Saint Louis-Duquesne Preview
Despite suffering through one of its worst offensive performances of the season, Saint Louis won its last game with relative ease.
The No. 19 Billikens seek their first 12-game winning streak in over 20 years Wednesday night when they visit Duquesne in an Atlantic 10 matchup.
Saint Louis continued its winning ways with a 70-48 victory over Fordham on Friday despite shooting 38.5 percent - its third-worst total of the season. The Billikens, though, excelled at the defensive end, holding the Rams to 29.0 percent from the field, outrebounding them 47-36 and attempting 34 free throws to only nine for Fordham.
''One of the great staples of this team over the last three years is that we win all kind of different ways different guys step up at different times and we win different kind of games," coach Jim Crews said. "That's a great asset to have, how they go about their business from that standpoint."
Among the consistent pieces for Saint Louis (17-2, 4-0) has been forward Dwayne Evans. The team's leading scorer has averaged 18.0 points per game in Atlantic 10 matchups, including 21 on 8-of-11 shooting against Fordham. He's also been strong on the boards, pulling down an average of 7.8 rebounds in the team's four conference games.
Guard Jordair Jett has also been a key contributor, reaching double figures in scoring in 13 of the team's 19 games. Jett had 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists versus the Rams, giving him 1,001 points in his career.
Saint Louis, which has yet to beat a ranked opponent, hasn't won 12 in a row since opening the 1993-94 season with 14 consecutive wins. Playing on the road shouldn't faze the Billikens, who have won all six of their away games - the last four by eight points or fewer.
''A lot of the fans probably think some of the teams we beat weren't good and they were expecting us to win," Jett said. "In reality, we had our scouting, we had to work hard, make sure everything was right, have all the little things down pat."
The Dukes (8-8, 1-3) come into this matchup having lost three straight, most recently falling 80-65 at VCU on Saturday. Duquesne led by four at halftime, but shot only 35.1 percent (20 for 57), including 16.7 percent (3 for 18) from 3-point range, and committed 17 turnovers.
"(VCU) turned us over 11 times in the second half and crushed us on the glass," coach Jim Ferry told the school's website. "We just can't turn the ball over like that if you're going to beat this team. They live off of that."
Senior Forward Ovie Soko, who ranks among the Atlantic 10 leaders with 17.3 points per game, missed all five of his field-goal attempts and finished with seven points. He's totaled 29 points on 7-of-30 shooting in his last three games.
Duquesne has lost four straight against ranked opponents since a 78-66 win over No. 19 Temple on Jan. 15, 2011.
Saint Louis has won the last four meetings against Duquesne, including a 73-64 road victory in the most recent Jan. 23, 2013.