Duquesne’s (6-2) three-game win streak was snapped on Friday when Pitt defeated them handily in the annual City Game 96-75, but they will look to rebound tonight against UMBC Retrievers (2-7) and keep their 4-0 home record alive.
UMBC, a member of the America East Conference, will be facing off against the Dukes for the fourth time ever; Dukes have won the first three matchups. Last time these teams met was in December of 2013, DU won 94-88; Derrick Colter, Dukes leading scorer now, had 20 points, 7 assists and 4 steals in that game.
Colter, averaging 19.3 points per game in 2015, will once again play a big factor in tonight’s game against UMBC.
In the City Game, Colter was one of the only Duquesne players to truly shine. He gave the Dukes some hope against Pitt, when everything seemed gray. Colter mad it exciting when he would get past nearly every Pitt player on the floor with his blaring speed.
Fun fact: Colter and Jeremiah Jones will be starting their 100th consecutive games with DU, only 16 more starts and they will be tied for the club record with former Duke Damian Saunders (2008-2011). Colter and Jones have started every game in their Duquesne basketball history.
Other than Colter, James and Powell played exceedingly well of late, and continued that play against Pitt. Both guys have been coming off the bench and producing, which gives the Dukes a much-needed spark at times; James led both teams in points last game: 21 total. Also, James is 23-for-25 in two-point attempts this year, and Powell is on a three-game streak of putting up 10 or more points against opponents.
Surprisingly, star guard Micah Mason did not play up to his full potential against Pitt, even though he is the best deadeye shooter on Duquesne’s roster. Mason, who is currently second all-time on the three-point percentage list (48.9%), has been fine otherwise, no need to fret.
However, for Duquesne to succeed, they need Colter and Mason to produce tonight, only Darius Lewis (6’11”) plays a threat for DU in the paint. Duquesne’s roster is filled with a bunch of shooters, there is no real threat to post-up consistently.
Usually, the Dukes will have an extremely contrasting height differential with most teams, but UMBC’s leading rebounder Cody Joyce is only 6’8″. Coincidence or not, that matches Duquesne’s leading rebounder L.G. Gill. As a matter of fact, Gill is averaging nearly two rebounds a game more than Joyce, which should bode well for DU.
In addition, UMBC was able to hold Longwood to .397 shooting from the field, something the Dukes will have to evade; defense by UMBC helped lead them to their second win of the young season. The Dukes will need to create space for guys such as Colter, James, Mason, Powell and even Jeremiah Jones to be successful.
To add to the defense for UMBC, the Retrievers can shoot. Last time out, they shot .521 from the field against Longwood and were led by their points leader Rodney Elliot (14 ppg.) — the man can shoot.
Elliot is the retrievers main man on offense and defense, he can drop dimes, play defense well and score by driving the lane or spotting up. As a freshman, Elliot scored 451 points, good for the most in UMBC’s 27-year history.
Joe Sherburne and the 6’8″ Joyce will play a major role in the offense for the retrievers, should not be overlooked; both guys averaging over 10 ppg.
Yes, UMBC can shoot but Duquesne can shoot too, obviously.
Here are Duquesne and UMBC’s statistical leaders:
|PPG||Rodney Elliot (14.0)||Derrick Colter (19.3)|
|RPG||Cody Joyce (5.8)||L.G. Gill (7.3)|
|APG||Rodney Elliot (3.7)||Micah Mason (4.8)|
We can expect both teams to be coming out with their guns firing at the Palumbo Center tonight, it should be an entertaining one.
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