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Empty Netter Assists - Recaping Penguins-Blues - 02-22-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The Post-Gazette's recap from last night's game. “When things aren’t really going right sometimes, it just takes a little juggling, a little spark. Whatever it takes at this point.” - Sidney Crosby on his team's line changes.

-The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's recap. “They take advantages of the chances they get. We’re kind of getting what we deserve.” - Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester on the Penguins.

-The Associated Press' recap. "I think we did a lot of things we've been preaching over the last couple weeks. Getting guys to the net, and the specialty teams came up big. All in all, we're happy we got the win. I thought we played well tonight." - Blake Comeau.

-Highlights:

-Mike Lange's goal calls.

-Mike Johnston speaks:

-Jim Rutherford sure seems fond of Jordan Staal.

-Matt Murray made 22 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 2-0 shutout against the Providence Bruins. Conor Sheary netted a goal and an assist for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-Highlights:

Murray recorded his seventh shutout this season and tied the franchise’s single-season record for shutouts set by Brad Thiessen in 2010-11.

-Goaltender Eric Hartzell made 27 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 5-0 loss to the Toledo Walleye.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins assigned defenseman Harrison Ruopp to the Wheeling Nailers.

-Happy 40th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Patrick Boileau. A free agent signing in the 2003 offseason, Boileau appeared in 16 games for the 2003-04 Penguins and recorded seven points. In the 2004 offseason, he joined Lausanne of the NLA in Switzerland.

-Happy 41st birthday to former Penguins forward Mathias Johansson. Acquired along with Micki DuPont in a trade that sent Shean Donovan to the Flames at the 2003 trade deadline, Johansson appeared in 12 games and recorded six points for the 2002-03 Penguins. In the 2003 offseason, he joined Farjestad of the Elitserien in Sweden.

-After the Jump: Outdoor hockey in Northern California.

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Radical Islam

Written by Rob Rogers on .

The GOP is upset because Obama won't call ISIS by the name that the GOP thinks it should use. Meanwhile, they have no problem calling him an unpatriotic, America-hating socialist. Hypocritical much? 

022215 Radical Islam

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Penguins at Blues - 02-21-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

 -The Ducks have been struggling as of late. Their two franchise forwards - Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry - have struggled in particular. Virtually joined at the hip since each joined the Ducks nearly a decade ago, they have long been linemates. That didn't matter to coach Bruce Boudreau who broke them up last night. The change led the Ducks to score six goals against the Flames. Getzlaf, who had a four-game pointless streak, had a goal and an assist. Perry recorded an assist.

-That brings us to the Penguins. With so many struggles offensively, the Penguins have been slow to make line changes. The top three lines have been written in stone virtually. Mike Johnston suggested this morning that may change. According to the team's Web site the lines and defensive pairs will look like this:

David Perron - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - Blake Comeau
Nick Spaling - Brandon Sutter - Beau Bennett
Zach Sill - Maxim Lapierre - Craig Adams

Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Derrick Pouliot - Robert Bortuzzo
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres

-Something needs to be done to spark Crosby and how can anyone justify keeping him and Kunitz together for the time being? Ditto Hornqvist. He has not displayed nearly the same level of chemistry with Malkin as he has Crosby. Malkin's MVP season in 2011-12 came with Kunitz primarily on his left wing. Perhaps a reunion could benefit Kunitz?

-We're not sure we understand the potential scratching of Downie. Against a physical team like the Blues, wouldn't he be a good player to have in place?

-Sidney Crosby has never scored against the Blues. Never. In eight games, zero goals. The only other team which has blanked him are the Sharks. True, the Penguins don't play those Western Conference teams all that much, but the Blues have historically - under coach Ken Hitchcock at least - have done a pretty good job of putting David Backes and/or Alex Pietrangelo up against him. Don't expect that to change.

-Thomas Greiss will start. That's a bit of a surprise. With the Penguins playing games on back to back days, Greiss was bound to get one start. We just assumed it would be against the Panthers, a lesser opponent than the Blues.

-The Penguins' starters are Beau Bennett, Zach Sill, Brandon Sutter, Kris Letang, Paul Martin and Thomas Greiss.

-Their scratches are Steve Downie and Christian Ehrhoff.

-The Blues' starters are Dmitrj Jaskin, Chris Porter, Paul Stastny, Ian Cole, Barrett Jackman and Brian Elliott.

-Their scratches are Chris Butler, Joakim Lindstrom and Steve Ott.

-Ott is scratched after his wife gave birth this morning. So the Penguins will avoid the guaranteed-goal-in-the-first-game-after-having-a-kid from Ott.

FIRST PERIOD

19:39: A wrister by Cole from the right point is blocked by Martin.

19:22: Bennett uses Jackman as a screen and rips a wrister from above the right circle. Elliott eats it up.

19:10: After an offensive zone turnover by Perron, a wrister by Alex Steen in the right circle is blocked by Scuderi.

18:28: Kunitz pounds a slapper from the right point. Jaden Schwartz blocks it.

18:13: Schwartz glides up the left wing and flings a wrister to the far side. Greiss snags it with a fancy glove save.

17:48: After Comeau forces a turnover on the Blues' left half wall, Kunitz snaps off a wrister from the left circle which goes wide on the near side. Malkin recovers the rebound behind the net and distributes it to Kunitz in the left circle. Kunitz snaps off another wrister which Elliot stops. Malkin is denied on the rebound as well.

16:28: Off a feed by Crosby, Hornqvist shuffles a backhander from the slot. Elliott eats it up.

15:38: Off a stretch pass by Carl Gunnarsson, Steen gets behind the Penguins defense and attacks on a mini breakaway. As Scuderi dives to poke the puck away, Steen lifts a wrister wide to the left of the cage. Scuderi may have gotten away with a trip.

15:22: Despres pumps a one-timer from the left point wide to the far side.

14:44: Vladimir Tarasenko has a wrister from the slot blocked by Malkin. Jori Lehtera recovers the rebound on the right wing wall and deals a pass to Pietrangelo in the left circle. He rips a wrister which Greiss eats up.

13:41: Spaling is taking a shift with Lapierre and Adams.

12:35: A wrister by Patrik Berglund from the right wing is turned away by Greiss.

10:54: Crosby, on a line with Comeau and Kunitz, pushes play up the left wing. As Bortuzzo drives the slot, Crosby pulls up on the left wing and deals a pass to Comeau in the high slot. Comeau booms a slapper which Elliott denies.

10:23: A wrister by Tarasenko off the left wing is blocked by Martin's stick.

10:09: Sutter chips and chases a puck up the right wing, gets a step on Jackman and rips a wrister on net. Elliott eats it up.

9:49: Off a little feed by Malkin from behind the cage, Kunitz tries to jam one in from the right of the cage. Elliott denies it.

9:43: Malkin deals a pass from behind the cage to Letang at the right point. Letang wires a slapper wide on the near side.

8:58: Bortuzzo muscles a puck up the left wing and chips a little wrister which hops over the cage.

8:28: From the left half wall, Hornqvist tries to hit Pouliot with a pass as he streaks towards the net. The pass fails to connect and Elliott kicks it away.

7:48: Malkin races up the right wing and leaves a drop pass for Comeau at the top of the left circle. Comeau rips a wrister which a backchcecking T.J. Oshie breaks up.

6:34: Schwartz flings a wrister from a bad angle on the left wing. Greiss kicks it out.

5:17: Crosby drives down the slot and leaves a drop pass above the left circle. Kunitz rips a wrister just wide of the cage.

4:36: A wrister by Comeau from the slot deflects out of play.

4:07: Jaskin races up the left wing and flings a backhander from the right wing. Greiss fights it off.

4:01: Jaskin tries to jam in a forehand wraparound from the right of the cage. Pouliot clears the rebound down ice and ices it.

3:29: The Penguins strike first. After Steen beats Malkin in the left circle, Petteri Lindbohm tries to play the puck up ice from his own left corner but Comeau blocks his clearing attempts. Comeau settles the puck and backhands it through Elliott's five hole. That's a nice, ugly garbage goal in tight. Officially, it came from 14 feet out. It's unassisted. After his turnover which led to the game-winning goal by the Blue Jackets Thursday, Comeau could use that. Penguins 1-0.

3:04: Pietrangelo whacks a slapper from the right point which is blocked.

2:59: Crosby pushes the puck up the left wing and whacks it on net. Elliott eats it up.

2:20: Battling Adams for a puck on the left half wall, Barrett Jackman ends up clipping his teammate Marcel Goc in the face. Goc takes a tumble with a little bit of blood on his lip. He heads off for repairs.

0:32: Jay Bouwmeester whacks a slapper from the left point wide on the near side.

0:02: Crosby sneaks in off the right wing and lifts a forehand shot on net which hits off the far post. He collides with Elliott and play is halted. Crosby gives Elliott a tap on the leg as if to make sure he's okay.

0:00: End of game. Penguins 1, Blues 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

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-We're not sure if was a matter of the Penguins playing that well or the Blues looking a little gassed from playing last night, but that was the Penguins' best period in a week or so.

-The new lines seem to have sparked a few things. Kunitz and Malkin have combined for a few shots. Crosby seems to have a bit of an extra jump.

-The Blues have been somewhat slow starters in the first period in terms of goals and shots this season. So... buckle up for the second period.

-Greiss looked pretty solid. That said he was hardly tested.

-The Penguins have a 10-9 lead in shots.

-The Penguins have a 22-10 lead in attempted shots.

-Kunitz, Comeau, Hornqvist, Schwartz and Jaskin each lead the game with two shots.

-Pietrangelo leads the game with 8:28 of ice time.

-Martin leads the game with 8:01 of ice time.

-The Blues have a 10-8 lead in faceoffs (56 percent).

-Statsny is 4 for 7 (57 percent).

-Sutter is 3 for 6 (50 percent).

-Martin leads the game with three blocked shots.

SECOND PERIOD

19:42: A slapper by Jackman from the left point is blocked by Pouliot who

19:24: Bennett saunters up the left wing, glides to the slot and rips a wrister from the slot wide of the cage.

19:16: After Bennett forces a turnover by Steen in St. Louis' left circle, Sutter has a wrister from the right circle blocked by a sprawling Jackman.

19:01: Hornqvist snaps off a pass off the right half wall to Perron darting towards the net off the left wing. Perron tries to lift a forehand shot but a spawling Elliott denies it with his left skate.

18:44: A wrister by Perron in the slot is blocked by Pietrangelo.

17:56: A wrister by Lindbohm from the right point is blocked wide of the cage.

17:52: Tarsenko chops a one-timer from the left circle wide to the far side.

17:11: BIG save. Goc moves up the left wing on a partial two-on-one against Martin. Goc deals a cross-ice pass to the dangerous Tarasenko in the right circle. Tarasenko drops the hammer on a one-timer. Greiss reads the play, moves ot his left and steals the puck with his glove hand. Wow.

16:56: The Blues get the game's first power play. Pouliot trips up in the Penguins' right wing corner. Sutter, Spaling, Scuderi and Letang take the ice.

16:30: Short-handed, Sutter pushes a puck up the right wing on a two-on-one with Spaling against Steen. Sutter forces a pass which Steen breaks up. The Blues are using five forwards.

15:23: Taking a pass in the left circle, Pietrangelo has an acre of ice to work with and lifts a wrister wide of the cage as Bortuzzo pressures.

14:46: As the Pouliot minor expires, Lapierre steals a puck and chips it up ice. He tries to recover it in the St. Louis zone but is held up by Tarasenko. Elliott plays the puck away then denies Adams ont eh rebound chance. Play is halted. Tarasenko is called for holding. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Hornqvist and Letang take the ice.

14:04: Malkin lifts a wrister from the center point. It hits a body in front.

13:53: Malkin takes a pass from Crosby at center point and pounds a slapper. Elliott deflects it out play.

13:34: The band is back together. Letang drives a puck deep on the left wing and pass to Crosby in the right wing corner. Crosby deals a pass to Hornqvist in the high slot. Hornqvist rips a wrister by the glove hand of Elliott. That looked so simple. It breaks an 0 for 20 skid on the power play by the Penguins. Crosby and Letang get assists. Penguins 2-0.

11:41: Pietrangelo rips a wrister from the right circle. Greiss eats it up.

11:25: A slapper by Pietrangelo from the left half wall is deflected out of play by Perron.

9:41: Lapierre tries to toe drag around a sliding Cole in the Blues' right circle but loses it on Cole's stick.

8:58: A wrister by Oshie from the left point is turned away by Greiss.

8:39: Martin chops a slapper from the left point. Elliott snags it.

8:33: Of the ensuing faceoff, Martin chops a one-timer from the right point. Schwartz blocks it.

8:13: Bennett rips a wrister from the left half wall. It hits a body in front. Spaling and Sutter dig for the rebound but Elliott smothers it.

7:59: After Tarasenko dances the puck into the offensive zone on the right wing, Gunnarsson chops a slapper which Greiss fights off.

7:08: A wrister by Bortuzzo from the right point is blocked.

5:39: Off a feed by Crosby, Scuderi booms a slapper from the right point wide on the near side.

5:12: A wrister by Lapierre off the left wing is blocked.

4:22: Another ugly goal. Despres pounds a slapper from the center point. Comeau is positioned on the inner edge of the left circle and re-directs a dribbler by the right skate of Elliott on the far side. Kunitz drove the net and appeared to distract Elliot a tad. Comeau gets credit for the goal. It's another clunky, ugly goal. Despres and Malkin each get assist. Penguins 3-0.

2:59: Malkin drives up the right wing, goes behind the net, emerges in the left circle and backhands it on net.

2:18: Bennett rips a wrister from the left circle. Elliott eats it up.

1:32: A wrister from the left wing by Ryan Reaves is blocked by Spaling.

0:50: Perron hustles up the left wing and lifts a wrister which Elliott fights off.

0:09: Despres pounds a slapper from the right point which is blocked.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Blues 0.

SECOND INTERMISSION

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4113/5199651737_a744ffe168.jpg

-Things leveled off a bit to start that period. The Blues started the period with a little more energy but they seemed to tucker out as the period went on. The Penguins can't get lured into taking the third period casually, but the Blues look like toast.

-Talk about a great response by Comeau after his turnover which cost them the game Thursday.

-The Penguins' power play goal looked so easy. It makes you wonder why the power play looked so inept over the past nine games.

-Even the third line has had a few strong offensive chances.

-The Penguins have a 20-14 lead in shots on net.

-The Penguins lead in attempted shots, 41-31.

-Bennett, Comeau, Hornqvist and Jaskin each lead the game with three shots on net.

-Letang leads the game with 17:22 of ice time.

-Pietrangelo leads the game with 17:03 of ice time.

-The Penguins have a 22-19 lead in faceoffs (54 percent).

-Stastny was 8 for 12 (67 percent).

-Sutter is 7 for 12 (58 percent).

-Martin, Pietrangelo and Schwartz each lead the game with three blocked shots.

THIRD PERIOD

18:50: After Perron steals a puck on the right wing wall, Crosby lifts a wrister from the left circle. Elliott eats it up.

18:31: Pietrangelo rips a wrister from the high slot. Greiss smothers it. Tarasenko and Hornqvist get into a shoving match aftwards. Nothing comes of it.

17:19: Off an offensive zone turnover by the Penguins, Steen chops a slapper form the left circle which Greiss kicks out.

15:39: The Penguins get another power play as Cole shoves Hornqvist from behind into the St. Louis end board while battling for the puck. That's a boarding minor. Hornqvist, Crosby, Kunitz, Malkin and Letang take the ice.

15:35: A wrister by Malkin from the left circle. Elliott snags it despite traffic.

15:16: The Penguins strike on the power play again. Or do they? With  Malkin at center point. Malkin chops a shot/pass to Crosby at the left circle. Crosby is low in the left circle and re-directs it on net. The puck sneaks by the near post and sort of gets embedded into Elliott's right pad. Elliott's leg looks like it's behind the goal line but there's nothing conclusive. Crosby raises is arms to celebrate. Officials don't really rule anything. A very lengthy video review take place. Officials confirm the call on the ice and rule no goal.

14:29: Crosby whacks a slapper from the right circle. It hits Elliott high as he eats it up. Elliot appears to be shaken up a bit after that shot but he remains in the game.

14:21: Backes pushes the puck up the left wing short-handed and is taken out on a fantastic hip check by Letang. You don't' see Backes go down like that to often.

13:57: As the Cole minor expires, A wrister by Letang from the center point hits a body in front.

13:50: Sutter settles a puck in the left circle and whistles it wide.

13:47: Comeau pumps a one-timer from the center point wide of the cage.

13:34: Pietrangelo goes deep on the left wing and is separated from the puck on a check by Letang in the corner.

13:29: A slapper by Lindbohm from the right point is wide of the cage. Play is halted as Pietrangelo tries to fight Letang. Officials step it before it starts. You don't see two all-star defensemen going at it like that too often. Pietrangelo gets a crosschecking minor while Letang gets a high sticking minor. We'll see four-on-for play for two minutes.

13:09: A one-timer by Gunnarsson from the right point is kicked out by Elliott.

11:54: After a defensive zone turnover by Malkin, Tarasenko rips a wrister wide of the cage.

11:38: Backes challenges Malkin with a few hits in the left wing corner. He looked like he threw an elbow but missed. Bortuzzo goes after Bacheks and sort of challenges him to a fight. Linesmen break them up immediately. Both players get roughing minors and 10-minute misconducts.

11:29: Play returns to five on five.

11:05: Steen rips a wrister from in tight but is denied by Greiss.

10:44: In deep on the left wing, Bouwmeester lifts a wrister. Greiss eats it up.

10:10: Tarasenko tries to race the puck up the left wing in the neutral zone and is hip checked by Hornqvist. He loses the puck as he takes a tumble. Tarasenko takes exception and gives Hornqvist a shot to the face.

9:47: On a delayed penalty, Crosby lifts a wrister from the right circle.

9:39: Play is halted. Tarasenko is called for cross checking. Malkin, Crosby, Hornqvist, Letang and Kunitz take the ice.

9:28: Short-handed, Goc gets a chance in the left circle and rips a wrister which Fleury fights off.

8:57: In deep, Letang tries to sweep a forehand shot from the left of the cage. Elliott fights it off.

8:02: Malkin chops a one-timer from above the left circle. Schwartz blocks it and Malkin's stick breaks.

7:39: Game. Set. Match. Just as the Tarasenko minor expires, Sutter takes a feed from Comeau, moves in off from above the left circle and lifts a backhander which flaots by the glove hand of Elliott. Elliott should have made that save. That's the last nail in the coffin. Comeau and Perron get assists. Officially, it's not a power-play goal. Virtually, it is. Penguins 4-0.

6:11: Schwartz has a chance in tight to the right of the cage. Greiss fights it off.

5:27: The Blues finally score. Winning a puck battle int he left wing corner of the Penguins' zone, Lehtera deals a pass to Jaskin in the slot. Jaskin appears to fan on the shot a bit and it clunks through Greiss' five hole. Lehtera and Tarasenko get assists. Penguins 4-1.

-That easily is the best goal song in the NHL.

4:40: Crosby air mails a slapper from the neutral zone. Elliott eats it up.

2:37: The Blues nearly get a second goal. Steen walks in off the left wing and has a clean look at the cage. Instead of shooting, he forces a pass to Schwartz which Schwartz misses.

1:22: Not so fast. Above the left circle, Jackman slides a pass to Cole in the right circle. Cole pounds a one-timer by the blocker of Greiss on the far side. What a shot. Jaskin had a nice screen. Jackman and Tarasenko get assists. The Penguins call a time-out to get organized. Penguins 4-2.

0:50: Elliott is pulled for an extra attacker.

0:00: End of game. Penguins 4, Blues 2.

POSTGAME

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-Where was this? The Penguins could barely get clean shot - never mind goals - on net over the past week-plus. Tonight, they tore one of the NHL's best defensive teams for four goals, including a few pretty ones.

-Not to be a killjoy, but this was not the Blues at their best. They looked to be at halfspeed. Maybe they were gassed by playing the Bruins last night, but they did not look all that sharp. We've watched a fair amount of their games this season and they rarely look this flat.

-But give the Penguins credit for jumping on a opponent playing inferior. They didn't let up most of the night. They won most of the puck battles in this game. They got to the loose puck first more often than not. They had a lot more jump in their game than St. Louis and earned this.

-The line changes appeared to have their desired effect. The second line appeared to benefit more than the first line. Chris Kunitz had one of his best games in several weeks while Blake Comeau rebounded in a big way after his terrible error Thursday.

-Patric Hornqvist had maybe his best game since returning to the lineup from his foot injury. He scored the Penguins' second goal on a power play with a nice shot and was a real pain in the but for the Blues and really got under their skin by simply being physical. His presence seemed to open things up for Sidney Crosby a bit.

-The power play came back from the dead in a big way. It only went 1 for 3 but in essence, it went 3 for 3. Crosby had a would-be goal called back on a video review and Brandon Sutter's goal was scored just as a penalty to Vladimir Tarasenko expired.

-Malkin being used at center point on the power play really seemed to breath some life into this group.

-Thomas Greiss had a big rebound as well. He needed that after a few shaky games. The Blues didn't really threaten him much, but he was pretty sharp most of the game.

-The third line - in various forms - even got in on the act with a few offensive chances.

-Kris Letang was once again, reliable, steady and dominant. He's playing so well right now.

-Again, we don't know if this was a great effort by the Blues. David Backes, T.J. Oshie, Alexander Steen, Alex Pietrangelo and Brian Elliott are all usually a lot sharper than this.

-When Dmitrij Jaskin is you're best player, that's not a good thing.

-The Penguins had a 29-23 advantage in shots on net.

-The Penguins led in attempted shots, 55-46.

-Letang led the game with 29:00 of ice time.

Letang's ice time in the past five games has been ... ample:

-That's why they really need Christian Ehrhoff. Letang's legs might fall off by the postseason rolls around with all that ice time.

-Jay Bouwmeester led the Blues with 25:23.

-Paul Martin led the game with five blocked shots.

-Jaden Schwartz led the Blues with four blocked shots.

-Crosby has yet to score a goal against the Blues in his career.

-Letang (277 points) moved past Dan Quinn (276) for 25th place on the franchise's career scoring list.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

-Highlights:

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Nixon's words resonate as Duquesne defeats Dayton, 83-73

Written by Craig Meyer on .

At Duquesne’s final practice before facing a Dayton team that was tied atop the Atlantic 10 standings, the Dukes received a visit from Norm Nixon, one of the program’s most decorated and recognizable players.

The leading scorer on Duquesne’s 1977 NCAA tournament team, Nixon is one of a few links remaining to a bygone era when the Dukes reached a peak they haven’t returned to for the past 38 years.

In front of the players, he spoke of how close his teams were and of how they handled their business. He talked of hard work and dedication to the game. Most of all, he explained what it took to become a champion.

With a 9-16 record and only four games remaining in the regular season, it’s likely too late for this Duquesne team to make any kind of indelible impact. But in one of its biggest games of the year, Nixon’s words from the day before resonated.

Derrick Colter poured in a team-high 25 points and the Dukes (9-16, 4-10 A-10) played what coach Jim Ferry called their best game of the season in an 83-73 victory against the Flyers (20-6, 10-4) Saturday at Consol Energy Center.

The unexpected result came exactly seven weeks after Duquesne lost by 26 to Dayton on the road, something that could be interpreted as a sign of a matured, improved squad.

“To beat a team like Dayton who is first place in the league, that shows us we can beat anybody if we play the way we’re supposed to play,” guard Jeremiah Jones said. “We’re going to have to win our conference tournament if we’re going to do anything in the postseason. It gives us confidence that we can beat teams, but we already had that confidence.”

Duquesne made 52.5 percent of its field goals, its best shooting performance in an A-10 game this season.

Facing an undermanned Flyers team that uses only seven players, the Dukes pushed the tempo and logged 76 possessions -- its second-fastest game of the season – to help them gradually their deflate opponent.

“They were the better team today and they were faster in all aspects,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said. “I really can’t remember a game this year where our defense just didn’t have that many answers. We’ve pretty much seen everything.”

Colter was one of four Duquesne players that finished in double figures, a group highlighted by Micah Mason, who had 17 points along with nine assists and eight rebounds. Both Mason and Colter played all 40 minutes.

Trailing by one, 42-41, at halftime, the Dukes surged ahead in the first 10 minutes of the second half by capitalizing on an anemic Flyers offense. Dayton missed 11 of its first 14 shots in the second half and at one point went 4:13 without scoring.

After a 3-pointer from Mason with 9:53 remaining, Duquesne had built a 61-52 lead. That advantage soon grew to double digits and would get no lower than five for the rest of the afternoon.

“We know we’ve been getting better and it showed a lot tonight,” Ferry said.

NOTE

Duquesne assistant coach John Rhodes has been diagnosed with cancer. The diagnosis came on Feb. 13 and Rhodes was supposed to begin treatment on Monday. But while in Philadelphia last Tuesday for a game against La Salle, he was struck by a car while crossing the street, breaking two bones in his leg and causing a slight fracture in his neck. He had surgery following the accident and will receive additional treatment Monday in Philadelphia.

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

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Jeremiah Jones, Jim Ferry discuss Duquesne's win over Dayton

Written by Craig Meyer on .

In an uneven Atlantic 10 season largely marred by difficult losses, Duquesne grabbed its most impressive win of the season with an 83-73 victory against a Dayton team that entered the game ranked just outside of both of the major college basketball polls.

After the win, guard Jeremiah Jones and coach Jim Ferry discussed what happened. Below are highlights from the postgame press conference:

 

JEREMIAH JONES

 

On what changed between the teams' first meeting on Jan. 3 (an 81-55 Dayton win) and today: “I think we’re just a better team right now. We’re finally starting to gel, we finally figured out who we are and how we need to play to beat teams of that caliber. I thought there was a big difference on the defensive end. We’ve gotten much better at playing that zone and offensively, I think we’re starting to play more together. I think we looked like a totally different team from when we played the first time. I think we lost by about 30. It’s kind of like the same thing with GW; that was a big turnaround for us.”

On Norm Nixon speaking to the team at their practice yesterday: “He just talked about, as far as him being a champion, how close together his teams were and how they took care of business, how guys were always in the gym and working on their game. I think that was big for us to hear because we want to become a championship program and we’ve got some young guys who need to start getting in the gym more. We do a pretty good job of being together, but it’s time for us to start taking that next step.”

“It was good for me and my teammates to hear that, to take that next step.”

On the team's defensive effort: “In the second half, they started missing some of those shots. We preach over and over how that we have to continue to contest shots. If you give guys like that wide-open looks, you’re going to make them. I wouldn’t say we did anything differently. We just continued with our gameplan and it worked out for us.”

On what the win can do for the team moving forward: “To beat a team like Dayton who is first place in the league, that shows us we can beat anybody if we play the way we’re supposed to play. We’re going to have to win our conference tournament if we’re going to do anything in the postseason. It gives us confidence that we can beat teams, but we already had that confidence. It’s about showing ourselves that when we play the right way that we can play with anybody.”

 

JIM FERRY

Opening statement: “I think that was the best basketball game we’ve played this season. It was just a truly unselfish basketball game on both ends of the floor. These guys were really working for each other.”

 

“We know we’ve been getting better and it showed a lot tonight.”

On the defensive effort: “I think we made them feel uncomfortable. But I keep going back to the kids and the team. It was just a total team win and a program win.”

On Norm Nixon's speech to his team at Friday's practice: “I thought it was just tremendous. To me, it was tremendous. Obviously, he was always a great professional when he played and I thought he approached speaking to the team very well. He talked more about his experience at Duquesne. He talked to our guys about how they can accomplish anything as a person, let alone a basketball player. It was just great.”

“I think it’s important that our guys understand the history of our program and that they get to meet the guys who wore the jerseys before them. We’re all playing for the university. We play for Duquesne; we’re not playing for ourselves.”

On what changed between the first meeting and this one: “We were young and we opened up league play at Dayton in front of 13,000 people after they made a run to the Elite Eight.”

“I think it’s just the maturation of this team and of the individual players. That’s us getting better as a group and knowing who we are.”

On playing at a faster pace than usual and if that was meant to wear out a thin Dayton team: “We did feel like they were breaking down later in the second half. We were able to take advantage of them only having those seven guys to play and we kept saying ‘Let’s push it at them, let’s push it at them.’ I thought it helped us down the stretch.”

On Jordan Stevens' status: “Again, Jordan is suspended indefinitely and that’s all I really have to say. He’s a part of our family, a part of our team and we don’t talk about stuff outside of that.”

On the health of assistant coach John Rhodes: “I do want to talk about another subject. A lot of people have been asking about John Rhodes. Big John’s a big part of our family and I feel comfortable speaking about it because I’ve talked to him and his wife. John was diagnosed with cancer about three weeks ago and is set to start treatment this week. Then, on top of that, we had an extremely unfortunate, unbelievable event. When we got to Philadelphia the other day, John was struck by a car. He had emergency surgery on Tuesday night. He’s doing better and he’s out of the ICU. He’s scheduled to have surgery again on Monday. He’s pretty banged up, but as everybody in this room knows, Big John is probably the most positive person that’s out there. He’s been more positive about it to us than we have been to him. For everybody, keep your thoughts and prayers with John. He’s going to beat it all. We’ve experienced this with DC. Our kids are our family and everybody’s a family in our program. We’ve done a great job of supporting John and his family. I do ask that you please give them respect and if there’s any questions or anything, please come to me about that. Let’s not bother the family. We’re in constant contact with his wife. He’s still in Philadelphia and will be there probably for a little while. We’re going to heal him up and then we’re going to fight this battle.”

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

 

 

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