After a missed three-pointer by Gabby Crawford, Claire Jacobs got the rebound and scored with two seconds left to give La Salle a 67-66 win over Duquesne on Wednesday night at the Tom Gola Arena in Philadelphia, Pa. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Dukes, as they played La Salle (15-11, 8-6) tough all game. The Dukes are now 11-16 on the season and 6-9 in the Atlantic 10.
Libby Bazelak led the Dukes with 25 points. Bazelak was 11-of-15 from the field and was 3-of-4 on three-point attempts. Amaya Hamilton was second in scoring with 16 points. Megan McConnell had six points, five assists and a team-high seven rebounds.
Kayla Spruill led La Salle with 17 points. Three other Explorers scored double-digits — Jacobs (16 points), Molly Masciantonio (13 points) and Gabby Crawford (12 points).
Duquesne made 26-of-53 (49.1%) shots from the field and were 6-of-14 (42.9%) from behind the arc, while La Salle converted 22-of-55 (45.5%) shots and were 7-of-24 (29.2%) on three-point attempts. The Explorers had a big advantage on the foul line, as they made 10-of-14 free-throws, while Duquesne was 8-of-15 (53.3%).
The Dukes got out to an 8-2 run, but La Salle battled back and led 12-11 at the end of the first quarter. Bazelak led Duquesne with six points off two triples, while Spruill had nine points in the first quarter for the Explorers.
Duquesne and La Salle continued to go back and forth in the second quarter and La Salle led, 27-25, at halftime. The Dukes made 10-of-24 (41.7%) shots from the field and were 2-of-7 (28.6) from behind the arc. La Salle converted 12-of-29 shots from the field and were 2-of-14 (14.3%) on three-point attempts.
Bazelak led the Dukes with 10 points at halftime, while Spruill led the Explorers with 11 points. Seven different Duquesne players scored in the first half.
In the beginning of the third quarter, La Salle went on a 9-0 run and led 39-29 with 6:35 remaining. It was the largest lead of the game for either team. Duquesne answered and went on a 6-1 run to cut the Explorers’ lead to 40-35. Bazelak had two jumpers and McConnell converted a jumper as well during the run. At the 3:13 mark of the third quarter, Tess Myers nailed a three-pointer to make it a 3-point game at 42-39. A few minutes later, Duquesne retook the lead after a three-pointer by Hamilton and went in the fourth quarter with a 46-45 lead.
Along with a layup, Hamilton made another three-pointer to give the Dukes a 55-50 advantage with 6:54 remaining. A few minutes later, Claire Jacobs nailed a three-pointer to close Duquesne’s lead to three points at 59-56. La Salle proceeded to tie the game at 59-59 with 2:29 left, and both teams traded points on the following possessions.
With La Salle holding onto a 64-63 lead with under a minute left, Bazelak converted a layup to put Duquesne up by one. Myers forced a steal on the next possession, but Masciantonio answered with a steal of her own and got fouled with 19 seconds left and went to the foul line. Masciantonio made both free throws to give the Explorers a 64-63 lead. With time whining down, McConnell delivered a great pass down low to Precious Johnson for a layup to put the Dukes back up at 65-54 with seven seconds remaining. On one last possession, Crawford missed a three-pointer, but Jacobs on a put-back scored the game-winner with two seconds left and La Salle prevailed with a 67-66 win.
The Dukes finish up their regular season schedule on Saturday, Feb. 26, against St. Joseph at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse. Tipoff is at 2 p.m.