Duquesne traveled to take on Rhode Island on Saturday afternoon in their first Atlantic 10 game and lost late, 70-63.
The Dukes (10-4 overall, 0-1 Atlantic 10) lose their second straight conference opener and their second straight to the Rams (10-3 overall, 1-0 Atlantic 10). The loss also ends the two-game winning streak for the Dukes and pushes their conference losing streak to four straight games, dating back to last February.
Duquesne kept it close in the first quarter, down just 10-9 midway through, but Rhode Island finished with a 13-4 run to take a 23-13 lead.
The Rams held an eight-point advantage midway through the second quarter, but the Dukes went on a run themselves, 9-2 to cut the lead to 30-26 at halftime.
Both teams scored 18 points each in the third quarter and kept it close through the fourth quarter.
Sophomore guard Tess Myers hit a 3-pointer with three minutes left in the fourth quarter to put Duquesne up 59-58, their first lead since 2-0 with 9:32 left in the first quarter.
URI then took control of the game going forward, holding Duquesne scoreless as they went on an 9-0 run to lead 67-59 with 30 seconds left. They would finish on top as victors, 70-63, after some late layups from Duquesne.
The Dukes shot terribly from 3-point range in the loss to the Rams. They only made five of their 25 attempts, 20% from behind the arc. Their five 3-point makes tie for the second lowest in a game this season and the 20% 3-point shooting is the second worst percentage.
Myers, who leads the Atlantic-10 by averaging 3.4 3-pointers made per game and the Dukes with an average of 14.3 points per game, was almost non-existent against the Rams. That 3-pointer she made in the fourth quarter was the only basket of the game from her, as she finished with 1-for-8 shooting from the floor and 1-for-5 from 3-point range.
This is the first game where Myers didn’t make at least multiple 3-pointers this season and the 3 points scored are the least for her this season.
Duquesne shot 21-for-64 from the field against URI, 32.8%, their third worst percentage in a game so far in 2022-23.
The Dukes did shoot a solid 16-for-20 from the foul line, which kept them close with the Rams throughout. The 16 makes from the foul line are the second most in a match this season and the 80% free throw shooting is the third most efficient.
Duquesne also managed to limit their turnovers to just 10, second least in a game this season, but also only forced four steals on URI, tied for the least. They also only made seven assists, tied for the lowest since the loss to Pitt in the City Game on Nov. 19.
Rhode Island blocked eight shots and made 11 3-pointers in the victory, the most and tied for the second most, respectively, in a game for a Duquesne opponent this season.
Junior forward Ayanna Townsend led the Dukes with 17 points on 6-for-14 shooting from the floor. Sophomore guard Megan McConnell and junior guard/forward Amaya Hamilton both scored 15 points each in the loss.
McConnell led with 11 rebounds, making it her fourth double-double, along with two triple-doubles this season.
Duquesne returns home next Thursday, Jan. 5, as they look to get their first conference win against Dayton.