FAIRFAX, Va. – Duquesne’s Halle Bovell only played seven minutes against George Mason Sunday afternoon but came up with the Dukes’ biggest defensive play.
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With Duquesne leading by one, Bovell blocked Nicole Cardano-Hillary’s shot attempt with 15 seconds left to preserve a Dukes’ win.
Bovelle’s defensive stop came moments after Paige Cannon’s up-and-under basket that put the Dukes in front for good with 1:17 left, and Duquesne held on to defeat George Mason, 60-57.
Consistent with its season-long trend, Duquesne shot poorly in the first half, hitting just 7 of 33 attempts and trailed 26-17 at the break. Poised to return to Pittsburgh with its second straight A-10 loss, the Dukes found their shooting touch after the break to erase the deficit and level their record to 8-8 on the season.
Duquesne surged ahead by two in the third quarter on the heels of a 19-6 opening run, but the Patriots drained consecutive threes to rebuild a four-point lead. Chassidy Omogross, who was held scoreless in the first half, countered with five straight points to give the lead back to the Dukes at 41-40. After trading baskets, a whistle in the frame’s final seconds led to two George Mason free throws and a 45-43 Patriot lead.
The Dukes tied the score on the first possession of the fourth quarter only to see George Mason go back ahead. After Julijana Vojinovic’s jumper with 5:48 left put Duquesne back in front, the Patriots scored six straight points to build a 54-49 lead. However, the Dukes battled back one final time.
Libby Bazelak’s second-chance basket with 1:58 tied the game, and after a Jewel Trigg made free throw, Kadri-Ann Lass found Cannon underneath the basket for the go-ahead score. Omogrosso sank two free throws to extend the lead, and George Mason missed wide on its game-tying three-point attempt.
Duquesne shot 45 percent from the field after the break and hit six threes, including four straight at point during the fourth quarter. Three players finished in double-figures, led by Lass’ 17 points. Both Vojinovic and Conor Richardson scored 11 apiece, and Omogrosso added nine. Head coach Dan Burt improved to 7-0 all-time against the Patriots.
George Mason (8-8, 0-3) shot just 35 percent from the floor but used eight threes to fuel most of its offense. Cardano-Hillary scored a game-high 21 points to pace the Patriots.
The Dukes only led for 4:16 of the game, yet they’re leaving snowy Virginia with a much-needed victory, especially after Wednesday’s 15-point setback to Davidson.
Duquesne will look to improve to 3-1 in conference play when it hosts Saint Joseph’s Wednesday night at the Palumbo Center at 7 p.m.