By Andrew White | Staff Writer
The Duquesne women’s basketball team suffered a double-digit loss to its former Atlantic 10 foe, the Charlotte 49ers, on Tuesday night, dropping them to a 4-6 record to begin the 2016-17 season.
Charlotte guard Lefty Webster scored 22 points to lead the 49ers to a 76-63 win over the Dukes. The loss extended Duquesne’s current skid to four games, and the Dukes have now lost five of their past six games.
“Tonight was a great example of our inefficiencies,” head coach Dan Burt said. “Right now we don’t have many positives. We can’t see the open man, we can’t pass the ball.”
The Dukes went down by seven early but then went on a 7-0 run to take a 12-11 lead. Lead by the senior Webster and her 10 first quarter points, the 49ers took a 23-22 advantage at the end of the quarter.
The 49ers held the lead for the majority of the second quarter until the Dukes went on a 9-3 run which resulted in Charlotte using a timeout with 2:30 left in the half. With the scored tied at 37 with 35 seconds left and the Dukes in possession of the ball, it looked like the game would either go into the half tied or with Duquesne leading.
Then in the last five seconds of the quarter, the 49ers forced a turnover that resulted in a layup by local product Ciara Gregory as the buzzer sounded, giving Charlotte a 39-37 lead at the half.
Charlotte came out of the locker room hot, taking a quick seven point lead to start the half. The Dukes cut the deficit to three on a slick move that resulted in a Julijana Vojinovic layup with a little over seven minutes left in the third.
After the 49ers extended their lead to six, Conor Richardson completed a three-point play after she was fouled on a jumper that sent her to the line and cut the deficit to three once again. It was the closest Duquesne would be for the remainder of the night.
The 49ers followed the made free throw with a 7-0 run to give themselves a 10 point lead. The Dukes cut the lead to four, but Amaya Ransom hit a buzzer beater from just inside the arc to give Charlotte a six point lead to begin the fourth.
With 9:44 left in the fourth, Paige Cannon cut the deficit to four once again for Duquesne. But then the Dukes went cold. Charlotte went on a 14-1 run that spanned over the next 6:40, including a transition three-pointer by Gregory off of a missed Duquesne free throw that looked to be the dagger. The next field goal for the Dukes came with 2:23 remaining in the game on a Richardson three pointer. The Dukes lost every quarter of the game and only managed to score nine points in the all-important final quarter.
“I think we just have to go back to the basics,” senior Brianna Thomas said. “We all need to get on the same page and figure it out.”
The Dukes continued to turn the ball over on offense, giving up 42 turnovers over the last two games, including 19 today in the matchup with the 49ers.
“We need to limit them because they are transitioning into points for them,” sophomore point guard Chassidy Omogrosso said.
Omogrosso led Duquesne with 15 points. However, she was the only player on the Dukes to put forth a double-digit scoring effort.
The Red & Blue shot a higher percentage from the floor and from behind the arc while also winning the rebound battle 40-36, but the 19 turnovers proved to be too much to overcome.
“They hit us harder than we hit them today, and that was the biggest problem,” said Thomas, who finished the game with nine points.
A visibly upset Burt ended the press conference by saying, “I would expect to see some changes when we play on Sunday.”
The Dukes look to snap their four game losing streak on Sunday when they host Lafayette at the A.J. Palumbo Center at 2 PM.