PITTSBURGH — Any questions as to how the Duquesne women’s basketball team would respond to a Texas trip in which its coach, Dan Burt, challenged them in all aspects, were quickly answered Monday evening, though the extended lead would be put to the test.
The home opener against Mount St. Mary’s provided a bounce-back 73-64 victory for Duquesne.
“The mantra of the day, for the last 48 hours, has been to start fast and we really emphasized that, but we were not able to sustain that.” Coach Dan Burt said. “We were not perfect and we ended up having a team we didn’t think could shoot the three this well and credit goes to them. We are really pressing a little too much and when we don’t make shots our defensive energy is not where it needs to be.”
Laia Sole scored 14 points, a Duquesne high mark, and added nine rebounds, her second-highest career total.
Duquesne was able to create separation winning the first quarter by a 27-4 margin. During that time, 10 Dukes saw the floor and each were able to make a contribution.
Through the run, whether it was Amanda Kalin diving on the floor for a loose ball, Laia Sole finding Kiersten Elliott on a backdoor cut or Julijana Vojinovic turning a steal into a fake-out and a two-point shot off the glass, this was the energy Duquesne brought to the floor in the opening 10 minutes.
After that first quarter, Duquesne lost both of the next two quarters with Mount St. Mary’s shooting 61.5% from the field in the third quarter.
Additionally, Mount St. Mary’s hustled to loose balls and on a jump ball were awarded a timeout
A team Duquesne led by 24 points against, saw its lead cut to six points early on with early three-point shots and limiting opportunities on the other end.
Down the stretch, Mount St. Mary’s came up with empty possessions turning the ball over and providing Duquesne several opportunities in transition that it capitalized on.
Duquesne will next travel to face Toledo Sunday at 2 p.m.