PITTSBURGH — Duquesne Women’s Basketball Coach Dan Burt was clear following Sunday’s 82-47 loss at No. 20 Ohio State that he was the one to blame.
Though Duquesne has yet to have a player test positive, for COVID-19 there are quarantine rules within testing that the team had to abide by.
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“We knew that coming to Ohio State to open the season was going to be a challenge in a normal year,” he said. “We’ve had a situation where we’ve only practiced seven or eight times. Ohio State has been here since August and has not had a shutdown of any sort and they’ve been ready to play. It was like lions waiting for their meat and unfortunately today we were that meat.”
Burt further explained that being able to practice against a physical Ohio State which he stated clearly still is practicing with male practice players, having seven practices does not provide a lot of confidence, though two games being cancelled before Sunday’s affair certainly did not help matters.
Graduate student center Laia Sole recorded a double-double consisting of 10 points and 12 rebounds, though she shot 3-of-9 from the field. Sophomores Amaya Hamilton and Ny Langley each scored eight points, the latter of which was making her Duquesne debut. Duquesne also shot 85.7% rom the free-throw line.
It is worth noting this result came without Libby Bazelak, who was held out with injury related.
Duquesne’s three first-year players Lindsey Linard, Megan McConnell and Tess Myers all reached the scoreboard in their first collegiate games. McConnell took two charges and maintained a level of calmness that impressed Burt.
Duquesne shot 1-of-23 on its 3-point shots, with its lone make coming from Linard, a center, in the fourth quarter.
Burt stated that the team had good looks that did not fall although it also comes down to having players who are seeking permission instead of just playing.
“We’re a much better three-point shooting team than what we saw tonight,” said Burt. “We ran a lot of sets to get people open and when those shots don’t fall and you are not rebounding the ball, you are basically running a set for 20 seconds to get a shot. We needed to play in transition and with more freedom.”
By the fourth quarter, Duquesne was losing out on run outs, a lack of conditioning which was because of the lack of practice time and Ohio State was able to take advantage.
Duquesne next plays Wednesday at Saint Francis in a game set to tipoff at 5 p.m. These two teams played last season with Duquesne winning 72-69 in overtime. Sole set a career-high with 38 points in that game.
Following that game, Duquesne has nine days before its scheduled Atlantic 10 opener against St. Bonaventure. As a side note, both the Bonnies men’s and women’s teams are currently in a 14-day quarantine due to COVID-19.
Though Duquesne would love to play a game or two, its daily search to find a game has become difficult, with the preference being not to leave campus. Recently, Louisville coach Jeff Walz used Twitter to try and find an opponent, showing the lengths teams are willing to go to get another game in.
“We have a game on Wednesday where hopefully we can take this sting and make us feel a little better,” Burt said. “Then we’re off for a while and we’re going to have to work on our conditioning. We’ll have to be much more competitive and physical in our practices.”
Photo credit: Kirk Irwin/Ohio State Athletics