Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The 19th-ranked Saint Louis Billikens
take aim at their 11th straight win on Wednesday night, as they visit the
Duquesne Dukes in an Atlantic 10 Conference clash at the Palumbo Center.
Saint Louis has really turned it on over the last two months, with 10
consecutive wins since suffering a 70-65 defeat to Wichita State on Dec. 1.
The Billikens are now 17-2 overall, including perfect marks on the road (6-0)
and in conference (4-0). They will be in action again next Wednesday against
Duquesne has dropped three straight games entering this contest. The string of
losses has come on the heels of a five-game win streak for the Dukes, who are
8-8 overall, including a rather pedestrian 5-4 at home. They will host St.
Bonaventure in the second part of this quick homestand.
The Billikens have won four straight and six of the last seven meetings with
the Dukes to grab a 9-7 lead in the all-time series.
In their most recent outing, the Billikens thrashed Fordham in a 70-48 final.
Dwayne Evans posted a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds in the win,
during which the Billikens held the Rams to a mere 29 percent shooting. Saint
Louis also claimed a 47-36 advantage in rebounds.
Suffocating opposing team is the key for the Billikens, who rank in the top-15
nationally in scoring defense (57.3 ppg), assists allowed (9.5 apg) and
opponent field goal percentage (.381). Evans (15.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg) represents
the top offensive weapon for the squad, and the 6-foot-6 forward has scored at
least 18 points in three straight contests and has recorded three double-
doubles on the campaign. Jordair Jett (12.3 ppg, 4.7 apg) is third in the
league in assists and is coming off a near triple-double against Fordham, when
he scored 18 points, collected nine rebounds and handed out six assists.
Duquesne was on the wrong side of a rout when it faced Virginia Commonwealth
last Saturday. The Dukes were defeated, 80-65, thanks to a meager 35.1 percent
shooting effort and 17 turnovers. Derrick Colter only made 3-of-10 shots from
the floor, but finished with a team-high 13 points.
The team's top scorer, Ovie Soko (17.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg), was really held in check
against VCU, as he finished with only seven points, all coming from the free-
throw line, while also turning the ball over a team-high four times. Without
Soko performing at his normal pace, the Dukes were unable to keep up with
their scoring average (77.1 ppg), which ranks second in the league. Tra'Vaughn
White (11.2 ppg) is the club's second scoring option, splitting time as a
starter and reserve. Colter (10.2 ppg, 3.8 apg) runs the point and Dominique
McKoy (10.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg) is reliable up front.
The Sports Network