McCANDLESS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — It has been an up-and-down season for the Duquesne women’s basketball team from a defensive perspective, but from the beginning of Thursday night’s Atlantic 10 contest against St. Bonaventure it was clear that would not be the case.
Duquesne was engaged from the opening tip and surrendered its lowest point total in a half this season en route to a 58-39 victory at the Kerr Fitness Center.
Junior guard Libby Bazelak led Duquesne (14-7, 4-4 Atlantic 10) with 16 points and 10 rebounds, good for her third double-double of the season. Nina Aho also achieved double figures with her 11 points. Additionally freshman center Precious Johnson recorded 10 points while grabbing seven rebounds.
St. Bonaventure (5-16, 2-6 Atlantic 10) was led by Deja Francis’s 11 points, which came on 3-of-7 shooting from the field.
Duquesne was able to avoid whistles Thursday night, committing a season-low eight team fouls, while holding St. Bonaventure to its second-lowest point total of the season.
Bazelak scored Duquesne’s first five points as St. Bonaventure struggled to get into an offensive rhythm. It did not get any better for the Bonnies as it scored eight points in both the first and second quarters.
Though Duquesne matched St. Bonaventure’s eight-point total in the second quarter, it did so as Burt was experimenting with a bigger lineup, having Paige Cannon as a point guard.
Duquesne was able to get stops and held St. Bonaventure to 18.8% shooting in the second quarter and had a 26-16 lead at halftime.
There was a delay to open the third quarter and the game clock did not properly start on three separate occasions. St. Bonaventure took advantage of the delay and scored the opening five points of the quarter before Duquesne settled down and took advantage.
With the game out of reach towards the finish, Burt subbed in walk-ons Caroline Elliott and Machaela Simmons. Elliott, in search of her first collegiate point, missed a jumper and in the closing seconds missed a field goal in the paint.
Duquesne will return to the road where it will face VCU Sunday at noon in a contest that will be televised by CBS Sports Network.
VCU was selected to finish first in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll and to date has lived up to that billing as it is tied atop the conference standings with Dayton at a perfect 7-0 mark.