In a back-and-forth game, Duquesne and Fordham played closely for 38 minutes. Fordham took a 9-0 run to end the game and ended up victorious, 59-52, Saturday afternoon at UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.
The Dukes (9-13 overall, 4-6 A10) turned the ball over 20 times in the game compared to just six from the Rams (16-5 overall, 7-2 A10) with 13 of those turnovers coming in the second half.
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Duquesne head coach Dan Burt noted that his team was lucky to be in this game for as long as they had with the amount of turnovers they had and how many more shots Fordham took as well.
“Right now Duquesne women’s basketball is pretty good for about 37-38 minutes and we’ve got to find a way to execute more positively in the last three minutes of a game and be able to close out games and obviously we haven’t done that all conference season long…,” Burt said.
Duquesne started off playing great offensively by moving the ball around quickly, spacing the floor and getting open looks for shots. Duquesne led Fordham 21-13 at the end of the first quarter.
Graduate guards Fatou Pouye and Libby Bazelak led the Dukes in the first quarter. Pouye scored 10 points to lead the Dukes in scoring while Bazelak made two 3-pointers to add six points. The Dukes as a whole had six assists, which came from five different players, a testament to their great ball movement in the first period.
Fordham made adjustments in the second quarter, particularly on defense. They frustrated Duquesne, applying heavy pressure anytime anyone touched the ball, and in doing so, forced them to take low-percentage shots.
The Rams took their great defense and used it to create good chances on offense. In the half-court, they did what the Dukes did in the first period, moved the ball around to find the open shot and also drove to the paint with efficiency.
They took the lead, 26-25, off a 8-0 run over a three minute period late in the quarter, with five points coming from junior guard Anna DeWolfe.
Duquesne took a 28-26 lead into halftime after three made free throws and good defense to keep Fordham scoreless over the last 2:30 in the quarter.
The Dukes expanded on their lead early in the third quarter, starting on a 9-4 run and forcing the Rams to take a timeout with 7:43 remaining. Sophomore guard/forward led the Dukes with five points off a 3-pointer and a layup while Pouye provided four points herself.
Fordham responded by outscoring Duquesne 12-5 to tie the game at 42. Senior guard Asiah Dingle led with seven points on two layups and a 3-pointer and senior forward Kaitlyn Downey scored five points on a 3-pointer and a mid-range jumper.
The Dukes took the lead at the end of the quarter, 45-44, with a bucket from graduate center Laia Sole and a foul shot from Bazelak.
Pouye took control for Duquesne in the fourth quarter, scoring seven points in the first five minutes to keep her team in front, 52-48.
Neither team shot the ball well in the fourth quarter and the Dukes lead, 52-50, with two minutes remaining.
The Rams then got two quick buckets from Dingle and Dewolfe within 20 seconds to take the lead. A brilliant underhand pass in the air by Dingle to Heremaia in the corner for a 3-pointer pushed the lead to five with 42 seconds remaining.
The Rams also played good defense and didn’t allow the Dukes to get anything going offensively and closed out the game with the win.
Dingle was the star of the game for the Rams, playing all 40 minutes, scoring 24 points and shooting 6-for-7 from the foul line.
Fordham were really good grabbing rebounds on the offensive end, with 16 offensive rebounds leading to 12 second chance points, compared to Duquesne’s seven offensive rebounds and five second chance points.
Burt said that he won’t take any “morale victories” from this game today and that he is also tired of hearing opposing coaches say how hard his team is to play and then having to relay that to his team after a loss like the one today.
He also noted how that rest of the schedule is spaced out well and that his team will have rest and be ready to play those teams better than they played Fordham today.
“There’s no morale victory,” Burt said. “I don’t know where anybody would think that or think that about our program. We’re not happy. This tastes really bad. We had been taking step after step after step after everything we’ve been through over the past two years and today was the first day where I think we took a little step back because we didn’t finish the game. But overall, I’ll go to battle with these women every day of the week…”
Duquesne will take on George Washington this Wednesday at home at 7 p.m. in hope of ending the losing streak.