PITTSBURGH — As the Duquesne women’s basketball team stretched its lead into double digits, smiles that had been present for the past handful of seasons started to return.
Just 10 days after a team meeting, Duquesne has responded with two wins, this one an 81-73 contest Wednesday night against Saint Joseph’s.
Senior forward Kadri-Ann Lass set a new season-high with 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting, while senior guard Julijana Vojinovic had 21 points and season highs of seven rebounds and six assists. Senior guard Chassidy Omogrosso added 17 points off the bench.
Senior guard Alyssa Monaghan paced Saint Joseph’s with 23 points while fellow senior guard Kristalyn Baisden had 18 points.
Duquesne got off to a fast start in both quarters but Saint Joseph’s consistently found ways to answer.
For the first 2:30 of regulation, Duquesne was engaged on the defensive end and also scored the first six points in this contest.
Baisden scored eight points in the first quarter which allowed the Hawks to cut its deficit to 22-19 after 10 minutes of play.
Vojinovic meanwhile scored 12 points in the first quarter and also when faced with increased pressure was able to find Laia Sole in the post for a higher-percentage shot.
Duquesne led by as many as nine points in the second quarter, but Monaghan scored 11 points in this quarter and defensively the Hawks forced the Dukes into quicker shots.
Though Duquesne shot 40% in the frame, Saint Joseph’s fired at a 43.8% clip and led 37-36 at halftime.
Duquesne would reclaim the lead after three quarters with the Dukes using more post entry passes and driving aggressively to the basket. A 66.7% shooting percentage in that third quarter was taken almost entirely from two-point range.
It appeared that Duquesne got some momentum when Paige Cannon drove to the basket and when the defense crashed on her, found Lass for the basket and a foul.
Duquesne was put to the test when Baisden made a fastbreak layup which cut its advantage to two points, but after Omogrosso made her second three-point basket of the evening, the Dukes advantage was stretched back to two possessions.
Ultimately, the advantage would stretch to double digits and Duquesne was able to have 12 players see the floor, while shooting 52.7% from the field this game.
Duquesne will play once again at the Palumbo Center Saturday afternoon when it takes on Richmond at 2 p.m.