Dukes’ win streak comes to an end at 6

Couertesy of Duquesne Athletics | Megan McConnell drives inside during Duquesne’s 16-point loss to Richmond on Wednesday, which drops the Dukes to fifth place in the conference standings, looking up at the coveted double bye.

Rowan DuBois | Staff Writer

The Duquesne Women’s Basketball team’s six-game win streak came to an end on Wednesday, as they were defeated on a trip to conference-leaders Richmond, 90-74.

Duquesne upset the Spiders in Cooper Fieldhouse this January, but this time they played in Richmond, where the Spiders haven’t lost all season.

The game had big implications on the Atlantic-10 Conference standings, as the Dukes needed a win to keep their hopes of finishing first alive. Richmond sat in first with a conference record of 14-2

In the first quarter, both teams struggled to break into the paint. The Dukes couldn’t score on their first five possessions, and they fell behind early. Finally, a shot fell for the Dukes as Tess Myers knocked down a 3. The game began to look like a 3-point contest, as 12 of the first 13 shot attempts were from behind the arc.

Myers kept the game close with 6 points as the teams traded buckets. However, Richmond’s array of offensive options gave them a 21-17 lead over Duquesne to end the first quarter.

Richmond’s offense heated up in the second quarter. The Spiders started off the quarter with a 9-0 run, and 5 points from Rachel Ullstrom would eventually push Richmond up a 13-point margin.

After a timeout late in the second, Duquesne initiated the full-court press to put more pressure on the Spiders. However, Richmond made it difficult for Duquesne to generate turnovers, only giving up two in the first half. Two late 3s got the Dukes back in it though, including a corner bucket from Lauren Wasylson to cut the Richmond lead to 46-38 at the half.

Richmond got off to an electric start in the third quarter, attacking the paint and getting out in front by 16. After the run from the Spiders, the pace of the game slowed down severely, which was of no help for the Dukes, who needed to amass points quickly if they were going to get back in the game.

It was a physical battle in the quarter, as the teams combined for 13 fouls. Richmond’s Laren VanArnsdale began to light up the scoreboard in the third, knocking down a big layup while being fouled to give the Spiders a 21-point lead.

VanArnsdale and Grace Townsend combined for 20 points in the third quarter alone, as the Spiders ended the quarter with the game’s biggest lead, 76-54.

Duquesne had a tough task starting the fourth quarter, as they needed quick stops and quick buckets. The Dukes started off the quarter perfectly, with an 8-3 lead. The Dukes were generating turnovers off the full-court press, a symbol that they were going to fight until the final whistle.

The Richmond offense proved to be too strong, as they continued to make shots over strong Duquesne defense. Spiders got their lead back to 20 and iced the game to a final score of 90-74.

Five Richmond players had double digits and 73 of the Spiders’ points. Townsend was Richmond’s team high scorer, with 19 points. Maggie Doogan also had an impressive stat line for the Spiders, with 14 points, six assists and six rebounds.

Megan McConnell had 19 points for the Dukes, and Nae Bernard was the game-high scorer with 20. The loss was the Dukes first loss of February, as they were undefeated in their first six games of the month.

Duquesne will finish their regular season with a big matchup against Saint Joseph’s on Saturday, March 2 in Pittsburgh.