LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Markquis Nowell nearly notched a triple-double and Ruot Monyyong added his second double-double of the season as Little Rock pulls away in the second half to notch a 76-66 win over Duquesne at the KFC Yum! Center.
“This was a good win for us against a very solid, very good team,” said head coach Darrell Walker. “I thought our bench guys really provided a lift for us, we rebounded the ball well, and our defense was much better. I’m still not happy with the turnovers but it was a good team effort and a nice way to bounce back after a tough loss.”
• Markquis Nowell flirted with his first career triple-double, finishing with 13 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds. It was the second double-double of his career as the 11 assists is the second-most of his Trojan career.
• Ruot Monyyong posted his second double-double of the season, and 18th of his Little Rock career, finishing with 10 points and a season-high 13 rebounds while adding a block.
• Nikola Maric once again paced the Trojans in scoring and just missed a double-double of his own, finishing with 16 points and eight rebounds with a steal while shooting 7-of-11 from the floor.
• All 10 Trojans that stepped on the court scored at least two points, the most amount of scorers on the year for Little Rock. Jovan Stulic notched a season-high nine points on 4-of-5 shooting while freshman Marko Andric registered a career-high nine points with a pair of assists in 27 minutes.
• Ben Coupet Jr. scored six key points in the second half for the Trojans while Kris Banskton and Yacine Toumi added four points off the bench to help fuel Little Rock to the victory.
• For the game, Little Rock shot an efficient 55.8% from the floor (29-of-52), but unlike the previous two games, struggled from the free throw line, making just 15-of-24 (62.5%), including 13-of-21 (61.9%) in the second half.
• Little Rock outrebounded Duquesne 37-32 for the game, including 26 defensive rebounds. The Trojans also dominated in the paint, outscoring the Dukes 46-24.
First Half Notes
• As has been the story of the season thus far, Little Rock struggled from the floor in the early going against Duquesne, making just two of its first 10 shots, including a number of point-blank layups. But six offensive rebounds in the first five minutes helped the Trojans take the early 8-7 lead at the 14:49 mark.
• Turnovers plagued the Trojans during a 7-2 Duquesne run as the Trojans committed six in the opening 10 minutes, falling behind 15-12. Yacine Toumi’s first points of his Trojan career, followed by a steal from Marko Andric leading to a Nowell layup helped put a hald to the Duke run.
• Little Rock’s bench continued to provide a spark in the first half, scoring 10 of 12 in a five minute stretch as the Trojans and Dukes were locked up at 22-22 at the 7:45 mark. Toumi scored four points during the stretch as Bankston, Andric and Lukic also contributed for Little Rock.
• The Trojans were able to spread out the offensive production as eight different players registered points in the first half. A three-pointer from Jovan Stulic gave the Trojans a 34-27 lead with just over a minute to go, its largest lead of the game. Duquesne scored the last four to trim the Trojan lead to 34-30, marking the first time this season Little Rock took the lead into the break.
• In the first half, the Trojans shot 45.5% from the floor (15-of-33) and attempted just six threes, making two while going 2-for-3 at the line. Little Rock held a 22-15 edge in rebounding, including a 9-5 offensive advantage, but committed 12 turnovers through the opening 20 minutes.
Second Half Notes
• After exchanging baskets in the early going, Duquesne used a 6-0 run to reclaim the 40-38 lead at the 17:56 mark. Six-straight points from Coupet, the ninth different Trojan scorer, sparked an 8-0 run for Little Rock, reclaiming a 46-40 lead at the 15:08 mark.
• Little Rock’s run extended to 15-6 over a five minute span, aided by four points from Nowell, as the Trojans matched their largest lead at 53-46 with 12:09 remaining following a Duquesne technical foul. Following its pattern from the first half, six different Trojans scored during the stretch.
• The Trojan pressure continued as the run extended to 24-12, upping its lead to 64-52 off a throwdown dunk from Bankston. Andric was especially efficient in helping the Trojans lengthen their lead, scoring seven points in a three-minute span.
• Trailing 64-52, Duquesne mounted a 6-0 run to pull to within six at 64-58, but that was answered with five-straight from the Trojans to up their lead back to double-digits at 69-58 with 4:01 to go. Nowell hit a pair of free throws during that stretch, giving him his second career double-double in the process.
• Little Rock kept the Dukes at bay down the stretch, preserving the 76-66 win. The Trojans were 14-of-19 from the floor over the final 20 minutes (73.7%) but struggled from the free throw line, going 13-of-21 (61.9%).