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Richmond (12-11) at Duquesne (13-9)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 4th, 7:00 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: A.J. Palumbo Center (4,406) -- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Richmond 8-3, Duquesne 8-3. Away Record: Richmond 3-7, Duquesne 3-5. Neutral Record: Richmond 1-1, Duquesne 2-1. Conference Record: Richmond 3-5, Duquesne 4-4. Series Record: Richmond leads, 14-8.

GAME NOTES: The Duquesne Dukes welcome the Richmond Spiders to the Palumbo Center for an Atlantic-10 Conference tilt, as both teams try to take a step forward in the standings.

Duquesne got back in the win column on Wednesday with an 83-73 home victory over Dayton. The Dukes shot 51.7 percent from the floor and hit 12-of-23 three-point attempts to break a two-game slide. Senior B.J. Monteiro had four of those treys and led DU with 20 points. Mike Talley netted 15 points, Eric Evans scored a dozen and Jerry Jones chipped in with 10 points for the victors, who improved to 4-4 in conference play.

Richmond was saddled with a 70-60 home defeat to Saint Josephs on Wednesday, its second consecutive loss and fourth in the last five games overall. The Spiders were done in by poor shooting, making just 35.0 percent of their field goal attempts, including a paltry 6-of-22 showing from three-point range. Richmond was also beaten on the boards, getting outmuscled by a wide 47-27 margin. Sophomore Cedrick Lindsay led the way with 14 points and five assists, while Darien Brothers added 13 as Richmond dropped to 3-5 in the A-10.

Richmond has absolutely owned the Dukes in recent memory, winning 14 straight games. In fact, Duquesne has never beaten Richmond in A-10 play, with the Dukes last win coming during the 1994 season when the Spiders were still a part of the Colonial Athletic. The all-time series stands at 14-8 in favor of the Spiders.

The Dukes are normally one of the league's better offensive teams, sitting fourth in the A-10 in scoring at 74.7 ppg and hitting on a decent 45.9 percent of their field goal attempts. The defense, however, does leave something to be desired, slotting in second from the bottom in conference play in points allowed (71.5 ppg) while owning the league's third-worst field goal percentage defense (.457). Sean Johnson and Monteiro are at the head of the Dukes' offense, averaging 15.1 and 14.8 ppg, respectively. Meanwhile, T.J. McConnell gives Duquesne a third double-digit scorer at 11.9 ppg and he ranks third in the A-10 in assists with 5.9 per contest. The talented sophomore also leads the team in field goal percentage (.534) and adds 4.4 rebounds per outing, third on the team to Monteiro's 5.3 boards and Andre Marhold's 4.5 rpg. Evans adds further scoring depth with 9.6 ppg. Overall, Duquesne could use some help on the glass, giving up 37.9 caroms per game while grabbing just 31.4 themselves. The minus-6.5 margin serves as the second-worst in the league.

The Spiders work with a lot less depth but with more high-impact players, a risky venture and part of their bumpy start to the season. Brothers heads the attack, checking in at 14.4 ppg, and is among the league leaders in three- pointers with 56 on 42.4 percent shooting. Freshman Kendall Anthony provides a solid 1-2 punch with Brothers in the backcourt, averaging 13.8 ppg and keeping pace with the upperclassmen in threes with 51 on 42.5 percent shooting. Lindsay puts up a solid 12.2 ppg while Derrick Williams posts 10.1 ppg and 5.5 boards per outing. Overall, Richmond registers a respectable 70.6 ppg on 44.2 percent shooting but nearly all of its scoring comes from the aforementioned quartet. The defense gives up 67.0 ppg on 43.4 percent shooting. A serious downside to the Spiders' game is in the rebounding department where they sit dead last in the A-10 with a minus-6.7 margin.

Although these two teams are separated by just a game in the conference standings, it seems they are headed in two very different directions. Richmond's play has been inconsistent at best while Duquesne has demonstrated an ability to hang with the league's top teams. The Dukes should take another step toward joining that class today.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duquesne 77, Richmond 69

02/04 10:54:47 ET