The Duquesne Dukes are hoping for an upset as they visit Hinkle Fieldhouse to face the No. 15 Butler Bulldogs.
This is the first meeting between Duquesne and first-year A-10 member Butler since the two met in a home-and-home series as members of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference in 1992-93. The Dukes and Bulldogs split home wins that season.
First-year head coach Jim Ferry's Dukes finally ended an 11-game losing streak with an 84-83 victory at Temple on Feb. 14, but the triumph was short-lived as they suffered a 67-62 setback to Rhode Island at home on Saturday. The young Duquesne squad has been led in scoring by a freshman in each of the past six games. Derrick Colter, who leads the team in scoring with 13.2 ppg, tallied 20 points and seven assists in the loss to the Rams.
Three of DU's top five scorers are freshmen: Colter (13.2 ppg.), Quevyn Winters (9.2) and Jeremiah Jones (8.0) and they combined to earn A-10 Rookie of the Week honors for three straight weeks in December. The young unit has not been too impressive statistically as it is 10th in the A-10 in scoring with 68.1 ppg and 15th on the defensive end of the floor with 74.3 allowed points per tilt.
Brad Stevens's Bulldogs, who are 12-1 at home, are coming off a hard-fought, 68-63 victory at Fordham behind a 22-point performance by Rotnei Clarke. Butler shot just 39.2 percent from the field, but added 22 points at the charity stripe to hold off the inspired Rams. Clarke has been the engine to Butler's success this season as he leads the team with 17.2 ppg.
Andrew Smith returned to the lineup for the visit to Rose Hill Gym and made his presence felt with 12 points in 30 minutes of action. Roosevelt Jones and Kellen Dunham add 10.7 and 10.5 points per game to the fold, respectively, while Khyle Marshall nets 9.8 ppg. Marshall is fourth in the A-10 in field goal percentage (.545). The Bulldogs are a perfect 13-0 when he reaches double- figures.
Smith will have to battle Duquesne's senior center Andre Marhold, who posted his second career double-double with 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds at Temple last Thursday and followed that with a career high-tying five blocks vs. Rhode Island. He is averaging 11.3 ppg and 10.3 rpg and shooting .762 (16- of-21) in his past three games.