Duquesne will play host to St. Bonaventure tonight, and the game is different than any other the Dukes have played this year because it is the first time they will get a second look at an opponent.
St. Bonaventure (12-13, 5-7) is the Dukes' lone home-and-home Atlantic 10 Conference opponent so both teams should have a good idea of how to attack each other.
The Dukes (8-18, 1-11) lost to the Bonnies, 68-60, Feb. 2 in Olean, N.Y, In that game the Dukes clearly had some opportunities to get into position to win but just couldn't put together enough good offensive possessions down the stretch.
Duquesne (8-18, 1-11 Atlantic 10) vs. St. Bonaventure (12-13, 5-7), 7 p.m. today, Palumbo Center.
Three freshmen -- Derrick Colter, Quevyn Winters and Jeremiah Jones -- have started the past four games. ... Looks to break a six-game home losing streak. ... Winless at home in Atlantic 10 play. ... Is 6-7 at home this year.
- St. Bonaventure:
Beat the Dukes, 68-60, earlier this season. ... G Eric Mosley has scored 69 points and made 10 of 18 3-point attempts in past two games. ... Has won five of past seven matchups in series. ... Is 14-38 in games against Duquesne in Pittsburgh.
- Hidden stat:
Duquesne has won past two games against St. Bonaventure at home by an average of 10 points.
Duquesne coach Jim Ferry believes that playing a team a second time can be a challenge because both teams are so familiar with each other.
"The biggest thing about playing someone twice is you really do know each other's strengths and weaknesses," Ferry said. "So we broke down a lot of stuff on tape to show our guys what we did right and what we did wrong that first time and how we can take advantage of how they guarded us.
"I mean, with us it is all about scoring right now and we have to develop the ability to take advantage of how we think they will guard us. They will make adjustments and we will make adjustments, but I think at the end it will come down to whether or not we can outrebound them.
"If we outrebound them, we will have a good chance to win."
The first time these two teams met the Dukes big problem was rebounding. Post players struggled on both ends of the court.
Ferry played four centers in that game in search of one who could make some plays, but those four players -- Martins Abele, Andre Marhold, Derrick Martin and Mamadou Datt -- combined for only four points and four rebounds.
By contrast, St. Bonaventure's starting center Youssou Ndoye had eight points and three rebounds and the Bonnies outrebounded the Dukes, 35-24.
"We really struggled to score in that game," Ferry said. "Our forwards didn't give us much, I played four centers in that game. We have to play hard and we have to play well. I think we have to continue to get what we've gotten out of [Andre Marhold] and we have to play hard, we have to defend and do the things that put us in position to win.
"It won't be easy. Both teams have changed a little bit but really it comes down to the same things."
As good as the Bonnies frontcourt has been this year, they actually have gotten some big performances out of guard Eric Mosely, who has scored 69 points in the past two games on 10-of-18 shooting from the 3-point line.
Mosley scored only 14 against the Dukes the first time, but Ferry said his offensive flair gives the Bonnies another dimension.
But Ferry still maintains the game will be won or lost based on the performance of the frontcourts.
Duquesne has three more games after tonight, and while there is no real chance for the Dukes to make the postseason Ferry said that doesn't mean they are just playing out the string. (Only the top 12 teams make the Atlantic 10 tournament.)
"This is about getting better every day than the wins and losses," Ferry said. "I would like to say that I am surprised by how things have gone but I kind of knew going into this year that 10 wins would be appropriate based on who we are and we are at eight.
"With all the youth and the league being as good as it is, I knew it would be a struggle, but it is still about getting better and that's why I am playing all the young guys. We want to improve and carry things into the offseason and get ready to go for next year."
Paul Zeise: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter: @paulzeise.