PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) — The Duquesne Dukes (9-5) made sure to bring in the New Year the way any team would have it, crushing Houston Baptist (5-8) 118-72, a team that has yet to win on the road. A back-and-forth, scrappy game was put to a halt when the Dukes went on a 17 to 3 run in the first half, and a six-point lead for the Dukes turned into an 11-point lead in less than a minute after a three-pointer from Jerry Jones, who had a career high 19 points (8 of 9 from the field) and a put-back by Sean Johnson, who had a game-high 24 points along with senior B.J. Monteiro. They ended the half with a 34-14 lead over the Huskies.
Monteiro became the 35th player in school history to enter the “1,000-Point Club,” on another stellar performance, coming off a career-high 28 points in their win over Bowling Green. He earned his 1,000th point at the stripe, had a double-double at the half and finished the game with 24 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.
When asked how it feels to have that accomplishment under his belt, B.J. answered as you would expect any player to answer on a team that just dished out a total of 27 assists.
“It feels normal. It’s good to get just get it over with, but it’s no different,” he said.
Sophomore guard and Bob Cousy Award candidate, T.J. McConnell, finished with a game-high nine assists, while senior Eric Evans had 10 points and four assists.
“I like the way our guys responded…the way our bench guys responded late. We had a lot of energy,” said Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart.
The second half continued with high percentage shots for the Dukes, scoring more than half of their points in the paint. They shot nearly 60 percent from the field, and 13 of the Dukes’ 14 players scored. The Dukes out-rebounded the Huskies by a total of 16.
It also didn’t hurt that the Huskies’ leading scorer, junior Art Bernardi sat out almost the entire first half with two fouls. Freshman guard, Tyler Russell, who was named Great West Conference player of the week this week, also struggled, going 1 of 13 from the field. Terry Bembry and Ronald March Jr. led the Huskies with 16 and 12 points respectively. A Huskies team that usually pressures all over the floor was unable to do so against Duquesne.
“I’d like to think that our guys can understand when we rebound the ball on the defensive end and we can get ourselves out in transition, normally good things happen for us,” Everhart said.
Duquesne finished with 32 fast break points, and that’s a good thing indeed.
In case you wanted to know…
- Today’s game was the highest scoring game for the Dukes since November 9, 2007 when they beat Howard 129-59.
- Dukes’ sophomore Mike Talley and Huskies’ freshman Marcel Smith were teammates in high school at Detroit Melvindale, where they helped lead the team to a Class C state title in 2009-10. Talley finished today’s game with eight points and four assists.
- Freshman guard Danny Herrera went 3 for 4 in his six minutes in the game to finish with eight points.
- Duquesne begins conference play on January 4th at home against Saint Joseph’s (10-4).
The Aly Way