Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dukes Jockey for A-10 Playoff Position

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dukes Jockey for A-10 Playoff Position

Article excerpt

Duquesne delivered one of its best road performances of the season at Dayton earlier this month, shooting well, rebounding well and finding ways around the Flyers height advantage.

Can they do it twice?

The Flyers visit Palumbo Center tonight, marking the first of the Dukes final four regular-season games.

Duquesne (15-11, 6-6) is jockeying for position in the standings in the log-jammed Atlantic 10 with games against Dayton, George Washington, Charlotte and Saint Louis remaining. The Dukes are tied at No. 8 with Dayton, which is also 6-6 in the A-10, and 16-10 overall.

"It's hard to beat any team twice in the season. Anyone in our league for that matter," said coach Ron Everhart.

"I do think that they're a really good basketball team, very well coached and I thought we were a little fortunate last time. They didn't shoot the ball well, and it was one of our better rebounding efforts."

So many postseason scenarios exist that players said they will make it simple and focus on Dayton.

"I just think we're taking it one game at a time, not trying to look ahead to the A-10 tournament," said guard T.J. McConnell. "We need a win against Dayton, and it'd be big."

It is no different around the league.

At the top of the pack, Temple (10-2), Saint Louis (10-3), Xavier (8-4) and Saint Joseph's (8-5) have started to build some separation, but most expect the race to go to the wire.

"The stretch run of conference play is going to decide a lot," said Xavier coach Chris Mack. "There's so many teams who have four, five, six losses. Man, I don't think you could right now pick the seeds at the conference tournament and have any accuracy whatsoever."

Everhart said he expects the Flyers to guard McConnell better on defense and pound inside on offense more.

"I think they'll probably really try to take away T.J. a little bit more in terms of allowing him to get in their lane, pitch it around," said Everhart. "We're going to need better ball movement.

"Offensively, I expect them to pound it inside more, utilize their height and physical advantage. …

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