Dukes only CBI road team to win first game
After winning its opener in the College Basketball Invitational at Montana, Duquesne
will continue its “How the West Was Won” tour when it takes on Oregon
in the event’s quarterfinals.
The Dukes became the only team in the CBI field to win on the road when they beat Montana 87-74 in their first-round matchup in Moussoula.
It was the first win in a national postseason tournament in coach Ron Everhart’s five years and the first period since a win over Charlotte in the 1974 NIT.
What it got them was an extended western vacation. Their game against the Ducks will be played in Eugene, about 650 miles farther west, on Monday (March 21).
If the Dukes win, they will reach the CBI semifinals, but the pairings won’t be made until after the results of the other quarterfinal games are in.
Other matchups are Davidson at Creighton, Rhode Island at UCF, and Evansville at Boise State.
The CBI’s semifinals are set for March 23.
The best-of-three championship series will be played March 28 and 30 and April 1, the latter if necessary.
March 21, 2011
College Basketball Invitation, quarterfinals.
Key Matchups: F Damian Saunders looks to get the assignment on Oregon’s top scorer, F Joevan Catron 15.3 ppg), but the big threat may come from the Ducks’ three-point specialists on the perimeter. The Ducks have three players with over 40 three-pointers apiece (G Jay-R Strobridge 51-for-154, F E.J. Singler 56-for-118, and G Garrett Sim 43-for-130). Singler is the younger brother of Duke’s Kyle Singler.
Scouting Report: The Dukes will try to keep the pace up while pressuring the Ducks into turnovers. Duquesne has three players with over 40 steals each—G T.J. McConnell with 91, G/F Damian Saunders with 71, and F/G Bill Clark with 44. The Dukes have forced teams into more than 20 turnovers a game.
Keys To Victory: The Dukes need to keep the pressure on an Oregon team that will be playing its 21st game at home. Since hitting only 32.8 percent in a loss at Richmond to end the regular season, the Dukes have shot 48.4 percent in a loss to St. Joseph’s and 54.2 percent in the win over Montana. They need a repeat performance to have a shot at getting past the Ducks.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “What we did is we went with a platoon system, play more like a hockey line and try to utilize our depth.”—Coach Ron Everhart, on the strategy he employed with senior F Damian Saunders suffering from an illness when the Dukes played at Montana.
- Senior F Damian Saunders needs 34 points to move into the Top 10 among Duke’s all-time leading scorers. He enters the game at Oregon with an even 1,500 points in his career. He is the school’s No. 3 all-time rebounder with 1,009.
- The 11-point win at Montana marked the 18th time in their 19 wins that the Dukes have won by a double-digit margin. The only exception was 70-64 win over St. Bonaventure on March 2. Of their 12 losses, the Dukes have three by double figures (Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, and Richmond).
- Senior F/G Bill Clark will make his 100th career start when the Dukes face Oregon. He is part of a senior class that has posted 73 wins, most for Duquesne over a four-year period since the Dukes had 74 wins from 1970-73.
- Freshman G T.J. McConnell had four steals at Montana to give him 91 for the year, a school single-season record. F Damian Saunders set the mark of 89 just last year.
Ron Everhart, five years at Duquesne, three years in the postseason (second CBI).