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Duquesne Women's Basketball

Duquesne WBB Sets Program Record In Comeback Victory



The Duquesne Women’s Basketball Team set a program record for home wins, following a 71-61 victory over Loyola Chicago Wednesday evening at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.

“I’m just proud of our team,” junior center Precious Johnson said. “I think this is a great achievement, especially going into the conference tournament. It’s just great motivation and shows how far we have come as a team.”

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Duquesne (18-10/8-7 Atlantic 10) was paced by Johnson’s career high 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting, while grabbing 11 rebounds, good for her third double-double of the season. Amaya Hamilton added 16 points and Ayanna Townsend added 12 points. It was Hamilton’s 17th double-digit effort of the season.

Megan McConnell had eight points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Her nine rebounds rank her seventh in program history for a single season.

The Dukes won the rebounding battle 40-30 and scored 42 points in the paint, while limiting their turnovers to eight. Duquesne also shot 47.6% from the field.

Loyola Chicago (6-22/1-14 A-10) was paced by Sam Galanopoulos’s 20 points, though she was held to six in the second half. Anna Brown contributed 15 points towards the cause and Kira Chivers 12.

The Ramblers had one of their best conference-game performances this season and were successful from beyond the arc, burying 12 three-point shots.

Loyola Chicago opened play on a 10-2 run, twice connecting on three-point shots. Duquesne went scoreless for the first 2:29 of game action, but would eventually find its way scoring seven of the next 10 points.

Maya Chandler converted on a pull-up jumper, allowing the Ramblers to lead 19-15 after one quarter.

Ayanna Townsend opened the second quarter with two consecutive baskets, allowing the contest to be tied, but the Dukes were unable to break through and take a lead as multiple unforced errors stunted any run the hosts made.

As was the case in the Richmond win, Duquesne was able to successfully execute in the post, enjoying a 20-6 lead there.

Loyola created separation of its own with six first-half triples, compared to Duquesne’s three and took a 33-30 lead into the halftime break.

Duquesne's 2024 March Madness Tournament coverage is sponsored by Leon's Billiards & More, Moon Golf Club and Archie's on Carson! Their contributions have allowed us to cover the Dukes run in Omaha, Nebraska. We appreciate their support!

“It’s so easy to get down when you see the ball go through the net so many times from them on threes,” said Hamilton. “We believed in ourselves and knew we had to get stops. We were down the whole game pretty much but we had the confidence to keep fighting back.”

Duquesne opened the quarter on a 7-2 run with McConnell finding a wide-open Johnson for a layup to allow the Dukes to take their first lead of the evening.

The two sides battled back and forth, with Loyola taking the advantage into the media timeout, after a corner three-point basket, which she followed with another triple coming out of the break.

That edge would shift back Duquesne’s way when Naelle Bernard sank a three-pointer, aided by another McConnell dish.

Loyola would tie the contest in the final minute of the quarter, but Hamilton found open space and converted a jumper, allowing Duquesne to take a 49-47 lead into the final frame.

The contest remained a one-possession affair, until after the final media timeout, when the Dukes earned three consecutive defensive stops and started pulling away.

“I don’t know ever if I say anything about setting a record in a game situation in a timeout and there wasn’t a lot of correction in that timeout,” Duquesne coach Dan Burt commented. “I simply said ‘I want everybody to take a deep breath and understand that we need to take care of business for the next four minutes and you’re going to have your name in the record book. With all of the really good basketball teams we’ve had, especially in the last 15-16 years, your names will go in the record book for the most home wins.’ I don’t know if it did anything, but we won the game… I felt like they needed a bit of a spark.”

Prior to Wednesday evening’s contest, Duquesne honored redshirt junior guard Aniya Walker, graduate student manager Snezhana Serafimoska and student manager Alyssa Brinson for senior day. Walker started for the first time in her Dukes career.

“Emotions were high, we have all been together for so long,” said Johnson. “We’re a family, so knowing people are leaving is emotional, but we wanted to play for them. Even though we struggled a little bit, we showed how much we really wanted this win.”

Burt was also presented a game ball pregame for setting the program record for wins.

The Dukes concludes their regular season Saturday at Saint Joseph’s. That contest will tip off at 2 p.m. and be carried by ESPN3.


Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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