North Dakota State (3-1) at Duquesne (1-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 20, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: A.J. Palumbo Center (4,406) -- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: NDSU 2-0, Duquesne 1-0. Away Record: NDSU 0-1, Duquesne 0-2. Neutral Record: NDSU 1-0, Duquesne 0-0. Conference Record: NDSU 0-0, Duquesne 0-0. Series Record: First meeting.
GAME NOTES: The host Duquesne Dukes will entertain the North Dakota State Bison as part of the Legends Classic at the Palumbo Center on Tuesday night.
It wasn't easy for Duquesne on Monday as it earned its first win. The Dukes held off a pesky James Madison squad 90-88 in overtime despite letting a seven-point lead with less than three minutes in regulation slip away. The win moves the Dukes to 1-2 overall this season after losses on the road to Albany (69-66) and Georgetown (61-55). Duquesne will play Youngstown State in the final day of the three-day sub-regional of the Legends Classic.
Fatigue could be an issue for the Bison who needed overtime to top Youngstown State in its first game of the Legends Classic. The win continues what has been a good start for North Dakota State, which is 3-1 through its first four games. Some context is needed in regards to that ledger though with two of the wins coming in home contests versus NAIA opponents Valley City State (93-47) and Mayville State (73-40). The Bison will play James Madison in the final day of the Classic.
This will mark the first meeting between North Dakota State and Duquesne on the hardwood.
The Bison let a 64-59 lead with 13 seconds remaining slip away in regulation against Youngstown State. However in the extra period North Dakota State outscored the Penguins 19-16 to pull out the win. In the game North Dakota State shot 40.0 percent from the floor including 8-of-15 from 3-point range and outscored the Penguins 23-14 from the free throw line. Of four players in double figures, Mike Felt was the leader with 24 points.
Getting scoring off the bench has been a strength for the Bison primarily because of Felt. The junior guard has gotten off to a fast start, scoring 18.3 points per game, while playing exclusively as a reserve. Felt's early season pace has been fueled by an incredible effort from beyond the arc, where he has knocked down 18-of-33 shots. Taylor Braun (13.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.5 apg) has also been scoring in double figure while contributing in a variety of ways. Center Marshall Bjorklund (11.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg) rounds out the double-figure scorers but needs to pick it up on the glass. Lawrence Alexander (9.3 ppg, 14 assists) has the ability to score as well.
Despite shooting at a sizzling 69.6 percent from the floor in the first half and 53.3 percent overall against James Madison, the host Dukes still needed overtime to finish off the visitors. Duquesne actually went down early in the extra session (84-81) but went on a 5-0 spurt to reclaim the lead for good. In the contest the Dukes knocked down 11-of-25 shots from beyond the arc to make up for a game-high 18 turnovers. Sean Johnson led five players in double figures with 20 points.
Leading the Dukes in scoring was nothing new for Johnson who has been able to put in 16.7 points per game through the first three contests to lead three players in double figures. Pairing with Johnson in the backcourt is Derrick Colter, who is another double figure scorer (12.0 ppg), but is probably most vital for his play in handling the ball and distributing with a team-high 5.0 assists per game. Freshman forward Quevyn Winters (12.0 ppg) has impressed thus far by knocking down 53.6 percent of his shots while leading the team on the boards (6.0 rpg). Winters stands at just 6-foot-6 though which is a testament to the lack of size among the players in the Dukes' rotation.
Duquesne has been playing in nothing but close games through the first three outings, but the Dukes shouldn't have as much issue with the Bison.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duquesne 71, North Dakota State 62
11/20 10:38:31 ET