Duquesne women’s basketball advances to A-10 semifinals

Addison Smith | Opinions Editor

Stellar play from Jose-Ann Johnson and Deva’Nyar Workman lead the Duquesne women’s basketball to a 66-53 quarterfinal win over the University of Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 tournament.

Johnson finished the night with a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, while Workman finished the game with 16 points. Belma Nurkic and Olivia Bresnahan both finished with 13 points.

Coach Dan Burt said that play from Johnson and Workman has been great all season, and helping the Red & Blue to win games, but praised all of his players for their unselfish attitudes.

“What Jose-Ann Johnson did, she led the A-10 in blocked shots. Tonight she had a double-double and three blocks also and took a lot of other shots,” Burt said. “Dev Workman … I thought she was the sixth-man here. She’s always our sixth-man, without question.”

Burt’s praise of Johnson continued when he deemed her “professional ready” at the conclusion of the season. Johnson has flourished her senior year after not playing many minutes in the shadow of now professional basketball player Wumi Agunbiade. Burt credited Johnson’s play all season, all saying that the Dukes have officially left the Suzie McConnell-Serio era and years behind them. They’re officially Burt’s team.

Burt’s team: unselfish

For the Dukes, you used to be able to pick Agunbiade and Orsi Szecsi as the team’s most dominant players. However, as Burt, Johnson and April Robinson noted post-game, the Dukes are officially an “unselfish” team, with contributions coming from across the board. Every Duke who checked into the game scored at least one point.

“We’re unselfish to a fault,” Johnson laughed.

Dominant ending

Junior point guard April Robinson didn’t have the strongest game point wise, finishing with six points total. However, Robinson’s true contribution came at the end of the game, as she hyped the team up during huddles.

Robinson said she was reminding the team of a drill done in practice related to stopping play and hyping them up that way.

Semifinal look ahead

Duquesne will be playing Dayton at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Dukes faced the Flyers once this season and lost 78-67 in Dayton, Ohio.

Robinson expects a tough contest from Dayton, but also expects contributions from every player who clocks into the game.

Dayton is the overall second seed in the conference. The Flyers advanced to the semi-finals after beating St. Joseph’s University 80-61.