Rich Donahue | The Duquesne Duke
Early in the second half of Saturday afternoon’s matchup versus Rhode Island at the Palumbo Center, it looked like the same old story for the Duquesne Women’s basketball team. After leading the whole game, the Dukes, like in previous games, lost the lead and their momentum. However, the Red & Blue were able to rebound from this and cruised past the visiting Rams (6-11, 1-3) 62-47 in Atlantic 10 conference play allowing them to climb to 4-1 in the A-10 and 12-6 overall.
Though Coach Dan Burt was happy getting the W, he was not satisfied with the way his team played.
“I was not pleased in the way we played if you look at the game in its entirety,” Burt said. “We had a lull for about 8 to 10 minutes in the first half where we played very poorly and were not able to score since we were playing at the pace of Rhode Island.”
Senior Orsi Szecsi, who was second on the team in scoring with 14 points, stated that they needed to relax after the poor first half performance.
“We basically just needed to calm down,” Szecsi said. “Nothing had changed and we just needed to play like we had since October and it worked out.”
After only being down 2 points at half, the visiting Rams tied the game at 25 with 19:06 left. This would be the closest the Rams would get to the Red & Blue. The Dukes, led by Senior Wumi Agunbiade, outscored the Rams by 13 in the remainder of the game. Agunbiade, who recorded a double double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, moved into third place on the Dukes all-time scoring list on a jumper in the second half. Coach Burt commented on Agunbiade’s milestone saying he was not even aware of it.
“I did not know anything about that and I would harbor a guess that Wumi did not know either,” Burt said. “If you asked Wumi if she scored 1000 points she would say I think. I have been around a lot of teams that want to look at the box score, but all this team wants to see is a W.”
The Dukes played on the road last night against the VCU Rams. The Dukes won 77-65 in Richmond.
Junior Olivia Bresnahan stated that the team will need to play a complete game if they have any hopes of avenging their earlier lost to the Rams.
“We need to play for 40 minutes cause last game [vs VCU] in the last few minutes we had a led and then lost it and the game,” said Bresnahan. “If we can play hard for 40 minutes I think we can win that game.”
Burt added that the team must clean up simple mistakes.
“We have to make free throws and not turn the ball over as much,” said Burt. “We had incidences in that game where we threw the ball right to VCU and we had uncharacteristic turnovers. The game will be won on the boards and in the last three games we have outrebounded our opponents which has not been the case for most of the year.”
The Dukes’ next home game will be Feb. 5 against George Washington at 7 p.m. in the Palumbo Center.