By Colin Dunlap | 1 p.m. Sunday
They seem to all have been big since the Atlantic 10 season began, but this one is huge for the Dukes -- especially if they lose.
By the way, love the 4 p.m. tip time today, seriously. It allowed me to wake up and enjoy Arsenal-Manchester United -- as seen below -- in the comforts on my downstairs television room (remember, I won't use "man cave" because a reader was once critical of the term).
Also, I will be cobbling my belongings together and getting out of here soon to get to the Palumbo a little early. For those of you heading down there, remember, there is a home Penguins game at 12:30 p.m. which, as it lets out, could impact your arrival at the Dukes game.
Start posting away if you'd like.
2 p.m.: Lots of buzz around the area with the Pens game...tons of cars, people and things down here. I made it down to the Palumbo. My advice to you if you are a paying customer for the Dukes game today -- leave soon, get down here early.
2:16 p.m.: There are two televisions in the Palumbo Center media room. For some unknown reason, both were tuned to a hockey game. Seems the TV production guys and everyone else needed double-vision to watch the same game. When it got quiet, and a few people left, exactly half the televisions are now showing the Pitt-USF hoops game -- as they should. I won't say who did it.
2:22 p.m.: Some TV production guys just don't get it. Seriously. This is a media work room. Notice the first part of that, emphasis on work. They think it is their living room (or man cave). Invariably, they come in when they have a few minutes, after a certain newspaper reporter turned the volume down (as is common practice in all press boxes/work rooms) and jack the volume up on the Pens game. No regard man, no regard. Some of us are trying to work in (and excuse me for this) the work room.
2:41 p.m.: Dinner is a twisty pasta with red sauce bake, with cheese over top. 7.15 out of 10. Solid and serviceable are the best adjectives for this one today:
3:08 p.m.: They are giving away basketballs at the front gate. Solid giveaway. A note -- they are not inflated, which is a good, proactive move:
3:33 p.m.: Jammed in tight on press row today because of TV...but that is a good thing. Means more exposure for the Dukes and the A10.
3:47 p.m.: Looks like it could be a decent showing by the students. I say that with apprehension, of course.
4 p.m.: I was, obviously, not there. Someone please enlighten me as to this apparent "Martelli finger salute" story...have heard from a few people now. I want it from someone who was there.
4:06 p.m.: American Woman -- before the tip. And then they tip.
4:13 p.m.: Tied 6-6 at the first media timeout (15:23). Big Mike in the game and making a difference. By the way, Evans looks out of sorts and Blake Williamson looks like he is the guy the Dukes will need to stop. I know, I know, I know: Big time observation there, but I am just sayin.
4:23 p.m.: Rigot -- no tie. I can't figure out if I like the look or not. 10:56 left before the half, Dukes down, 14-11. What has illed this team, continues to: 1 for 8 from deep.
4:28 p.m.: Mike Kitts is one of the officials on the game. He's a guy who works a big time schedule. And, he also whacked Bob Huggins yesterday with a technical as I was watching that game.
Dukes down, 19-15 with 8:19 left. 7 turnovers and shooting 1 for 9 from 3.
4:38 p.m.: That's what the Dukes needed...in the midst of a 12-0 run to take a 27-22 lead. The game is going up and down, much to Duquesne's liking.
4:42 p.m.: As per the question about the kids in the bright shirts: It must have something to do with the sports that were cut, as they are now passing out some papers to the crowd.
4:47 p.m.: Bolding is 6 for 8 from the floor, 3 for 5 from deep and has 17 points with 45.6 seconds left before the half. Dukes up, 37-31.
4:51 p.m.: Dukes up 39-31 at the half. Some numbers: Bolding has 19. Crosgile has 12. DU is 16 for 30 (what!?!!?) from the floor.
4:55 p.m.: Former Dukes great BB Flenory is the television halftime guest on the network. Guy looks like he could still hoop:
5:18 p.m.: Dukes ahead, 45-41. This one has the feeling it will go down to the last minute. Also, Saint Joseph's is absolutely hounding Bolding now. Expect that the rest of the way.
5:21 p.m.: Why can't this Duquesne team get the ball inbounds?
5:25 p.m.: Here's the obligatory "the Hawk's arms must be tired" mention.
5:30 p.m.: Ollie Lewinson is coming into the game. Seems strange that, in my estimation at least, Williams played well in the first half and had just one foul. But we haven't seen him since.
5:39 p.m.: Is it me, or does Bill Clark really shoot line drives from the free throw line?
Dukes up, 61-57 with 5:03 left. The last 5 minutes of the game will take 35 minutes.
5:46 p.m.: Final media timeout and the Dukes are up 64-61. Duquesne is 8 for 14 from the FT line today; Saunders is 0 for 4 and Clark 1 for 3 -- think Martelli might foul Saunders and Clark down the stretch?
5:55 p.m.: American Woman. Dukes up 68-66. If you are Martelli here, with 1:18 left, do you play hack-a-Duke and make them beat you at the line?
6:09 p.m.: Early game story:
By Colin Dunlap, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Duquesne (11-10, 2-5 Atlantic 10) earned a much-needed conference victory today, squeaking out a 74-71 win against visiting Saint Joseph's (8-13, 2-5) at the A.J. Palumbo Center.
Melquan Bolding led the Dukes with 24 points and Damian Saunders had his 16th double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
The Hawks were paced by 17 points each from Darrin Govens and Justin Crosgile.
The Dukes were able to shoot --- quite literally --- to a 39-31 halftime advantage, going 16 for 30 from the field over the first 20 minutes, an escape from their recent cold shooting.
Bolding was particularly hot, making 6 of his 8 first half shots (and 3 of 5 from 3-point range) to net 17 first-half points.
The Dukes used a 12-0 run late in the first half to take that halftime lead.