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Duquesne Women's Basketball

Duquesne Remains Undefeated, Beats Manhattan, 67-46

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The Duquesne Women’s Basketball Team established its style of play early and often with a 67-46 victory over Manhattan Sunday afternoon at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse, improving to 3-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

“We’ll take a 21-point victory over a team coaches have picked to win their league and have the preseason player of the year on one day’s rest after a physical game, we feel good about that,” Duquesne coach Dan Burt said. “I’m happy that we got the win but certainly don’t want to be satisfied with the execution that we had, and we won’t be as we prepare for later in our season.”

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Ayanna Townsend led the way for Duquesne with her 15-point, seven-rebounding performance, while she also earned two blocks.

“It felt pretty good today,” she said. “Once I saw the first one go in, the confidence went up a bit. Last game I didn’t get that same confidence boost but we kept playing.”

Townsend was one of three double-digit scorers for Duquesne which saw Tess Myers (11) and Naelle Bernard (10) complete the Dukes trio.

Manhattan (0-3) had Dee Dee Davis record her first double double of the season scoring 28 points on 29 shots and four free throws.

Duquesne had a steadier start to this game compared to Friday where a slow start had to be corrected with multiple second-half adjustments.

The Dukes opened on an 11-4 run as it keyed in on the Jaspers two leading scorers in Davis and Lapointe. Manhattan started 2-for-10 from the field.

Davis scored all 11 of Manhattan’s points in the quarter, with the rest of the team shooting 0-for-8 from the field.

McConnell was a consistent facilitator in the first quarter with her four assists on six made baskets during her time on the floor.

Lauren Wasylson provided a spark play for Duquesne at quarter’s end when she drove the lane in transition and buried a hoop despite heavy contact from Manhattan’s Leyla Ozturk. She completed the three-point play at the free throw line.

The Dukes doubled up both Davis and Manhattan 22-11 after one quarter.

Duquesne did encounter some foul trouble in the first half with McConnell being the recipient of three whistles, Bernard, Wasylson, and Precious Johnson all picked up two fouls.

Townsend was able to get into a rhythm in the second quarter putting up seven points and four rebounds.

Townsend’s most notable second-quarter effort came towards the end of the quarter, when she grabbed two consecutive offensive rebounds. The first allowed the team to try and find a corner three-point shot and the second allowed her to establish position where she could assert herself in the post, gain the edge and score a layup in traffic.

On the Manhattan side, it took until the 5:41 mark of the second quarter for the Jaspers to score a basket for someone besides Davis.

Despite, McConnell being sidelined with her three fouls, Duquesne maintained its double-digit advantage, by a 35-22 count at halftime.

Manhattan came out a determined side and while Davis led the way for the Jaspers, there were more widespread contributions, to the extent of a 16-8 advantage, cutting the deficit to five points at the third quarter media stoppage.

Duquesne was able to counter coming out of the stoppage, regaining momentum, with Townsend again converting an and-one opportunity. The Dukes led 53-38 after 30 minutes of play.

In the fourth quarter, Manhattan was held to six shots in nearly as many minutes and buried one, which certainly did not help its comeback prospects.

Townsend again created space, this time with a midrange jumper and then Wasylson, used her quick release to beat the shot clock with a three-point basket.

“Going 3-0 is very important to us as a team,” Wasylson said. “We faced some adversity, especially playing Friday and coming in with that grit and toughness. Being able to rely on everybody that steps on the court makes us special.”

The Dukes were comfortably able to secure the advantage, ensuring it will remain undefeated heading into Saturday’s City Game at Pitt, a contest scheduled for a 6 p.m. start on ACCNX.

“That game is huge,” said Wasylson. “Everybody on this team is looking forward to it. (It’s a) big rivalry game.”

POSTGAME VIDEO

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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