on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 7:00 p.m. The SJU game is the first of two in a row at home for the Dukes who welcome Rhode Island on Saturday.
Derrick Colter (31-57, .544) & Micah Mason (32-of-75, .427) began the week as the nation's second-best 3-point shooting backcourt (based on NCAA minimums) at a combined .477 (second to Hofstra's Ameen Tanksley & Brian Bernardi who were at .485). Through Jan. 4th games, Colter, who entered his junior season as a .329 career 3-point shooter, ranked 2nd nationally and Mason, who led the nation in 3-point shooting last year, was 42nd in 3-point percentage.
DU hosts Rhode Island in an American Sports Network televised game (WPMY locally) on Saturday, Jan. 10 at 1:00 p.m.
TOP 3-POINT BACKCOURTS
Duquesne's Derrick Colter (.544) and Micah Mason (.427) formed the nation's second-best 3-point shooting backcourt through Sunday's games (based on NCAA minimums):
.485 -- Ameen Tanksley (38-78) & Brian Bernardi (44-91), Hofstra
.477 -- Derrick Colter (31-57) & Micah Mason (32-75), Duquesne
.468 -- John Simons (28-56) & Josh Kozinski (30-68), Central Michigan
.435 -- Schadrac Casmir (40-91) & Isaiah Williams (40-93), Iona
.430 -- Craig Bradshaw (33-67) & Taylor Barnette (34-89), Belmont
LEFTOVERS FROM DAYTON
Leftovers from Duquesne's Atlantic 10-opening 81-55 loss at Dayton on Saturday: the Flyers outscored the Dukes 22-5 over the final 7:12 of the first half to break a 17-17 tie in handing the DU its worst loss of the season ... Duquesne's 22 first half points and .208 (5-of-24) 3-point percentage were both season lows ... the Dukes were outshot 56.6 percent to 34.4 percent ... Jeremiah Jones was the only Duquesne player in double figures with 10 points ... freshman Eric James, in his first game in his home state, hit 3-of-5 3-point attempts in scoring nine off the bench ... guards Micah Mason (0-of-8, 0-of-5 from 3-point) and Jordan Stevens (0-of-5, 0-of-2 from 3-point) were a combined 0-of-13 ... Dayton, which outscored DU 14-6 in fast break points, hit 10 3-pointers (10-of-26) ... there were three ties and three lead changes before Dyshawn Pierre gave the Dayton the lead for good on a free throw with 7:12 left in the first half ... Duquesne, which hit its first three shots, missed 23 of its last 30 first half field goal attempts ... Dayton's largest lead was the final 26-point margin ... the Flyers held the Dukes without a field goal over the final 4:33.
Six-eleven sophomore center Darius Lewis is averaging 8.5 ppg. on 7-of-11 shooting in two games as a starter ... Lewis had 11 points and five blocks (both career highs) in his first start vs. UTPA on Dec. 30 ... followed that with six in 17 minutes at Dayton ... Lewis is shooting .679 ... Jeremiah Jones, who was shooting .257 through seven games, is 16-of-33 from the field (.485) in his past five ... he is averaging 8.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists over that span ... Micah Mason went scoreless for the third time in his DU career at Dayton (0-of-8) ... he went 0-of-5 from the 3-point arc for just the second time in his career (the other was at Northern Iowa as a freshman at Drake) ... Mason was 16-of-26 from the field (.615) and 11-of-18 from 3-point (.611) in the three games prior to Dayton (15.7 ppg. over that span) ... guard Derrick Colter has shot 50 percent or better from the 3-point arc in eight of DU's 12 games ... 27 of his 33 free throw attempts have come in his past six games ... he has two four-point plays this season ... guard Jordan Stevens, who has scored in double digits six times off the bench, went scoreless (0-of-5) in 11 minutes at Dayton ... Stevens assist-to-turnover ratio is just below 2-to-1 on the season (32-17) ...
center Jordan Robinson, who did not play vs. UTPA, is 7-of-7 from the field in his past four games ... forward L.G. Gill is 3-of-23 from the 3-point arc in DU's past eight games ... Gill was 6-of-12 from 3-point in his first four games ... senior forward Dominique McKoy is averaging 9.0 points and 7.0 rebounds (8-of-10 from the field) in his past two games ... freshman foward TySean Powell is averaging 10.0 ppg. (7-of-9 from the field, 6-of-8 from the foul line) over that same two-game span.
2014-15 QUICK HITS
Duquesne's roster consists of one senior, six juniors, three sophomores and five freshmen. The Dukes have four first-year scholarship players.
Three of DU's top five scorers are first year players: JC transfer Jordan Stevens (10.9 ppg.), freshman TySean Powell (9.5 ppg.) and freshman Eric James (6.3 ppg.). DU's three double digit scorers are all guards (Derrick Colter, 11.8 ppg.; Stevens and Micah Mason, 10.1 ppg.).
The 6-6 Powell, who is shooting .662, ranks tied for second on the team in double-digit scoring games (6) and first in dunks (15) and conventional three-point plays (7 in 7 attempts). James has four double-digit games under his belt. Powell (28-40) and James (16-30) rank first & third on the team in free throw attempts.
Micah Mason, who led the nation in 3-point shooting percentage in 2014 (65-116, .560), hit a career-high six 3-pointers in seven attempts vs. NJIT on Nov. 29. He broke out of a four-game, 6-of-26 3-point slump by hitting all five of his 3-point attempts (17 pts.) in the Dec. 20 win over UMass Lowell. Mason was 11-of-18 from the arc in three games prior to goin 0-of-5 from the arc (0-of-8 overall) at Dayton. He has hit five or more "3s" in a game seven times (five at Duquesne and two as a freshman at Drake). For the season, Mason is shooting .427 from the arc (32-of-75).
Derrick Colter became the eighth player in school history to hit seven or more 3-pointers in a game when he went 7-of-8 from the arc in scoring a career-high 26 points in the opener vs. Bluefield State. Colter's seven makes were one shy of the school record shared by three players (last by Aaron Jackson who went 8-of-13 in scoring 46 points in a double-overtime NIT 116-108 loss at Virginia Tech on Mar. 18, 2009).
Duquesne was picked to finish 11th in the 14-team Atlantic 10 in the annual poll of league coaches and media. National media outlets pegged the Dukes to finish anywhere from 7th (Basketball Times & College Basketball Madness) to 12th (Athlon).
The Dukes return four starters - junior guards Derrick Colter & Micah Mason, junior forward Jeremiah Jones and senior forward Dominique McKoy - from last year's 13-17 team (5-11 in the Atlantic 10, tied for 10th place).
DU's lone senior, forward Dominique McKoy, saw a streak of 31 consecutive games played snapped at Abilene Christian. McKoy underwent a medical procedure that prevented him from making the trip to Texas. He made his first start of 2015 vs. UMass Lowell and had 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block in 23 minutes. He is averaging 9.0 ppg. and 7.0 rpg. in his past two games.
First-year JC transfer Jordan Stevens went 6-of-9 from 3-point in scoring 27 points in 28 minutes off the bench in his debut at Abilene Christian. The Columbia, Mo. native, who was held out of the season opener (team suspension), added 16 off the bench vs. NJIT. He had nine points and five assists in 22 minutes off the bench vs. Howard and added 15 points, three assists and two steals vs. Pitt. He scored a team-high 18 off the bench at Penn State. Stevens, who handed out a game-high seven assists with one turnover vs. UMass Lowell, is tied for second on the team lead with 32 assists (1.9 assist-to-turnover ratio).
Building quality depth has been a priority of head coach Jim Ferry since his arrival at Duquesne. Through 12 games, DU's bench has outscored the opponent bench 375-188 (an average of just over 15 ppg.). The DU bench, which posted a high of 67 points at Abilene Christian, has outscored its opponent in nine of 12 games. DU is 5-4 in those games.
DU's 11.0 turnovers/g. last season was the lowest mark in school history (previous was 11.5 in 1995). Returning guards Mason (74/13), Colter (101/54) & Ridenour (59/41) combined for 234 assists and 108 turnovers (a 2.2-to-1 ratio) in 2014. The Dukes, with four first-year players playing prominent roles, are averaging 13.3 turnovers per game this season.
DU will face an 18-game conference schedule, including nine home games, marking just the second time since 1972 that the Dukes will have 16 regular-season home games. Duquesne will host five of the six A-10 schools that made an NCAA tournament appearance last season, in addition to first-year Atlantic 10 member Davidson, which earned an NIT bid as the regular season champion of the Southern Conference in 2014.
DU will play Davidson (2014 Southern Conference regular-season champion/NIT), Dayton (2014 NCAA Elite 8), George Washington (2014 NCAA Second Round), St. Bonaventure and Saint Louis (2014 NCAA Third Round) twice in Atlantic 10 play. Davidson, Dayton, George Washington and Saint Louis all won at least 20 games last year. Duquesne and George Mason are the only schools facing four teams that made post-season appearances in 2014 in their five-team home-and-home pod.