Fordham (9-14) at Duquesne (14-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 15th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: A.J. Palumbo Center (4,406) -- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Fordham 8-4, Duquesne 9-3. Away Record: Fordham 1-10, Duquesne 3-6. Neutral Record: Fordham 0-0, Duquesne 2-1. Conference Record: Fordham 2-8, Duquesne 5-5. Series Record: Duquesne leads, 17-12.
GAME NOTES: The Duquesne Dukes return home for a clash with the Fordham Rams aiming to begin a new win streak in Atlantic-10 Conference action from the A.J. Palumbo Center.
Duquesne had its modest two-game win streak broken Saturday at St. Bonaventure in a 69-48 setback. The Dukes never found a rhythm versus the Bonnies, managing just seven field goals (7-for-25) and a 28.0-percent shooting clip in the second half as the hosts pulled away. Duquesne was outrebounded 48-26, had 15 turnovers and shot 4-for-10 at the free-throw line. Mike Talley was the lone Duke in double figures with 12 points as their record slipped to 5-5 in conference play.
Fordham suffered its fifth defeat in six games Saturday, falling just short at home in a 72-70 overtime loss to Dayton. The visiting Flyers were able to earn the win at the foul line in OT after a Devon McMillan jumper for Fordham caught the front of the rim as time expired in regulation. Dayton sank all six of its shots from the stripe in OT and was 22-for-27 overall. The Rams were just 10-for-18 in comparison and shot 40.3 percent from the floor overall. Chris Gaston led four players in double figures for Fordham with 23 points on 11-of-21 shooting. McMillan had 16 points, Bryan Smith 14 and Kervin Bristol came up with a double-double of 11 points and 15 boards.
Duquesne has captured the last three meetings with Fordham and owns a 9-4 mark at the Palumbo Center against the Rams. The Dukes snapped a five-game losing streak in the series with a home triumph in 2008 and lead the all-time set by a 17-12 count.
The Dukes are normally one of the league's better offensive teams, sitting fourth in the A-10 in scoring at 73.8 points per game and hitting on an above average 45.7 percent of their field goals. The defense, however, does leave something to be desired, slotting in second from the bottom in conference play in points allowed (71.4 ppg) while owning the league's third-worst field-goal percentage defense (45.4 percent). Sean Johnson and B.J. Monteiro are at the head of the Dukes' offense, averaging 14.7 and 14.2 ppg, respectively. Meanwhile, T.J. McConnell gives Duquesne a third legit double-digit scorer at 11.8 ppg and ranks third in the A-10 in assists with 5.8 per contest. The talented sophomore also leads the team in field-goal percentage (53.4 percent) and adds 4.3 rebounds per outing, second on the team to Monteiro's 5.4 boards. Eric Evans adds further scoring depth with a 9.6-point average. Overall, Duquesne could use some help on the glass, giving up 38.0 caroms per game while grabbing just 31.5 themselves. The margin serves as the worst in the conference at minus-6.5.
The Rams also feature a trio of double-digit scorers on which to rely, but a lot less depth to fall back on. Thus, the Rams rank dead last in the A-10 with an average of 62.4 ppg. Further compounding their scoring futility is the league's worst field-goal percentage (38.1 percent) and free-throw percentage (62.7 percent). Just the same, the junior Gaston sits among the conference's top scorers at 16.4 ppg and leads the A-10 in rebounding with 10.1 per contest. Branden Frazier checks in at 11.8 ppg and hands out a team-high 4.0 assists per outing while Smith racks up 10.4 ppg and leads the club with 46 three-pointers on 31.1 percent shooting. McMillan and Bristol normally play smaller parts in the offense, averaging 7.8 and 5.0 ppg, respectively. Bristol, though, adds 7.8 rpg to the mix with the Rams grabbing a solid 37.8 rpg overall. However, that number still leaves the Rams with a negative margin (38.5-37.8).
The Dukes are getting down to crunch time to put their best foot forward in the conference. Falling under .500, and to the worst offensive team in the league at home should not be an option.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duquesne 71, Fordham 64
02/15 10:35:24 ET