Dukes look for new life tonight

March 6, 2012 12:00 am

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Tonight, deep inside the University of Massachusetts' Mullins Center, Duquesne basketball players will meet before game time and go over the tendencies of the Minutemen.

Coach Ron Everhart will remind his team of the need to rebound well, to get to the open floor. He'll probably draw up a few plays on the white board.

Then they'll form a circle, hold hands and senior B.J. Monteiro will lead the team in a prayer written by Everhart years ago and recited daily.

The ninth-seeded Dukes open the Atlantic 10 tournament looking for the second life the postseason can bring after a late-season slide sent them on the road to eighth seed Massachusetts.

Scouting report
  • Matchup: No. 9 Duquesne (16-14) at No. 8 Massachusetts (20-10), 7 p.m. today, Atlantic 10 tournament, Mullins Center, Amherst, Mass.
  • Radio, Internet: WPGB-FM (104.7), RedZoneMedia.com and GoDuquesne.com.
  • Duquesne: Lost four of five to end the regular season. ... Coming off 75-60 loss to Saint Louis. ... Beat Massachusetts, 80-69, Jan. 18 at home, forcing 29 turnovers. ... Led in scoring and rebounding by B.J. Monteiro (15 ppg, 5.3 rpg). ... Led in assists and steals by T.J. McConnell (5.5/2.8 per game).
  • Massachusetts: Coming off an 89-83 win against Rhode Island to close the regular season. ... Led by Chaz Williams, a transfer from Hofstra, who shoots 40 percent from 3-point range and leads the team with 16.2 points per game. ... Sean Carter scored a career high 22, with 10 rebounds against the Rams.
  • Hidden stat: Massachusetts holds a 17-7 advantage in the series at the Mullins Center but the Dukes have won four of the past five meetings overall (home and road).

"It kind of erases everything, starts everything over," Everhart said. "When you have younger guys sometimes the grind and the disappointments kind of wear on you a little bit, they take their toll sometimes. ... When you come to this time of year and are able to wipe the slate clean a little bit maybe some of that goes away and there's a renewed sense of positive attitude to go out, compete hard and have that opportunity to win."

The Dukes (16-14) beat the Minutemen Jan. 18 at home, 80-69, forcing 29 turnovers, including seven by point guard Chaz Williams, a first-team all-conference selection lauded for his electric playmaking skills that include 6.4 assists a game.

First Published 2012-03-05 23:02:11

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