Duquesne hoops teams get crucial Saturday wins

By Julian Routh and Natalie Fiorilli

The wins keep coming.

That’s the only clear takeaway from Saturday’s men’s and women’s basketball double-header, which saw two important victories for Duquesne in completely different fashions: one a sloppy nailbiter and the other a blowout over a top-25 team.

Women’s Basketball: Duquesne 76, #25 St. John’s 57

Photo from GoDuquesne. Freshman guard Kadri-Ann Lass goes to the rim for a contested layup in Saturday's win over St. John's.
Photo from GoDuquesne. Freshman guard Kadri-Ann Lass goes to the rim for a contested layup in Saturday’s win over St. John’s.

It’s been three years since the Duquesne women’s basketball team has defeated a nationally ranked team — until Saturday night, when the Dukes came out on top over No. 25 St. John’s by a final score of 76-57. The victory propelled the team to an 11-1 start, and tied a program record of 10 consecutive wins and 17 straight at the Palumbo Center.

Senior guard Deva’Nyar Workman matched a career-best 24 points, shooting 64 percent from the field and 75 percent from behind the arc. Junior forward Amadea Szamosi recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds and senior guard April Robinson notched 15 points and 11 assists.

Contrary to the final score, neither team found a 10 point lead until Duquesne pulled away with 7:18 remaining in the second half. Workman credited the team’s victory in such a close matchup to a strong defensive effort.

“That team is good,” Workman said. “We concentrated on defense today, and defense made us win this game.”

Robinson said that confidence also aided the Dukes in topping St. John’s.

“It doesn’t matter if they are ranked or not, it’s just another game,” Robinson said. “We brought so much energy, and I think it really helped us.”

Coach Dan Burt said he is pleased with the win, but is looking on to the rest of the season, most importantly the City Game against the University of Pittsburgh at the Peterson Events Center Dec. 30.

“Usually you’re not very satisfied as a coach, and usually you can find something, and I know I can dig for a few things,” Burt said. “This is as complete a team victory as we’ve had in a while.”

Men’s Basketball: Duquesne 72, Robert Morris 65

It certainly wasn’t pretty — or easy, at times — but the Duquesne men’s hoops squad finally notched a 72-65 win over cross-county rival Robert Morris Saturday afternoon at the Palumbo Center.

Photo from GoDuquesne. Junior Center Darius Lewis slams down a two-handed dunk in Saturday's win over Robert Morris.
Photo from GoDuquesne. Junior Center Darius Lewis slams down a two-handed dunk in Saturday’s win over Robert Morris.

In a game that saw 33 total turnovers and almost as many missed layups (or so it seemed), the Dukes fought off one last late-game surge by the Colonials with three straight defensive stands and six free throws by senior guard Derrick Colter in the final 39 seconds.

Despite shooting 4-of-27 from behind the arc as a team, Colter’s team high 19 points and the Dukes’ 21 offensive boards propelled the squad to its first win over RMU since 2008 and its first 10-0 start to a season since 1979.

“This team is starting to develop into a team that can win in different ways,” coach Jim Ferry said.

The Dukes — who came into the game as heavy favorites over the 2-9 Colonials — led by 9 with 6:28 left before RMU’s Elijah Minnie and Rodney Pryor scored 10 straight points for their team to bring them within 2.

With just under two minutes left, Colter blocked a go-ahead layup by Colonial guard Matty McConnell, and from there, it was all free throws that led the Dukes to a win.

Sophomore forward Eric James added 13 points and 8 rebounds off of the bench, filling in for an injured Jeremiah Jones. Senior guard Micah Mason recorded 10 points on 4-of-15 from the field.

Duquesne will play one last non-conference game Dec. 29 on the road against Georgia Tech.