The Duquesne Women’s Basketball Team saw its streak of six consecutive victories over Rhode Island end Wednesday with a 67-57 setback at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.
Tess Myers led Duquesne (6-11/1-4 A-10) with 11 points, eight of which were scored in the second half. A quintet of Dukes scored eight points, with Libby Bazelak finishing with eight points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
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Rhode Island (14-3/4-0 A-10) was paced by Dez Elmore’s 19 points and five assists. Marie Paule Foppossi recorded 14 points and eight rebounds and Chanell Williams also scored 14 points. Emmanuelle Tahane added 10 points and eight rebounds.
While Rhode Island’s defense came in ranked ninth in the country in scoring defense, it was Duquesne which provided more intensity from that side of the court.
Duquesne built off of its stops as the sideline erupted in approval. Heading into the first-quarter media timeout, Rhode Island had four early turnovers and had converted one shot from the field.
Rhode Island’s matchup zone proved ineffective in the early going as Duquesne converted four of its first six shots from the field. The Rams also were trying to play back into the form that allowed it to win a Monday home game against a Massachusetts team that has been one of the tops in the conference.
Following the stoppage in play, Rhode Island’s defense appeared closer to form providing active hands and sliding more aggressively across the court.
Duquesne was held scoreless for the final 3:08 of the quarter but remained in front 11-9.
It was Rhode Island’s turn for a quick start in the second quarter nailing its first five shots from the field. First, Emmi Rinat found space from the corner and buried a three-point shot.
The Israeli then found an open lane and drove to the basket converting an easy layup tying the game. Anna Dreimane then found a shot allowing Rhode Island to take its first lead of the evening.
As the teams battled for momentum, Chanel Williams buried two trifectas, the first of which beat the shot clock.
Duquesne’s offense did not flow as freely as the first quarter, but Rhody’s defense did allow Laia Sole to operate with some space in the midcourt and she punished them making three of four field goals from there in the opening half.
A crucial 7-0 Rhode Island run, which was started by one of the Williams three-point shots, allowed it to create separation the scoreboard. This run was part of an offensive attack which shot 75% from the field in the second quarter.
Seeking momentum going into halftime, Fatou Pouye misfired from close range, but had the wherewithal to grab the rebound and kick it out to Tess Myers who beat the buzzer, allowing Duquesne to trail 31-28.
Rhode Island scored the first five points in the third quarter, as Duquesne was held scoreless for nearly three minutes.
Duquesne’s response came in the form of a 7-0 run, with Johnson scoring five of those points, cutting Rhody’s lead to one point.
Myers’s shot making began to come to form as she buried a jumper and then off a turnover Libby Bazelak found her in transition for a corner three-point basket as Duquesne went back in front by two points.
Duquesne was held scoreless for the last 2:46 of the quarter and Elmore scored the last four of the period, placing Rhode Island in front 44-42 after three quarters.
Rhode Island created separation in the fourth quarter as Elmore picked up where she left off in the third quarter with two layups and then converted both of her shots from the free-throw line.
With Duquesne trying to find an answer, the Dukes tried to find an open shooter and then Bazelak dropped the ball off to Pouye in the corner, leaving her one second to shoot while also being covered defensively. The shot was never close to approaching the basket.
Down eight, Duquesne attempted a rally with Myers scoring another five points cutting the Dukes deficit to five points entering the final media stoppage.
Elmore then took a shot with two Dukes trailing as a whistle came. Elmore’s shot fell as the Rhode Island sideline became electric. Johnson fouled out on the play.
Rhode Island then moved the ball as Elmore found Foppossi open for a three-point basket, stretching the lead to double digits.
Duquesne will next head to the road as it faces Saint Louis Saturday at 8 p.m.