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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 17, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: WVU Coliseum (14,000) -- Morgantown, West Virginia. Television: ROOT-PIT. Home Record: Duquesne 1-1, WVU 1-0. Away Record: Duquesne 0-0, WVU 0-1. Neutral Record: Duquesne 0-0, WVU 0-0. Conference Record: Duquesne 0-0, WVU 0-0. Series Record: West Virginia leads, 50-37.
GAME NOTES: The Duquesne Dukes get their first taste of life on the road in 2013-14, as they clash with the West Virginia Mountaineers in non-conference play at WVU Coliseum.
The Dukes kicked off the new campaign with a win back on Nov. 9 versus Abilene Christian (94-75), but earlier this week the team's record fell to .500 after coming up short against visiting New Hampshire, 84-81.
As for the Mountaineers, they too were victorious in their first outing of the season versus Mount St. Mary's at home on Nov. 8 by a score of 77-62, but that was before the program was downed by Virginia Tech in Blacksburg four days later, 87-82.
West Virginia holds a 50-37 advantage in the all-time series with the Dukes and had won eight straight before bowing to Duquesne in Pittsburgh last season, 60-56.
In a game that featured five ties and eight lead changes, the Duquesne defense was far too lenient versus New Hampshire as the visitors knocked down not only 53.2 percent from the field but also 15 3-pointers, eight of those coming on just 12 attempts in the second half of the close call. Offensively, the Dukes made only 6-of-22 shots on the perimeter as Tra'Vaughn White tallied 18 points to pace four starters in double figures. Ovie Soko pitched in with 14 points and eight rebounds, followed by Dominique McKoy with 13 and nine, respectively. Derrick Colter not only posted 12 points, he also logged four of the unit's 11 assists in the losing cause.
Through two games it is White who leads Duquesne in scoring with 19.0 ppg, shooting an impressive 60.9 percent from the floor. Colter follows with 17.5 ppg, while Soko averages a double-double with 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per outing for a team that is generating 87.5 ppg at the moment, but also giving up 79.5 ppg.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Mountaineers led by as many as 17 points in the first half against Virginia Tech on Tuesday night, even as the team shot only 36.1 percent from the floor in the period. West Virginia then proceeded to hit on just 35.3 percent in the second half, compared to 60.9 percent for the Hokies as the hosts grabbed the five-point win at Cassell Coliseum. Remi Dibo converted 5-of-9 behind the 3-point line in order to arrive at 17 points, followed by Eron Harris with 16 points, Gary Browne 15 and Juwan Staten 10 points to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists.
Harris may have the better scoring average at the moment with 17.5 ppg, but he has converted only 34.5 percent of his field goal attempts which is actually lower than his 3-point accuracy (.364). Staten is responsible for 16.0 ppg, not to mention 7.0 rpg and a team-high 13 assists, the latter accounting for nearly half the team's total (30) heading into the weekend.
As long as Harris doesn't miss too many shots from the field, and Staten is able to produce even a portion of what he has already shown for the Mountaineers, this is a matchup that should fall in favor of the hosts.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: West Virginia 71, Duquesne 63
11/17 10:41:11 ET