Duquesne hobbles into La Salle
When Duquesne defeated Rhode Island a week ago at home, Charles Stanfield was feeling pretty good.
‘I tried to come with a lot of energy and emotion,’ Stanfield said after posting his first double-digit scoring game since Nov. 26 with 12 points, including three dunks – one off a spectacular baseline move.
But Stanfield wasn’t feeling too hot Tuesday after coming down with a virus over the weekend. The senior guard, who was just getting better after suffering a separated shoulder on his right (shooting) arm Dec. 2 at Bowling Green, was tested this week for strep throat. The results were not immediately known and it was not clear whether Stanfield, who did not practice much this week, would play tonight when the Dukes (7-9, 1-2 Atlantic 10) visit La Salle (6-8, 0-3).
‘Hopefully, he will be ready to go,’ Duquesne coach Darelle Porter said. ‘We just have a lot of nagging injuries.’
Guard Courtney Wallace returned to practice yesterday after sitting out a day with back spasms and is expected to be ready tonight. Forward Wayne Smith, who played the Rhode Island game – an 83-69 Duquesne victory – with a metal plate in his shoe to aid a jammed big toe, also is improving. And forward Aaron Lovelace has been hampered by a high-ankle sprain, although his playing time continues to increase.
Stanfield, who was averaging 12.3 points per game at the time of his shoulder injury, was averaging 4.4 points per game in his first five games back before the Rhode Island game.
‘We’re trying to get our guys healthy,’ Porter said. ‘The week off has helped.’
The Duquesne-La Salle series has been one of distinct home-court advantage with the home team winning every game since La Salle joined the A-10 in 1995-96.
Entering tonight’s game, the home team has won the past 10 (five for Duquesne at the Palumbo Center and five for La Salle at Tom Gola Arena). The most recent time the home team didn’t win was Feb. 27, 1993, when the Explorers defeated the Dukes, 68-65, at the Palumbo Center when both teams were members of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference.
La Salle forward Rasual Butler was ranked 10th in the country in scoring with an average of 21.9 points per game. Butler, a 6-foot-7 junior, is part of a dangerous tandem for the Explorers. He has teamed with 6-7 senior swingman Victor Thomas (20.9) to terrorize opponents the past two seasons.
‘They have two of the best scorers in the league,’ Porter said. ‘They can score from anywhere on the court. From any spot, they can hurt you. And they have been getting the other players on the team involved. It’s going to be a tough matchup. They cause a lot of problems defensively. We have to be aware of them all the time.’
The game will have some importance to Pittsburgh basketball historians. La Salle players have been wearing a ’33’ on their uniforms to honor former La Salle great Kenny Durrett, the Schenley High School graduate who died of a heart attack Jan. 7.
Durrett’s number is one of four at La Salle to be retired.
Durrett ranks second all-time in scoring (1,679 points) and rebounding (850) at the school.
Scouting reportMatchup: Duquesne (7-9, 1-2 Atlantic 10) at La Salle (6-8, 0-3)
Coaches: Duquesne, Darelle Porter (21-52, third year); La Salle, Speedy Morris (232-194, 15th year)
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Tom Gola Arena, Philadelphia (4,000 capacity)
Radio: KQV-AM (1410)
The skinny: Duquesne is seeking its first road victory of the season. The Dukes have lost 13 consecutive road games dating to last season. … The game features two of the top scoring duos in the A-10 in La Salle forwards Rasual Butler (21.9 ppg.) and Victor Thomas (20.5) and Duquesne forward Wayne Smith (18.1) and guard Courtney Wallace (17.3). … La Salle leads the series, 24-22. The teams split two games last season, each winning on its home court (Duquesne, 83-63, at the Palumbo Center and La Salle, 67-58, at Tom Gola Arena).