As the Duquesne women’s basketball team prepared to return following a nearly month-long pause due to COVID-19, coach Dan Burt cautioned that his squad was not going to win every game and Monday night that prediction proved accurate.
Duquesne fell behind early and never recovered in a 72-55 road setback at St. Bonaventure.
“Tonight we ran into a buzzsaw,” Burt said. “We were poor, especially in the first half defending. They shot 52% from the field, 50% from the three-point line and we certainly were not aggressive. It was a poor job by us this evening, our players, our coaches, everyone. St. Bonaventure did a great job of exploiting us and played very well.”
Burt seemed surprised when he found out following the game that St. Bonaventure committed 21 turnovers, given how much flow the Bonnies were in, further proof that Duquesne collectively was not not on its game.
“Everything they did was better,” he said. “They were engaged, ready to play and hit key, timely shots, every single time. They treated this as a rivalry game and they made us pay.”
. Burt was not nearly as jovial as he was following Thursday’s victory over Rhode Island, and for good reason. His team lost, and by no means was the effort a close one.
Duquesne was the fresher of the two teams since its Saturday contest against Massachusetts was not held due to COVID-19. Though there may have been some rust, the rest certainly could have helped the team, specifically senior leaders Libby Bazelak and Laia Sole both of whom have not been playing at 100% this season.
Instead, Duquesne dug itself into another early hole and remained flat on both ends of the floor for the duration of this contest.
You’re going to have that happen. Sometimes teams are going to be blazing hot and you’ve got to find some ways to get back into the game. For us, it was too little, too late. I could’ve called a lot more timeouts early. Our lineups we were playing Amaya at the five, trying to search for answers that were not there tonight.
Even though Duquesne was a +8, Burt was still disturbed by a St. Bonaventure effort which included the previously-mentioned shooting clips but also four free throws, two of which came with just over a minute left in the game.
“I don’t know if there are really any positives right now,” Burt said. “When another team shoots so well and only takes four free throws, when are you going to knock somebody down and make them earn it? That was hard for us to do tonight because they moved the ball so well. A lot of credit goes to Bonaventure. For us this is a difficult loss because we did not play up to what our standards are, especially after an encouraging game against Rhode Island.”
. Ny Langley paced Duquesne with 17 points, a total which represented a season high. Amaya Hamilton added 11 points and a career-high five blocks.
Though Langley came on in the second half, scoring 14 of those points in the game’s final 20 minutes, Burt was not amused, simply serving a reminder that Duquesne still lost the contest.
For someone that was understanding that Duquesne was going to lose a game, what is less certain is where the team goes from her.
“I couldn’t tell you who will start the next game, it is a very fluid situation, I’ll say that,” said Burt. “That’s probably the biggest frustration for me, is the lack of consistency is very difficult because you don’t know what you’re going to get out of some of the players on a nightly basis. A lot of that is due to youth, so you’re coaching to the hot hand. Tonight I probably did a poor job of that.”
As the schedule currently reads, Duquesne will be at La Salle Friday night, looking to avenge a 67-63 Jan. 17 loss. It also will be at Saint Joseph’s Sunday.
Considering the men’s and women’s Atlantic 10 Championships have switched with each other, it would be expected that Duquesne would play at least one additional contest, though nothing has been made official.