A valiant fourth quarter effort was not enough for Duquesne to top the St. Joseph’s Hawks on Sunday afternoon, as the Dukes dropped their regular season finale by a score of 60-52.
Duquesne (5-10, 4-7 A-10) kept the game even and managed to hold the lead during the second quarter, but was quickly in a hole once the second half started due to a disastrous third quarter on offense. Diamond Bragg scored 16 points and pulled down seven boards in the loss.
Saint Joseph’s (7-9, 5-9 A-10) took advantage of a Duquesne scoring drought that lasted over a full quarter and had enough cushion on its lead to hold the Dukes off in the game’s final minutes. The Hawks were led by Kaliah Henderson, the team’s leading scorer on the season, who matched Bragg’s 16 points and seven rebounds.
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Strong performances on the inside prevented either team from holding a lead for too long in the first half. With the scored knotted at 10 with four minutes to go in the first quarter, a total of 16 of the game’s 20 points had come from within the paint.
That trend continued when Laia Sole came in for the Dukes and scored eight in a row from the confines of the paint for the Dukes. Diamond Bragg took the reins of the offense after hitting a three pointer to give Duquesne a six point lead, the largest of the game up to that point.
Katie Jekot and Gabby Smalls then chipped away at the small lead Duquesne had built, eventually leading to the teams being all square at 26. Amaya Hamilton answered the call with a perfectly timed 3-pointer to give Duquesne the lead back immediately after. Again, it was Hamilton who converted an and-one attempt a short while later to give her squad the lead back for the second time in the quarter. Saint Joseph’s Katie Mayock ensured that the tightly contested first half ended with a tie after gliding in for a layup during the waning seconds of the half to even things up at 32.
After shooting 50% from the floor in the first half, Duquesne went over 10 minutes without scoring once the second half commenced. The Dukes missed a pair of free throws and 3-pointers, plus all 12 of their shots from the field.
St. Joseph’s did not find much success either, going just 2 of 15 throughout the third quarter. The Hawks managed to get to the line on a few occasions and converted on five of their six free throws. While it wasn’t glamorous, the Hawks had amassed a nine-point lead heading to the final quarter.
Shooting problems persisted in the final 10 minutes, but Duquesne drew fouls and converted on 9 of 13 free throws. That tally, plus a full court press, helped the Dukes get within five points in the game’s final stages. By that point, there was not enough time and no margin of error, and the Dukes found themselves on the losing end.
After electing not to add a game to their schedule, the Dukes can now rest up and prepare for the Atlantic 10 Tournament on March 10.