Sean McKean | Staff Writer
After a loss to begin the season, the Duquesne women’s basketball team took two away victories against Niagara and Howard.
The game against the Niagara Purple Eagles proved to be a nail-biter, as both teams fiercely vied for control throughout the game.
The Dukes’ offensive abilities were on full display, led by the standout performances of Tess Myers, Megan McConnell and Amaya Hamilton. Myers led the scoring charge with 17 points, showcasing her scoring versatility from inside the paint and at the 3-point-line. McConnell wasn’t far behind, contributing 16 crucial points, while Hamilton added 11 to the tally.
The game was a testament to the Dukes’ tenacity as they navigated the challenges posed by a fierce Purple Eagles squad led by Destiny Strother with a game-high 23 points, with Chardonnay Hartley not far behind with 21.
However, tight defense, strategic plays and effective teamwork were the hallmarks of the Dukes’ performance. The team’s ability to maintain composure in critical moments – especially in a close fourth quarter – allowed them to secure their first win of the season in a hard-fought battle.
Building on the momentum from their victory over Niagara, the Dukes faced another tough opponent in the Howard Bisons. The game unfolded as a closely contested affair for the first three quarters, with both teams refusing to give the other control. However, it was in the fourth quarter that the Dukes showcased their dominance, outscoring Howard 17 to 7 and clinching a well-deserved victory.
Nae Bernard emerged as a standout performer in the game against Howard, leading the scoring charts with an impressive 18 points. Bernard’s ability to deliver when the pressure was at its peak underscored her importance to the team.
Hamilton, consistent in her contributions, added 12 points, while Precious Johnson’s 11 points further solidified the Dukes’ offensive prowess.
However, the Bisons had great assets of their own as well. Iyanna Warren and Tyana Walker each contributed 11 points for the Washington D.C. outfit, with Nile Miller not far behind with 10.
The fourth quarter surge not only highlighted the Dukes’ physical conditioning but also their mental resilience and strategy. Their ability to show smart decision making in the dying moments of the game will be a good thing to carry forward.
The team will finally debut on home hardwood when they take on the University of Pittsburgh on Saturday.