Comfort leads to defeat for Red & Blue

Claire Murray | Asst. Photo Editor
Claire Murray | Asst. Photo Editor

Rich Donahue | The Duquesne Duke

Getting comfortable. Getting comfortable is something that a team with a lead in any sports should never do. Being comfortable with a lead will allow an opponent to claw back.

The Duquesne women’s basketball team experienced again Wednesday night why no team should ever be comfortable with a lead against George Washington. The Dukes, who led by as many as 10 points in the second half, fell to the Colonials (16-7 overall, 7-3 Atlantic 10) 80-68 at the Palumbo Center.

With the loss the Red & Blue fell to 16-7 overall and 8-2 in the Atlantic 10.

Coach Dan Burt said the game was a tale of two halves.

“The first half I thought we played well from an offensive stand point and I was ok with our defense effort,” Burt said. “They [George Washington] came out in the second half and they punched us in the face and we did not respond.”

Early in the game, the Dukes struggled mightily shooting against the Colonials. Heading into the second media timeout, the Red & Blue were only down 4 but were shooting a horrid 29% from the field. Following the timeout, the Dukes finally found their stroke.

Duquesne finished the first half on a 26-15 run and led by 7 at the break. The Dukes also raised their team shooting percentage to 43 percent. Senior guard Raegan Moore, who finished with a team-high 21 points, said that upping the tempo of the game helped the team shake off their shooting woes.

“I think we started pushing the ball more in transition,” Moore said. “I think we always from the jump kind of get caught off guard every so often in games.”

Following halftime, the Dukes came out on fire and jumped out to 10-point lead with 16:27 left in the game. But as fate would have it, the Colonials did not go away. George Washington slowly started to creep back into the game, cutting the lead to single digits heading into the second media timeout of the half. The Colonials ended up taking the lead at the 10:01 mark thanks to hot shooting from Danni Johnson, who finished the game with 17. They held that lead the rest of the way.

The Colonials struck the final blow when Megan Nipe knocked down a a 3-pointer with 2:34 left to increase the led to 11. Burt said the Dukes settled too much when they took control of the game early.

“Our shot selection in the second half was poor,” Burt said. “After the first media timeout it was really poor because we settled for jump shots. If we had to do it all over again we would be driving the ball a lot more and attacking in the paint a lot more.”

The Dukes’ next game will be Saturday against the Dayton Flyers at 7 p.m. at the Palumbo Center. Last season, the Dukes fell to the Flyers 58-57 on the road. Senior Orsi Szecsi, who was second on the team in scoring with 18 points, said that Dayton will be a tough matchup due to their depth.

“Dayton is going to be a tough game because they play 10 to 12 players,” Szecsi said. “They really do not skip a beat.”