Duquesne Women's Basketball
Duquesne WBB Hangs On To Advance In A-10 Tourney
Wilmington, Del. — The Duquesne Women’s Basketball Team successfully punched its ticket in to the Atlantic 10 Championship second round following a 58-57 victory over Loyola Chicago Wednesday afternoon at Chase Fieldhouse.
“It’s March Madness, that’s the only way you can describe it,” Duquesne coach Dan Burt said. “We certainly are happy to move on and to continue our season. The best words that you can hear in March are ‘see you tomorrow’, so we’ll see you all tomorrow.”
Duquesne basketball on Pittsburgh Sports Now is sponsored by The Summit Academy: setting young men on the path to a better future.
Precious Johnson led Duquesne (19-11/8-8 Atlantic 10) with her fourth double-double this season, giving herself a birthday present consisting of 14 points and 13 rebounds. Both Amaya Hamilton as well as Tess Myers added 12 points, while Megan McConnell posted 11 points and eight rebounds. McConnell is now four rebounds away from setting Duquesne’s single-season mark.
As a team, Duquesne won the rebounding battle by a 42-30 count.
Loyola Chicago (6-24/1-15 A-10) was paced by Sitori Tanin’s 20 points and eight rebounds. Maya Chandler added 18 points and multiple crucial second-half baskets.
Duquesne opened this contest on a 12-4 run as McConnell overcame a deflected pass to bury an open three-point basket.
It was a banner shooting quarter for the Dukes, who shot 72.7% from the field and assisted on six of their eight baskets.
The quarter ended with Myers successfully landing a high-flying three-point shot through the bottom of the net as Duquesne led 20-7 after the opening 10 minutes.
Though both teams experienced scoring droughts in the second period, Duquesne briefly enjoyed a 20-point advantage after McConnell buried a three-point basket after Naelle Bernard’s shot fake drew attention from multiple Ramblers.
Loyola would battle back to make the score 35-21 after the first half.
Following a brief peptalk, the Ramblers would come out for the second half 10 minutes prior and shoot in an effort to get out of the third-quarter funks which have plagued their team.
The move paid dividends as Duquesne was held to seven points in the quarter, its lowest output since Nov. 19 at Pitt.
Duquesne would be held without a three-point basket in the second half and after connecting on nine assists in its first 11 shots, it would be contained to five out of the last 14 baskets.
The advantage was cut down to 42-38 after three quarters.
Loyola Chicago shot 60% from the field in the final quarter, but Duquesne was able to hang on to the advantage, though the end of the game was far more suspenseful than it may have desired.
“We really didn’t try to change anything, because everything was going for us, and when we came out, we came out super flat,” McConnell matter-of-factly stated. “There was no energy and they were playing hard.”
Leading by one point inside of the final minute, the Ramblers used their foul to give, after which Duquesne successfully inbounded the ball to an unguarded Hamilton who decided to go up for the layup, but she did not stick the finish.
Instead Loyola Chicago had one last chance for the win, which saw Kira Chivers attempt a shot in traffic, but it fell off the mark, allowing Duquesne to advance.
“There was an awful lot of ‘ahh bullpucky’ and bullpucky was not the word I was using,” said Burt. “We didn’t execute. We actually the play we missed the layup on, we executed it perfectly but we didn’t finish the shot. We’ll wash it off as soon as we walking outside of the locker room.”
Duquesne now advances to face George Washington Thursday at 5 p.m. in second-round action.
“I think we got a little too comfortable because we had that lead,” Johnson said. “You can’t get comfortable it’s March Madness. We just have to give it all we’ve got next game.”