The Duquesne Women’s Basketball Team returned to the UPMC Cooper Field House, led by as many as 27 points, but had to hold on at game’s end, besting Saint Louis 68-63 Wednesday evening.
Duquesne (13-6/3-3 Atlantic 10) was led by Megan McConnell’s 16-point, 10-rebound double-double. McConnell was one of three Dukes in double figures as Tess Myers (13) and Amaya Hamilton (10) also achieved that figure.
The Dukes are now 11-1 at home.
Saint Louis (6-15/2-4 A-10) was led by Kyla McMakin’s 14 points though she needed 20 shots and six free throws to get there. She was joined by Brooke Flowers’s 13-point, 12-rebound evening and Julia Martinez matched that double-double with 10 points and as many rebounds. The Billikens outrebounds the Dukes by eight.
All told it was a strong first quarter for Duquesne. After conceding the first basket to McMakin, Saint Louis missed its next 11 shots from the field, while the Dukes went on a 17-0 run.
Duquesne consistently found layups and open jump shots as a McConnell jump shot off Hamilton’s open offensive rebound, was enough to frustrate Billikens coach Rebecca Tillett to spend her first timeout, this after eight consecutive points.
It would be much of the same for Duquesne coming out of the stoppage as it was able to drive at will, as Tillett shook her head with each passing score, letting the bench know that those on the court were continuing to concede layups.
When Peyton Kennedy converted a layup after grabbing an offensive rebound, Saint Louis’s bench was able to activate and make some noise.
It was far from enough to overcome what was a 26-8 Duquesne led after 10 minutes.
A 10-2 Duquesne run in the early stages of the second quarter, only further separated the gap between these pair of teams.
At halftime, the Dukes led 39-18.
Saint Louis would not be denied in the second half as it ratcheted up its defensive intensity and shot 52.6% from the field in the third quarter.
A buzzer beater would cut Duquesne’s lead to 54-41.
Entering the fourth quarter, Duquesne threw away the inbounds pass leading to a routine layup. Saint Louis would cut the deficit to within two possessions but came up empty down the stretch.
Duquesne will remain home when it hosts Davidson Sunday at noon. This contest will be carried by CBS Sports Network.