It was an emotional week for the West Virginia University basketball team after defeating two rivals in a matter of four days. While their next game may not be considered a "rivalry", they play a team they are very familiar with. The Mountaineers (4-3) travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Duquesne Dukes (5-4) at CONSOL Energy Center.
The last time these teams played was two years ago in a thriller that ended in a WVU victory. It took a late free throw from John Flowers and a missed three by Duquesne guard T.J. McConnell to beat the Dukes. Last season was the first time these two schools did not play each other since the 1972-1973 season.
In WVU's last game on Saturday, it took a late score by Juwan Staten to put away Virginia Tech. The game went back-and-forth for most of the second half, but West Virginia escaped with a big win against a team that was undefeated going in.
After getting hammered by Pitt, Duquesne rebounded in their last game to beat New Orleans by 18.
The Dukes are averaging 70.1 points per game this season. They are led by guards Sean Johnson (12.9) and Derrick Colter (10.4) in scoring.
While Duquesne has struggled offensively, they have been a good rebounding team. They are 27th nationally in total rebounding (40.9 per game). Center Andre Marhold (5.2) and forward Kadeem Pantophlet (5.2) lead the way in that category. The team is also 33rd in offensive rebounding, bringing down 14.6 per game.
For West Virginia, they have had their fair share of offensive struggles this year. They are averaging just a point better than the Dukes at 71.1. Aaric Murray (10.4), Deniz Kilicli (10.4) and Juwan Staten (10.3) are the only Mountaineers averaging double digit points.
WVU has also been a very good rebounding team thus far. They are 24th nationally in total rebounding (42 per game). Even without the most prolific offensive rebounder in school history Kevin Jones, West Virginia is 3rd in the country in offensive rebounding, averaging 17.7 per game.
It was a rough start to the season for the Mountaineers from the free throw line, but they went a combined 41-51 from stripe against VMI and Marshall. However, the struggles returned against Virginia Tech as WVU went 10-18.
This will be the 87th meeting between WVU and Duquesne dating back to 1915. The Mountaineers own the all-time record against the Dukes, 50-36. The Mountaineers are 1-0 against Duquesne at CONSOL Energy Center.
The game is Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. and will be aired on the CBS Sports Network (check local listings.)