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Duquesne Women's Basketball

Duquesne WBB Hangs On To Defeat VCU, 66-63



The Duquesne Women’s Basketball Team had to battle down the stretch, but found a way to defeat VCU 66-63 Saturday afternoon at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.

Duquesne (14-9/4-6 Atlantic 10) had a quartet of Dukes achieve double figures, paced by Naelle Bernard’s 17 points and season-high eight rebounds. Megan McConnell finished play with 16 points and seven rebounds. Ayanna Townsend concluded her after with 15 points and Tess Myers 14.

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Amaya Hamilton grabbed nine rebounds and Duquesne was a +15 on the glass.

VCU (7-15/4-6 A-10) saw Janika Griffith-Wallace swished in 18 points, while Chloe Bloom shook off a first-quarter injury to earn 14 points. Timaya Lewis-Eutsey banged in 12 points of her own. VCU’s bench outscored Duquesne 22-4.

Early on both teams played fairly evenly, but an 11-2 run aided by Bernard’s efforts from the three-point line created some separation as she buried three of her first four deep looks.

A timeout from VCU coach Beth O’Boyle came from a place of frustration as her team which is notoriously known for how it offensively rebounds the basketball, was trailing by a 6-0 count in that statistic.

In the timeout, O’Boyle also expressed frustration with the lack of ball movement her team displayed, while VCU was arriving to Bernard too late on the defensive end.

Even though, Duquesne appeared to be a confident side, VCU closed the first quarter by scoring the final seven points, while the Dukes went scoreless for the final 3:12 of game action in that period.

Duquesne attempted to get back on track, but Hamilton and then Townsend missed point-blank shots, meaning the game was tied at 16 after the first quarter.

Both teams went cold in the second quarter, though when one squad did score, the other matched.

This held true into the half’s closing minute, when McConnell converted an and-one play, allowing Duquesne to hold a 27-24 lead at halftime.

After Duquesne struck first in the third quarter, VCU stormed back to tie the contest. It was a 13-2 run which followed from the Dukes side which allowed it to take command of the contest.

McConnell was able to follow a miss from a teammate, trailing a Ram, earning a steal and putting in a reverse layup.

The lead would remain 11 points at quarter’s end.

In the fourth quarter, a happy Duquesne bench turned more somber as VCU began to string makes and increased defensive pressure. At 64.3% from the field, this was the Rams most effective shooting quarter from the field.

Duquesne would have to win the game from the free-throw line. Initially the Dukes were splitting free throws, but Myers drilled four crucial free throws, with her confidence growing with each one.

Duquesne has eight days between games as it travels to face La Salle Sunday at 2 p.m.


Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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