Duquesne (15-13) at Charlotte (13-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 29th, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Halton Arena (9,105) -- Charlotte, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Duquesne 9-4, Charlotte 7-6. Away Record: Duquesne 3-8, Charlotte 6-8. Neutral Record: Duquesne 3-1, Charlotte 0-0. Conference Record: Duquesne 6-8, Charlotte 5-9. Series Record: Charlotte leads 5-4.
GAMES NOTES: The Charlotte 49ers can clinch a spot in the Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament with a win in their next two games, starting this evening, as they host the Duquesne Dukes at Halton Arena.
Charlotte has just a 5-9 mark in conference play on the season but is two games up on Fordham and Rhode Island for the final spot in the conference tournament with only two games to go. Charlotte would have clinched the spot on Saturday but the 49ers were unable to defeat St. Bonaventure and lost for the third time in four games.
This is the only scheduled meeting between these squads this season. Charlotte holds the all-time series advantage by a slim 5-4 margin.
Duquesne is already assured of postseason play although just barely with a 6-8 mark in A-10 play entering this matchup. The Dukes are 15-13 overall on the season with some impressive wins including victories over George Mason and Massachusetts. The Dukes are currently riding a three game losing streak entering play and will wrap up the season at home on Saturday against Saint Louis.
On Saturday Duquesne just couldn't get its offense going despite the strong play of its defense in a 56-51 defeat to George Washington. The Dukes shot just 37.3 percent from the floor and had their worst offensive showing in four games in the losing effort.
Not being able to score has not really been an issue for Duquesne this season as the Dukes put up 72.2 points per game which is the fourth best mark in the conference. Duquesne's defense has not been as solid allowing 71.0 points per game while collecting the second fewest rebounds (31.2 rpg) in the A-10. Against George Washington only one player was able to get into double figures with B.J. Monteiro (14.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg) scoring 13. The senior swingman is generally the best bet on the team in scoring as he leads the team in the category while also doing so in rebounds. The team isn't normally without other scorers beyond Monteiro, as Sean Johnson (13.7 ppg) and T.J. McConnell (11.4 ppg, 5.6 apg) also average double figures. McConnell often allows his scoring to take a back seat to his responsibilities as point guard as he has handed out the third most assists in the conference this season.
Charlotte couldn't keep up with St. Bonaventure on Saturday as the 49ers lost by a 72-56 score by shooting only 38.2 percent from the field which was far behind the 48.1 percent pace by the Bonnies.
Scoring has not come easy to the 49ers this season with the team better than only Fordham and Rhode Island, which are tied for last place in the conference at 66.9 points per game. The 49ers have still remained competitive in games by allowing only 67.6 points per game for a manageable -0.7 scoring differential. Chris Braswell (15.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg) an DeMario Mayfield (10.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg) have been anchors on the inside with Braswell's efforts particularly impressive. The junior forward is the team's leading performer in points and rebounding this season although he was held to just nine points and six rebounds on Saturday. Mayfield picked up the slack and put together a fine 13- point, nine-rebound performance. Javarris Barnett (12.3 ppg, 57. rpg) is the team's other player averaging in double figures.
With more incentive in this game Charlotte gets the edge. The 49ers might not be able to run up a huge score but with their ability to control the inside and limit scoring, they should be able to finalize a spot in the A-10 Tournament.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Charlotte 70, Duquesne 67
02/29 10:42:00 ET