McCANDLESS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Every time Duquesne women’s basketball coach Dan Burt reflects on redshirt junior guard Kiersten Elliott, he offers a similar refrain, that every time she shoots the ball, he believes it will go in.
Elliott was able to prove those words to be a precursor to a career-high 14 points on a perfect five-for-five shooting performance from the field.
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The effort was one of four double-figures performances as Duquesne was able to defeat George Mason 84-63 Wednesday night at the Kerr Fitness Center.
— Duquesne Women's Basketball (@DuqWBB) January 23, 2020
Elliott was joined by junior Libby Bazelak as the team’s leading scorer totaled 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field.
Redshirt junior center Laia Sole flirted with a triple-double but settled for 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Redshirt junior guard Nina Aho also made a key contribution for Duquesne with her 10 points and six assists.
Nine of 11 Duquesne players to see the floor grabbed at least two rebounds while eight scored. Duquesne was able to outscore George Mason in all four quarters and scored 42 of it 84 points in the paint.
George Mason (7-12, 1-5 Atlantic 10) was paced by freshman forward Tamia Lawhorne’s 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting, just one off her career high.
Duquesne (13-6, 3-3 Atlantic 10) got off to a quick start scoring the opening eight points of the contest as George Mason called a timeout. Duquesne nailed two consecutive three-point baskets to open the game as the Patriots struggled to find a rhythm.
When Bazelak successfully made a backdoor cut to the basket, Angela Staffileno found her in the paint putting Duquesne up 13-2 as George Mason called a second timeout.
After Precious Johnson beat the first-quarter buzzer, Duquesne matched its season high for points in a quarter leading 28-14 after 10 minutes of play.
The first quarter showcased Duquesne’s ability to move the ball around and find the open scorer assisting on all 11 of its baskets in the stanza. While George Mason opened 1-for-8 from the field, Duquesne shot 61.1%.
Duquesne was largely able to continue this pace in the second quarter, scoring the opening six points in the period as George Mason again struggled to find its shot though Lawhorne was able to bury a couple of three-point looks which provided a brief lift.
At halftime, Duquesne led 46-28.
It was another quick start for Duquesne in the third quarter as it scored the opening seven points as George Mason struggled to adjust coming out of the break. Duquesne was able to maintain its pace of play in the fourth quarter and Burt was able to substitute both Machaela Simmons and Caroline Elliott in with just over a minute remaining in regulation.
Duquesne will continue Atlantic 10 play as it travels to face Saint Louis Sunday evening. Duquesne split contests with the Billikens last season, dropping a 67-63 regular season meeting but winning the Atlantic 10 Championship quarterfinal match by a 72-51 score.