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Soko powers Duquesne past Appalachian State 79-55

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Ovie Soko had 22 points and eight rebounds while Tra' Vaugh White added 14 points to help Duquesne put away Appalachian State 79-55 Thursday night.

PITTSBURGH - Ovie Soko scored 22 points and Tra'Vaughn White added 14 off the bench as Duquesne held Appalachian State to an opponent season low point total in a 79-55 win over the Mountaineers at Palumbo Center.

The victory - Duquesne's fourth in a row - upped the Dukes' record to 7-5 entering Atlantic 10 play. Appalachian State, which got 18 points from Tab Hamilton, fell to 4-9.

The four-game win streak is DU's longest since the 2010-11 team won 11 straight.

Duquesne substituted freely in the opening 20 minutes, using 11 players in building a 49-24 halftime lead. Soko led the way with 15 points. The DU bench, paced by eight points from White, outscored App State's 17-2 in the first half. The Dukes assisted on 15 of 16 first half field goals.

"That's the best first half of basketball we've played since I've been here," said second-year head coach Jim Ferry. "We've tried to play this way all year, but we've never had all of our pieces. This was the third game we've had our whole team. It's taken us a while to get to this point. I think everyone is kind of getting into their roles now."

Soko, who topped the 20-point mark for the fourth consecutive time, had a pair of dunks early in the second half as the Dukes maintained at least a 19-point lead for the remainder of the game.

Six players finished with five or more rebounds to help the Dukes finish with a 52-33 advantage on the glass.

DU, which assisted on 22 of 29 fields, had five players with at least three assists and none with more than four. Ten of the 11 players who saw action scored and all had at least one rebound.

Duquesne's balance was best reflected in a 32-7 advantage in bench points.

"I think it's starting to come together," said Ferry. "I think we're defending significantly better and offensively we are starting to flow and click with one another. Our focus is still about getting better - getting better defensively - and getting more cohesive, because the real deal starts on Wednesday night. The league is a beast and we are going to have to play well every night to compete in this league."

Duquesne opens Atlantic 10 play at home against Fordham on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 7:00 p.m.

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