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Duquesne readies for 3 games in 3 days

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Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009

Duquesne, coming off its first victory at a Big Ten Conference venue, faces three games in three days beginning Monday in what coach Ron Everhart views as dress rehearsal for a possible postseason appearance.

No, he said, it is not too early to plan.

"Playing three times in three days gives us a feel for postseason play," Everhart said Friday. "You get an opportunity to simulate it early in the year."

The Dukes, 2-0 after Tuesday's 52-50 victory at Iowa, continue their O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic schedule with the trio of games on successive nights at Western Carolina's Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center in Cullowhee, N.C.

They'll meet scandal-ravaged Binghamton at 5 p.m. Monday, Division II Arkansas-Monticello at 5 p.m. Tuesday and tournament sub-regional host Western Carolina at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

After the three-game set, the Dukes have a home date with Radford on Nov. 29 before taking on Pitt three days later in the annual City Game at Mellon Arena.

The two-point victory over Iowa was a slow and plodding accomplishment. The 52 points by Duquesne represented the lowest scoring output by the Dukes in a win during Everhart's four seasons as coach.

In Everhart's previous three seasons, Duquesne combined to rank among the top five Division I teams in scoring offense.

"Sometimes, you have to adjust," he said. "What I liked about that win was our making shots at the end. We had guys that weren't fazed by being on the road."

Dukes forward Bill Clark flashed a huge smile when reminded of his game-winning 3-point shot at Iowa with just 11.9 seconds left. It was a basket that reached No. 4 on the nightly ESPN "Top 10" feature.

"I don't care how the game played out - I just want to win," Clark said. "That's all I think about is winning basketball games."

Jason Duty's 3-pointer on a previous possession set the stage for Clark's game-winner.

Even with the loss of sophomore swingman Melquan Bolding to a broken wrist, Damian Saunders and Clark are confident Duquesne can pile up the victories before the Atlantic 10 Conference schedule commences in January.

"We lost another 15-point guy (Bolding), so this is a chance for some other guys to step up," Saunders said.

Bolding actually scored 25 points against Nicholls State, even after suffering the injury early in the first half.

"We're one player down right now," Everhart said. "You have to develop a bench and develop some chemistry. Games against Binghamton at a neutral site and Western Carolina on their floor are very tough games - much tougher than anybody wants to imagine."

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