Can’t-miss games from the women’s basketball season

Courtesy of Duquesne Athletics | Duquesne head coach Dan Burt during the team’s 2016 NCAA Tournament game against Seton Hall.
Courtesy of Duquesne Athletics | Duquesne head coach Dan Burt during the team’s 2016 NCAA Tournament game against Seton Hall.

James Leo | Staff Writer

Nov. 14, 2019

Fresh off a 19-13 campaign in 2018-19 (including an 11-5 mark in A-10 play), the Duquesne women’s basketball team is poised to give Duquesne fans a lot to cheer about this season.

Although they lost several key contributors from last year, this year’s team is in a spot to build chemistry around several young, energetic players. Each game will prove to be as exciting as the last. Below are several games you’ll want to either watch or attend.

Duquesne @ Pitt, Saturday, Nov. 23, (2 p.m.)

The Dukes will look to get revenge against Pitt, who won last year’s matchup, 66-58. Before this loss, the Dukes had won four straight matchups against Pitt, and eight of the previous nine. This matchup is also significant because this is the only opportunity to see this inner-city basketball rivalry this season; the men’s teams will not play each other this season.

Duquesne vs. Massachusetts, Saturday, Jan. 4 (7:30 p.m.)

Duquesne will start A-10 play at home against Massachusetts on Saturday, Jan. 4. The Dukes will also look to best Massachusetts, who topped the Dukes 69-66 last year.

Duquesne has the benefit of history on their side in this matchup: they have not lost at home to Massachusetts since the 1999-2000 season. The Dukes hope they will have the “home” feel at La Roche University.

Duquesne @ Dayton, Wednesday, Jan. 15 (7 p.m.)

Projected to finish second in the 2019-20 A-10 preseason poll, Dayton will host the Dukes on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Duquesne outlasted the Flyers last season at the Palumbo Center, but will have to bring their “A-game” to Dayton to win, since Dayton has maintained a number of its key players.

Duquesne @ Saint Louis, Sunday, Jan. 26 (6 p.m.)

Last year, Saint Louis got the best of Duquesne during their only regular season matchup. However, Duquesne beat them when it counted: during the A-10 tournament. This game will likely be a preview of the A-10 tournament, and will be a good opportunity for a young Dukes team to beat a rival on the road.

Duquesne @ VCU, Sunday, Feb. 2, (noon)

Noticing a trend yet? Many of Duquesne’s marquee matchups are to be played away from home, which will inevitably be a great experience for this young team. This matchup pits the Dukes against the projected (regular season) winner of the A-10: VCU. Last season, Duquesne defeated the Rams during the regular season, although VCU went on to tie for first in the A-10 when all was said and done.

Duquesne @ Davidson, Sunday, Feb. 16, (1 p.m.)

The Duquesne road trip will continue against Davidson on February 16. Davidson unfortunately downed the Dukes last year, but Duquesne has never lost to Davidson on the road. One would hope that that tradition will continue.

Duquesne vs. Fordham, Tuesday, Feb. 25 (7 p.m.)

Duquesne will face Fordham, the best team in the A-10 a year ago, on the campus of Robert Morris University. The Rams ended Duquesne’s season a year ago, defeating them in the semi-final round of the A-10 Tournament. Fordham went on to win the A-10 tournament, punching their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. A defeat against Fordham late in the season may be the push the Dukes will need to drive them into postseason play.

Duquesne @ St. Bonaventure, Saturday, Feb. 29 (1 p.m.)

Duquesne will conclude its regular season in a contest vs. St. Bonaventure. By then, the Dukes will hopefully be in a position to make a deep postseason run. The Dukes have won five straight against the Bonnies, and 10 of their last 13 matchups. If the past is any indication, Duquesne will end their regular season a high note.

Atlantic-10 Championship, March 6-8, 2020 (@ Dayton University)

A year ago, the Dukes came up a round short of reaching the A-10 Final. This year, they will look to remedy this by winning the A-10 tournament.

The tournament was played entirely at the Palumbo Center last year, but will be played at Dayton University this year. More information about the tournament will be provided as we draw closer.

All in all, the Dukes are one team that you will want to follow this season. Not only will you get to see a talented group of female athletes, but you may also witness the ushering in of a new era of Duquesne women’s basketball.