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Duquesne Women's Basketball

Duquesne WBB’s A-10 Championship Run Ends in Semis



Glen Allen, Va. — In the third quarter of Duquesne’s Atlantic 10 Championship quarterfinal game against Richmond, all coach Dan Burt could do was watch as Spiders player Addie Budnik went for a three-point shot which got a shooter’s roll falling through the bottom of the net.

All Burt could do was smile as another challenged three pointer from Budnik increased her season high total and stopped the Dukes from making a run.

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Richmond would end Duquesne’s hopes of winning its first ever Atlantic 10 Championship falling 80-68 Saturday afternoon at Henrico Sports & Events Center.

“I’d like to give a big thank you and I’m incredibly proud of our seniors and our whole entire team,” stated Burt. “Today we played with great energy, fight, spirit and grit. We talked about spirit and grit in our locker room for a long time this year. The senior class has really reestablished us as one of the best programs in the Atlantic 10, where we had been, and they did that. I’m not sad today by any stretch, we lost to a very well-coached, very good basketball team. We were playing our third game in three days and ran out of a little bit of gas and Richmond did some things that affected us.”

After a successful first half in terms of three-point shooting effectiveness Friday against George Mason, Richmond largely took the three away as evidenced by a 1-for-17 mark in the first three quarters.

As a result, Duquesne went to the low block early and often, utilizing a 12-2 points in the paint advantage prior to the first quarter media timeout.

Richmond was dared to shoot the three and Budnik recorded season bests with her 22 points and six three-point shots.

The Spiders making four shots from beyond the arc in the opening quarter, while the Dukes misfired on all four of its attempts led to a 16-12 deficit.

Richmond distinguished itself with a 19-7 run over a nearly 10-minute period, though Duquesne did have the lead down to one-possession before a miscue and missed opportunity would not allow the Dukes to draw any closer.

“We had a sequence there where it was five and we misidentified where the shooter was and if they miss that shot and we made a bucket, it’s a three-point game late in the second quarter,” explained Burt. “That didn’t happen, but it could’ve. You find another shot of adrenaline at that point.”

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!

Down 37-27 at halftime, Duquesne briefly gained control to get back within single digits, but the Dukes ran out of steam and a late-game switch to a press did not yield the desired results.

“Richmond plays a physical style, and you have to stay closer than 10 or 12,” Burt remarked. “We tried to find another shot of adrenaline when we went to pressing and some of the things in the third and fourth quarter. The gas tank was on E. It’s going to happen, it’s a human behavior. Richmond played well and they’re really good, so we almost would have had to play perfectly today to get a win and that didn’t happen.”

Before the final buzzer sounded, Burt subbed out both Amaya Hamilton and Ayanna Townsend so the Dukes fans who made the trip could applaud them. Precious Johnson was also taken out of the game during a late-game timeout.

During a Monday interview with PSN, Burt expressed that Hamilton and Townsend had aspirations beyond basketball when their Duquesne careers come to a close connected with their degrees. Another senior in Lauren Wasylson remained in the game, slowly walking off the court after the handshake line.

For her part, Hamilton was emotional as the seconds began ticking down, thinking about her experiences and hopeful that her playing career will extend for at least one more game.

“We have people from across the world and when you come to Duquesne, you’re joining a second family,” she reflected. “That really showed throughout my time here. My freshmen year we didn’t have a gym, then went into COVID, then second year we had COVID and we couldn’t stay away from each other we gave each other COVID at one point. We are a family and no matter where you put us and what situation you put us in, they stuck together and that’s what I would want everyone to feel like in the years coming up that we’re all working together towards a common goal, and we want the best for each other on and off the court.”

Duquesne will now await its fate to see if it advances into postseason play. Burt told reporters after that the Dukes did apply for both the WBIT and WNIT.

“I have 100% confidence that’s going to happen, and I conveyed that to our players in the locker room,” concluded Burt. “I don’t think our season is over in any stretch. I don’t think, I don’t believe that our season is over This is probably my most enjoyable year in my coaching career. We won 28 games and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2016 and that’s fantastic. We’ve had a lot of 20-win seasons, but this has been an incredibly joyful ride. I’m looking forward to playing here later in March.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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