Final thoughts: West Virginia 96, Duquesne 83

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Duquesne couldn't keep pace with West Virginia on Sunday afternoon, losing 96-83 at the WVU Coliseum. You can find the full game story here.

The defeat drops the Dukes to 1-2 after consecutive losses to New Hampshire and the Mountaineers.

A few thoughts:

 Oh my, 3-pointers: Duquesne was beaten, again, by the 3-pointer. New Hampshire had 15, West Virginia had 10. The leading scorers for the Mountaineers were their perimeter guys, Eron Harris (33 points) and Juwan Staten (28) — both career-highs. WVU shot 10-of-18 from 3-point range.

“We’ve just got to start pressuring the perimeter more," senior forward Ovie Soko said. "We’re letting guys get too many good looks at the basket. At this level, if you let guys get it going, it’s going to be hard to slow them down.”

Staten was a big reason for the defensive struggles, too, since he added nine assists as he “broke the defense down and was kicking the ball out for wide-open looks for three," Soko said. Another issue is that the starting Duquesne guards Derrick Colter (5-11) and Tra'Vaughn White (5-10) are quite short, so the space opposing guards are given on the perimeter is magnified.

The solution? 

“Everybody talks about unselfishness," Duquesne coach Jim Ferry said. "You bring in all these new guys and talk about unselfish play. Everybody automatically thinks offense, but it’s not. It’s defense, it’s getting these guys to play together defensively, that’s where the unselfishness really has to come in."

That was ... different: A year ago, Duquesne won a "complete opposite" game, Ferry said, a 60-56 Dukes victory in Pittsburgh between "two teams that were really bad and couldn't score."

“It was a hard-played basketball game,” Ferry said. “I thought it was the complete opposite of last year when you had two teams that were really bad and couldn’t score.

"It's funny. I watched our game last year and it was brutal -- just brutal. We won because I guess somebody had to. They were bad; we were bad."

Both teams have offenses now ... and neither has a defense to speak of.

“We’re going to be fine offensively,” Ferry said. “It’s going to be about tightening up defensively.”

“Some of those guys, if they actually stopped a guy one they’d kind of like it," WVU coach Bob Huggins said. "They might want to do it again. For now, it’s a continual parade to the rim.”

Effort? Better: Duquesne didn't come to play on Wednesday against New Hampshire, but the effort was certainly there against the Mountaineers.

“That definitely stung,” sophomore guard Micah Mason said. “I thought we played harder than we did at home against New Hampshire. We’ve just got to keep fighting.”

Mason had 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including five 3-pointers and a four-point play just before halftime.

Soko led the team with 19 points and 12 rebounds but he still says he's not doing enough.

“I just didn’t do enough," Soko said. "You always feel like you could have reached more rebounds, made more plays. I just didn’t do enough to help my team.”

Ferry on fouls: There were 46 combined fouls in this game. WVU went to the line 34 times, Duquesne 24.

Ferry gave an (irritated?) (exasperated?) (uncertain?) laugh when I brought up the topic of fouls in the post-game. Here's what he had to say:

“There was a lot of craziness going on," Ferry said. "We were shooting free throws and there was music going on, buzzers going off. I didn’t know what was going on. And then we get a flagrant foul while we’re taking a shot. Hand checks all over the place. That’s what coach Huggins and I were talking about; he’s been doing this for a long time, and I think he has frustrations with this too.

“Those three officials worked really hard, they really did, the rule’s a rule. This obviously isn’t the intent — we all have to make adjustments to it — but I thought it really killed that flow. I always pride my programs on not fouling, and to give up 34 free throws is unacceptable.

“Those are the rules. We’ve just got to make sure it’s consistent every night, though, or else the kids aren’t going to know how to play, either. If you just put your head down and drive then I guess it’s a foul, that’s what it’s appearing to be, and that’s what everybody is kind of doing. On both sides, thought. We got 24 free throws. I don’t know. We’ve got to work and play without our hands, but we do, we do work at that. I don’t have the answer.”

Stephen J. Nesbitt:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.

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Duquesne, again, drowns in a downpour of 3-pointers

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Sophomore guard Eron Harris scored 33 points on 6-of-8 3-point shooting as the high-flying, hot-shooting West Virginia men’s basketball team blew past Duquesne late in a 96-83 final at the WVU Coliseum.

The Mountaineers (2-1) drilled 10 3-pointers, following a blueprint set by New Hampshire, who rained 15 from beyond the arc to topple the Dukes, 84-81, four days earlier.

Duquesne (1-2) kept the game close until the six-minute mark of the second half, when Harris and fellow West Virginia guard Terry Henderson combined for back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers to open up an 84-71 lead with 3:24 remaining.

The nine-point swing effectively put the Dukes away, though they’d perhaps already come unglued, stalling midway through the second half with a six-minute drought without a single field goal.

Senior forward Ovie Soko led the Dukes with a 19-point, 12-rebound effort, his second double-double of the year and a much-needed bounce-back performance after he had shot 4-for-17 in Duquesne’s loss to the Wildcats on Wednesday.

Sophomore guard Micah Mason scored 18 points on a near-perfect shooting performance — 6-of-8 from the floor with five 3-pointers.

NOTE: The Dukes will be back in action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, when they host Albany at the Palumbo Center.

Stephen J. Nesbitt:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.

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My AP Poll ballot: Week 13

Written by Sam Werner on .

Each week, I'll go through my AP Top 25 ballot and give a few thoughts on how I voted and how it compares to the overall poll results.

There were some great games and certainly memorable finishes Saturday (Auburn's Hail Mary will probably end up as the play of the year and, honestly, it's one of the most memorable plays of the last several years), but at the end of the day, the top of the poll ended up the same way it started. Here's a link to the full poll, and here's my ballot...

  1. Alabama
  2. Florida State
  3. Baylor
  4. Ohio State
  5. Auburn
  6. Oregon
  7. Clemson
  8. Missouri
  9. Oklahoma State
  10. Stanford
  11. Texas A&M
  12. UCLA
  13. Wisconsin
  14. South Carolina
  15. Michigan State
  16. Northern Illinois
  17. UCF
  18. LSU
  19. Arizona State
  20. Louisville
  21. Oklahoma
  22. Fresno State
  23. Ole Miss
  24. Duke
  25. USC

- Starting at the top, this was the toughest week for me in terms of writing in Alabama at No. 1. I thought really long and hard about putting Florida State there after the Seminoles shellacked another opponent while the Tide overcame its own sloppiness to win at Mississippi State. Ultimately, Alabama's cumulative strength of schedule won out of Florida State's more impressive score lines. It doesn't really matter, as both these teams control their own destiny in terms of playing for a national championship, but I was surprised that Florida State didn't pick up more first place votes from Alabama this week.

- I had Baylor ahead of Ohio State last week, but the Bears passed the Buckeyes in the overall poll this week as well. It's not really a huge surprise. As Baylor started playing good teams down the stretch, their strength of schedule was eventually going to pass Ohio State's. Plus, needing all four quarters to beat a pretty bad Illinois team didn't do the Buckeyes any favors. If Baylor beats Oklahoma State in Stillwater next week, the margin between the teams will probably grow.

- Auburn over Oregon was really close for me, but the Tigers get the slight edge because I think their win at Texas A&M trumps anything Oregon has done this year. Neither one looked particularly dominant Saturday, as Auburn needed a miracle to beat Georgia and Oregon was stuck in a dogfight with Utah into the third quarter.

- Stanford drops to No. 10 after losing at USC Saturday night. I still think the Cardinal are a good team, and just ran into a USC team that's playing really, really well right now. If a team is physical enough to play with Stanford's offensive line in the trenches (which USC was) the Cardinal can be beaten.

- I have Wisconsin at No. 13 (the Badgers are No. 16 in the overall poll). If you take out the referee-aided loss at Arizona State, the Badgers' only loss was a very respectable home defeat against Ohio State. I still think they're the second-best team in the Big Ten, and the pasting they gave Indiana Saturday only confirmed that.

- In terms of the potential BCS busters, I have Northern Illinois pretty significantly ahead of Fresno State. The other voters apparently disagree, as the Bulldogs check in at No. 15 in the overall poll and the Huskies are at No. 20. Northern Illinois arguably has two wins (Ball State and at Iowa) better than Fresno State's best (probably Boise State). Plus, Jordan Lynch should be in the conversation as a Heisman finalist after his performance Wednesday night.

- Duke cracks the poll at No. 24 after the Blue Devils' impressive win against Miami Saturday. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, especially thinking back to September when it was a question whether or not Duke would make a bowl game, but Duke controls its own destiny in the ACC right now. The Blue Devils have very winnable games at Wake Forest and North Carolina left, and two wins would set up a date with Florida State. That probably wouldn't go too well, but, heck, Duke fans should just enjoy the ride while it lasts.

- USC checks in at No. 25. I didn't feel great about it, because for as good as the Trojans have played lately, it doesn't erase how lackluster they were earlier in the season. I thought about putting Minnesota in here, but they were off this week. The Gophers will have a chance to state their case against Wisconsin next week.

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Selanne in Pittsburgh - 11-17-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Ducks right winger Teemu Selanne, who is playing in what is expected to be his final NHL season, will play his presumed final game in Pittsburgh tomorrow when the Ducks and Penguins face off at Consol Energy Center, 7:30 p.m.

Primarily due to the fact he has played his entire career in the Western Conference, Selanne's visits to Pittsburgh have been few and far between. Over the course of 22 seasons, the Finnish Flash has only played in 11 games in Pittsburgh.

Despite wearing multiple jerseys and facing all types of Penguins teams of varying skill levels, Selanne has managed to record at least a point in every one of those visits.

Here are reviews of Selanne's 11 games in Pittsburgh:

Date: Dec. 8, 1992
Score: Penguins 5, Jets 2
Selanne's stats: 1 goal, 1 assist
What happened: The Penguins got goals from centers Ron Francis, Mario Lemieux, right wingers Jaromir Jagr, Rick Tocchet and left winger Kevin Stevens in a win at the Civic Arena. Goaltender Ken Wregget made 32 saves in the victory. Selanne, then a rookie in his only visit to Pittsburgh as a member of the original Jets franchise, had the primary assist on a goal by left winger Darrin Shannon in the second period and scored his 19th goal of the season on a breakaway in the same period.
Also in the news that day: Mobbed by members of the  media, United States troops stormed the beaches of Somalia near the city of Mogadishu in the first wave of Operation Restore Hope.

Date: Dec. 7, 1996
Score: Penguins 5, Mighty Ducks 3
Selanne's stats: 1 goal
What happened: Nearly four years passed until Selanne's second visit to the Civic Arena, this time with the Mighty Ducks. Selanne took a pass from center Steve Rucchin and pumped a one-timer from the left circle in the first period to score Anaheim's first goal. The Penguins got goals from centers Stu Barnes, Lemieux, right wingers Jagr, Glen Murray and former Mighty Ducks left winger Alex Hicks. Former Penguins defenseman Dmitri Mironov scored Anaheim's other two goals. Rookie goaltender Patrick Lalime made his NHL start and recorded 30 saves in the victory. The win would be the start of an NHL record for longest unbeaten streak to start a career for goaltenders as Lalime went 16 games (14-0-2) before finally suffering a loss.
Also in the news that day: Forward Kevin Price scored 21 points for Duquesne which was beaten by by Florida, 95-85, at the Palumbo Center.

Date: Dec. 6, 1997
Score: Penguins 5, Ducks 2
Selanne's stats: 1 goal, 1 assist
What happened: Nearly a year later at the Civic Arena, Selanne opened the scoring with a power-play goal in the first period. The Penguins' responded goals by defensemen Jiri Slegr, left winger Andreas Johansson,  Francis and Jagr. Selanne recorded the primary assist to set up a short-handed goal by former Penguins right winger Tomas Sandstrom to make it a 4-2 game in the second period but a second goal by Jagr in the third period secured the Penguins win. Rookie goaltender Petr Skruda made 25 saves to record his first career win.
Also in the news that day: Guard Vonteego Cummings scored 27 points for Pitt in a 73-69 loss to Notre Dame at the Fitzgerald Field House.

Date: Dec. 1, 1998
Score: Mighty Ducks, 4, Penguins 4
Selanne's stats: 4 assists
What happened: Selanne failed to score a goal for the first time in his career at the Civic Arena but tied a career high with four assists in his first non-loss at Pittsburgh. The Penguins got two goals from  Jagr in addition to scores from defenseman Kevin Hatcher and center Martin Straka. Goaltender Tom Barrasso made 31 saves for the Penguins.
Also in the news that day: Pittsburgh mayor Tom Murphy placed blame on Philadelphia lawmakers, specifically Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell, for failing to support state legislation which would enable funding for new baseball and football stadiums in Pittsburgh. Murphy said the city was in "grave danger" of losing the Pirates and Steelers to relocation.

Date: Jan. 29, 2000
Score: Mighty Ducks. 7, Penguins 1
Selanne's stats: 1 goal, 2 assists
What happened: Selanne's first trip to Pittsburgh in the new millennium also saw him get his first win within the confines of the now named Mellon Arena. Selanne opened the scoring with a wrister from the slot during the first period. He also recorded assists on goals by left winger Paul Kariya in the first and third periods. Straka scored the Penguins' only goal while rookie goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin made 16 saves in the loss.
Also in the news that day: Steelers owner Dan Rooney was selected for induction into the Pro Football of Fame's class of 2000. He would be joined by former 49ers/Chiefs quarterback Joe Montana, a native of New Eagle, Pa. former Raiders defensive lineman Howie Long, former 49ers/Jets/Raiders saftey Ronnie Lott and former 49ers linebacker Dave Wilcox.

Date: Jan. 15, 2001
Score: Penguins, 3, Mighty Ducks 2
Selanne's stats: 2 assists.
What happened: While Lemieux was held without a point for the first time in his comeback from retirement, the Penguins got two goals from right winger Alexei Kovlev and one score from defenseman Hans Jonsson to edge the Mighty Ducks. Selanne recorded the primary assists on goals by center Tony Hrkac. Aubin made 23 saves in the victory. Stevens appeared in his first game for the Penguins since 1995 after being re-acquired in a trade from the Flyers a day prior.
Also in the news that day: Former Penguins goaltender Ron Tugnutt made 31 saves for the Blue Jackets in a 3-0 shutout of the Wild. It was the first meeting between the NHL's two expansion teams.

Date: Jan. 30, 2002
Score: Sharks 6, Penguins 3
Selanne's stats: 1 goal, 1 assist
What happened: In his first visit to Pittsburgh as a member of the Sharks, Selanne recorded the secondary assist on left winger Alex Korolyuk's eventual game-winning goal in the second period. Selanne added an insurance goal in the third period. Kovalev scored two goals for the Penguins while right winger Aleksey Morozov added a score. Former Sharks goaltending prospect Johan Hedberg made 17 saves in the defeat.
Also in the news that day: The Pirates signed former Reds Gold Glove second baseman Calvin "Pokey" Reese to a two-year contract worth $10 million.

Date: Jan. 23, 2002
Score: Penguins 4, Sharks 1
Selanne's stats: 1 goal
What happened: Selanne accounted for the team's only offense with a goal against Aubin in the third period. The Penguins got two goals from Straka. Lemieux and defenseman Marc Bergevin added goals as well while Aubin made 24 saves. The Penguins beat the Sharks for the first time since Oct. 22, 1997.
Also in the news that day: Running back Larry Johnson ran for 279 yards and four touchdowns for Penn State which routed Michigan State, 61-7, at Beaver Stadium in State College. Johnson finished his regular season with 2,015 rushing yards and became the ninth player in Division I-A history to break the 2,000-rushing yard barrier.

Date: Jan. 24, 2004
Score: Avalanche 5, Penguins 3
Selanne's stats: 1 goal
What happened: In his only trip to Pittsburgh with the Avalanche, Selanne helped the team improve to 10-1-1-1 in January. Selanne scored the Avalanche's third goal in the second period. Penguins rookie defenseman Brooks Orpik scored his first career goal. The Penguins also got goals from centers Tomas Surovy and Milan Kraft. Rookie goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves in the defeat for the Penguins who lost their sixth consecutive game.
Also in the news that day: Forward Mark McCarroll and center Chris Taft each had 15 points for Pitt which defeated Syracuse, 66-45, at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.

Date: Nov. 16, 2009
Score: Penguins 5, Ducks 2
Selanne's stats: 1 goal
What happened: In his final trip to the Mellon Arena, Selanne scored his 10th goal of the season in the third period with a slap shot from the left circle. The Penguins got two goals from left winger Matt Cooke while right winger Bill Guerin, center Jordan Staal and defenseman Martin Skoula each added a score. Fleury made 23 saves for the Penguins.
Also in the news that day: Guard Tim Frazier scored 19 points for Penn State which defeated Robert Morris, 80-61, at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College.

Date: Feb. 14, 2012
Score: Ducks 2, Penguins 1
Selanne's stats: 1 goal
What happened: Selanne's first visit to Consol Energy Center saw him score the eventual game-winning goal. Taking a pass in the left circle, he flipped a backhander by the blocker of Fleury on the near side. It was the Ducks' first win in Pittsburgh since 2001. Staal scored the Penguins' lone goal while Fleury made 27 saves.
Also in the news that day: Forward B.J. Montiero scored 30 points for Duquesne which defeated Fordham, 78-67 at the Palumbo Center.

(Photos: Brian Bahr/Allsport/Getty Images; Glenn Cratty/Allspot/Getty Images; Scott Cunningham/Getty Images; Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

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Empty Netter Assists - 11-17-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. "We had three or four good chances in the second period and didn't shoot the puck. They were good people with good opportunities to shoot the puck." - Dan Bylsma on his team's offense.

-The Newark Star-Ledger's recap. “I get pumped up because they’re in our division and they’re such a good team. Not because I played there." - Devils forward and former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr.

-The Bergen Record's recap. “It’s big for us. We’re definitely are looking to try to get back to .500 and from there, let’s go forward. We’re not there yet.” - Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur on the win.

-The Associated Press' recap. ''I think (taking away the middle of the ice) is pretty typical of their team. That's something we expected and we were willing to fight through that. We didn't turn the puck over that much. We got it deep and tried to generate things from there, but that's kind of the way they play. We understand that and we tried to get through it.'' - Sidney Crosby on the Devils.


-New Jersey's Andrei Loktionov tied up Beau Bennett's stick here:

-Kris Letang released this puck as New Jersey's Travis Zajac attempted a poke check:

-Brodeur kicked out this puck:

-Happy times for the Devils:

-Bylsma speaks:

-Crosby speaks:

-"I don't know how he's doing it." - Sidney Crosby on Devils forward and former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr's production at the age of 41.

-"It would be really cool to play with him one more time." - Jussi Jokinen on potentially playing for Finland along with Ducks forward Teemu Selanne.

-A goal and an assist by Brian Gibbons led the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 3-1 home win against the rival Hershey Bears. Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers made 21 saves in the victory.


-“He’s the same player every night, consistent game-to-game and within the game. Even though he’s a young player, he doesn’t play that way. He’s a real professional.” - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins coach John Hynes on defenseman Scott Harrington.

-Zack Torquato had a goal and two assists for the Wheeling Nailers in a 5-4 home win against the Elmira Jackals. Denver Manderson added a goal and an assist for Wheeling while teammate Carter Rowney recorded two assists. Eric Hartzell made 29 saves in the victory.


-Happy 57th birthday to former Penguins forward Bobby Simpson. A free agent signing just prior to the 1981-82 season, Simpson spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 1981-82, he appeared in 26 games and scored 18 points. He appeared in two postseason games that spring and failed to record a point. He followed that up in 1982-83 by only playing in four games and scoring one goal. After spending the entire 1983-84 offseason with the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Baltimore, Simpson was released in the 1984 offseason. In 30 career games with the Penguins, Simpson scored 19 points.

-Happy 43rd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Chris Tamer (right). A fourth-round pick in 1990, Tamer, one of the toughest players in franchise history, spent parts of six seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1993-94, Tamer saw action in 12 games and failed to record a point. He also appeared in five postseason games in 1994 failing to record a point. During the lockout-shortened 1994-95 campaign, Tamer played in 36 games, scored two goals and recorded 82 penalty minutes. In the 1995 playoffs, Tamer played in four games and was held without a point. Arguably his best season with the Penguins was 1995-96. He played in 70 games, scored 14 points and was second on the team with 153 penalty minutes. He appeared in 18 playoff games that spring and recorded a career-high seven assists. Tamer was limited to 45 games, seven assists and 131 penalty minutes in 1996-97. In the 1997 postseason, Tamer appeared in four contests and was held without a point. In 1997-98, Tamer played in 79 games, recorded seven assists and led the team with 181 penalty minutes. He played in all six of the team's postseason games that spring and recorded one assist. After 11 games and 32 penalty minutes in 1998-99, Tamer was traded to the Rangers along with Petr Nedved and Sean Pronger in exchange for for Alex Kovalev and Harry York. In 253 regular season games for the Penguins, Tamer scored 29 points and accumulated 588 penalty minutes, 18th-most in franchise history. In 37 postseason games, Tamer had eight assists and 52 penalty minutes. He is currently the owner/trainer of Sticks Training Center in Brighton, Mich.

-After the Jump: Princess Phaneuf?

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