By Natalie Fiorilli | The Duquesne Duke
Forty more minutes—against the top team in women’s basketball.
The Duquesne women’s basketball team earned another forty minutes of post-season play after its 97-76 victory over Seton Hall in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.The Dukes will now face a number one seed in the University of Connecticut, set for Monday at 9 p.m.
Senior guard Deva’Nyar Workman led the Dukes with a double-double of 25 points and 12 rebounds, while also recording five assists.
“This is win or go home, so I had nothing to lose today,” Workman said. “I played with a lot of heart, along with my teammates. We were all just pushing for each other to just put everything out there.”
Along with Workman, three more Dukes scored in double-digits. Freshman forward Kadri-Ann Lass tallied 20 points, and junior forward Amadea Szamosi had 16 points and five rebounds. Senior guard April Robinson finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
An 8-0 run allowed Duquesne to jump on a lead that Seton Hall would not recover from, with the Dukes up 33-24 to close out the first quarter. Seton Hall would come within a six-point deficit, going into halftime trailing 43-37.
A Workman free throw and then a Robinson jumper began a 14-0 run for the Red & Blue, with Duquesne heading into the fourth quarter holding a 73-54 advantage. Duquesne outshot Seton Hall 30-17 in the third quarter. A dominating fourth quarter saw the Dukes find the largest lead of the game, up 21, with 32 seconds remaining. The Pirates trailed the entire game, without a single tie occurring.
“That’s how we play,” Head Coach Dan Burt said on the Dukes scoring ability against Seton Hall. “We shot the ball well and any time you shoot it well it makes you feel good and you have a little bit more pep in your step. In that first quarter, it just seemed like we could not miss.”
The Dukes set an NCAA record for the most points scored in a debut game of the tournament. With the win, Duquesne has improved to 28-5 overall, while UConn remains undefeated this season, adding a 101-49 victory in a first round matchup against Robert Morris Saturday.
Robinson described the experience of the team’s first-ever NCAA tournament game as surreal, and explained that the team is focusing on one game at a time.
“It means a lot,” Robinson said. “We are just so excited to be here. It is a great opportunity and one that not everyone gets to experience. Our athletic director always says the most important number is one. We tried to take it all in and to get the first win today, we achieved another goal today”