Duquesne (11-13) at St. Bonaventure (15-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 19, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reilly Center (5,780) -- St. Bonaventure, New York. Television: SNY. Home Record: Duquesne 6-7, St. Bonnies 9-2. Away Record: Duquesne 5-5, St. Bonnies 4-7. Neutral Record: Duquesne 0-1, St. Bonnies 2-1. Conference Record: Duquesne 3-8, St. Bonnies 5-6. Series Record: Duquesne leads, 58-53.
GAME NOTES: Duquesne shoots for back-to-back wins for the first time this month, as the Dukes challenge the St. Bonaventure Bonnies in Atlantic 10 Conference action at the Reilly Center tonight.
The Dukes, who closed out the month of January with consecutive triumphs, began February on a four-game slide. However, the team put an end to the negative streak with an 83-71 win over Rhode Island on the road last Saturday. Unfortunately, from a conference standpoint, Duquesne is still just 3-8 and that leaves the program near the bottom of the standings in the A-10.
As for the Bonnies, they've split their first four games of this month, losing back-to-back outings against the likes of Richmond and Dayton before turning the corner and taking down Fordham (76-65) and George Mason (85-73). But, just like the Dukes, the Bonnies are playing under .500 in conference at the moment, sporting only five wins in 11 chances.
The Dukes won the first meeting of the season just weeks ago by a slim 83-81 final at home, as Ovie Soko posted 27 points and the team shot both 55.3 percent from the field and 11-of-19 (.579) behind the 3-point line. With the victory, Duquesne moved to a 58-53 lead in the all-time series.
Not only did Soko finish with a double-double in the win against Rhode Island, posting 19 points and 12 rebounds, he also became the latest player to reach 1,000 points for his career, albeit having tallied 564 points at UAB before transferring. L.G. Gill tacked on 19 points as well for the Dukes, hitting 5- of-6 shots behind the 3-point line in a reserve role, followed by Derrick Colter and Dominique McKoy with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Scoring in double figures in all but two games this season, Soko is now up to 18.4 ppg on the campaign as he shoots a decent 46.0 percent from the field, but a not-so-impressive 26.3 percent behind the 3-point line. In conference play, Soko is also shooting 46.0 percent from the floor in order to reach 18.2 ppg, the only player in double figures, but once he figures out that he is more valued for his 7.0 rpg and not his 3-of-18 shooting beyond the arc, he and the Dukes will be much better off.
The bench for the Bonnies played a huge role in getting the team over the hump against George Mason, as Jordan Gathers and Dion Wright combined to post 33 points on 11-of-21 shooting from the floor. Also playing well for the visitors to the Patriot Center were Matthew Wright and Youssou Ndoye with 24 and 12 points, respectively. SBU took great advantage of its 36 trips to the free- throw line, hitting on all but four chances.
Wright, a starter in all but one of the 24 games in which he has appeared, is first on the team in scoring with 15.7 ppg, although he has had some issues finding the basket from time to time with just 39.9 percent accuracy from the floor. Charlon Kloof checks in with another 12.2 ppg and is first on the unit with 120 assists, an effort that has aided the program in producing 74.5 ppg to this point in the campaign.
For the Dukes, snapping a four-game slide the last time out was certainly important, but the team has to be careful not to make too much of that decision because it could give them false hope tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: St. Bonaventure 72, Duquesne 64
02/19 10:35:09 ET