West Virginia vs. Duquesne: Mountaineers, Dukes try to redeem mediocre starts

Charles Leclaire-US PRESSWIRE

West Virginia and Duquesne will meet in Pittsburgh in a showdown between area teams that each find themselves sitting just a game above .500 in the early going.

The Duquesne Dukes host a West Virginia Mountaineers squad that should have a sizable fan base in attendance as both squads try to stay above .500.

West Virginia may finally be putting it together, beating a previously undefeated Virginia Tech squad in a 68-67 game that came down to a Juwan Staten drive just before the buzzer. The Mountaineers had lost all three of their previous games against decent opponents, but they dominated the boards Saturday, grabbing 20 offensive rebounds, and held the Hokies' top scorers to poor shooting nights in the tight win. Bob Huggins' squad still has work to do to prove its legitimacy after the blowout loss to Gonzaga and tight losses to good, but not great, Davidson and Oklahoma teams, but the Virginia Tech win was a start.

For Duquesne, there's a tinge of awkwardness in the Pittsburgh-area showdown as its former coach, Ron Everhart, is now an assistant on Bob Huggins' staff after being fired in March. They're 4-3 under Jim Ferry, handling their business against lesser schools but dropping every game against a team ranked over 200 by Ken Pomeroy.

The game could be won or lost on the boards, as both teams are good at offensive rebounding: West Virginia is 16th in the nation, grabbing 41.8 percent of its misses, while the Dukes aren't that far behind at 37.8.

The game will be at 7 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network.

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