The Duquesne Women’s Basketball Team opened regular season play with a 94-47 victory over Point Park Monday evening at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.
Sophomore guard Megan McConnell paced Duquesne with her 17 points on a perfect six-for-six effort from the floor, while 10 rebounds gave her a fourth career double double. She also had five steals on the evening.
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Amaya Hamilton had an all-around game, consisting of 14 points, nine rebounds and a career high seven assists.
Ayanna Townsend recorded a double double of her own in her Duquesne debut with her 16-point, 10-rebound performance.
Tess Myers also achieved a double figure output netting 16 points.
As a team, Duquesne (1-0) scored 35 points off of 27 Point Park turnovers, scored 54 points in the paint and recorded eight blocks.
Point Park (2-1) was led by Ari Bleda’s eight points and all 11 of its players scored.
Duquesne took advantage of Point Park’s miscues often turning 17 turnovers into 22 points. This started at opening tip as a Point Park player was called for running across the court.
Point Park would score the first basket of the game on a Bleda three pointer and it would take time for the Dukes to settle into their offense, with McConnell converting two early baskets, while also diving on the floor.
Duquesne then dug in defensively, holding Point Park off the scoreboard for 6:20 of game action, as the Pioneers struggled to create separations to find its own shot or rhythm.
The Dukes were able to find a balanced scoring effort, with five different point scorers, while employing a nine-player rotation.
At quarter’s end, Point Park, was able to find the basket and Bleda beat the buzzer on a second-chance effort, leaving Duquesne frustrated despite a 21-10 advantage.
Duquesne opened the second quarter shooting 2-for-11 from the field, though Point Park was unable to take advantage of this as multiple players also got into foul trouble.
Point Park once again was held off the scoreboard for an extended period of time, this occasion to the point of a 4:28 spurt.
Duquesne closed the second quarter on a 9-0 run, owning a 46-19 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, Duquesne went on an 11-0 run after conceding a three-point basket to open the period.
Duquesne did this through cutting actions leading to higher-percentage shots and ultimately scores. Hamilton was especially effective during this time, setting her high mark for assists during this stretch.
The offense was faster paced as Liv Westphal saw the court with Duquesne firing at a 66.7% clip in the quarter.
During this time, McConnell set her career highs both in points and field goals made.
Townsend also asserted her presence in the post in the period with her six points and nose for the ball. Duquesne’s lead was extended to 71-34 after three quarters.
Duquesne saw Singo Lekeuneu make it 11 Dukes to see the floor, as she fired a shot and ran the floor in a brief look.
Both Aniya Walker and Lauren Wasylson scored her first career points with Duquesne as the Dukes continued to force Point Park into miscues on the other end of the court.
Duquesne will next host Brown Friday at 6 p.m. ESPN+ will have the broadcast of the contest.
Duquesne starters- Megan McConnell, Naelle Bernard, Amaya Hamilton, Tess Myers, Ayanna Townsend
Point Park starters- Emma Pavelek, Izzy Strickland, Ari Bleda, Sierra Seneta, Taylor Rinn
Rebs- Duquesne 56 Point Park 37
Steals- Duquesne 14 Point Park 3
Points off turnovers- Duquesne 35 Point Park 4
Points in the paint- Duquesne 54 Point Park 16