Fordham (7-6) at Duquesne (7-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 8, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: A.J. Palumbo Center (4,406) -- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Fordham 5-2, Duquesne 4-3. Away Record: Fordham 2-4, Duquesne 3-1. Neutral Record: Fordham 0-0, Duquesne 0-1. Conference Record: Fordham 0-0, Duquesne 0-0. Series Record: Duquesne leads, 18-13.
GAME NOTES: Duquesne aims for its fifth straight win when the Dukes open Atlantic 10 Conference play on Wednesday night at home against the Fordham Rams.
The Dukes, who have their longest victory streak since capturing 11 in row during the 2010-11 season, are coming off a 79-55 home win over Appalachian State last Thursday. Ovie Soko scored a game-high 22 points and had eight rebounds. Tra'Vaughn White scored 14 points and grabbed six boards in 19 minutes of action. Dominique McKoy scored 10 and had six rebounds to contribute to Duquesne's 52-33 overall rebounding edge in the game. Duquesne is shooting 52.4 percent during its current win streak. That includes triumphs against Saint Francis (PA), UMass-Lowell and Texas-Pan American.
Soko, a transfer from UAB, (18.1 ppg, 8.8 rpg), is second in the A-10 in rebounding. Sophomore guard Micah Mason (10.3 ppg) has shot 50 percent or better from the 3-point line in six consecutive games. Mason is 20-of-32 from long distance this season. White (13.4 ppg), a first-year transfer guard, is shooting 42.1 percent from beyond the arc. McKoy (10.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg) is making just 58.3 percent of his foul shots, but paces the A-10 by making 70.1 percent of his field goal attempts. Derrick Colter (9.3 ppg) and Jeremiah Jones (8.7 ppg) are part of the starting lineup of a team that averages 79.2 ppg, which is second-most in the conference.
The Rams have lost back-to-back games for the first time this season. They were beaten 79-69 at Siena on Dec. 30. Mandell Thomas led the Rams with 20 points, while Jon Severe finished with 17 points. Branden Frazier added 13 points for the visitors, and Bryan Smith scored 10.
Fordham boasts the highest scoring backcourt in the A-10 with freshman Severe (20.5 ppg) and senior Frazier (18.5 ppg). Severe has 25.3 ppg over his past four contests, while Frazier leads the conference by sinking 91.4 percent of his attempts from the charity stripe. The problem for the Rams this season has been on defense as they allow 77.1 ppg, which is last in the conference. On the flip side, they are first in the A-10 in free throw shooting (.754). Thomas (14.3 ppg) is just 15-of-60 from 3-point range. Ryan Rhoomes (.646) is third in the A-10 in field goal percentage, and he leads the Rams with 7.2 rpg and is second on the team with 12 blocks. The Rams have certainly boosted their offensive production (77.1 ppg) in comparison to last season (64.4 ppg).
The Rams took last season's meeting, 82-75, in Rose Hill Gym, but prior to that the Dukes won four straight encounters. With a victory tonight, the Dukes can match their entire win total from last season (8-22).
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duquesne 77, Fordham 71
01/08 10:32:25 ET