Joey Sykes | The Duquesne Duke
The Duquesne women’s basketball team advanced out of the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament after trumping Mount Saint Mary’s 62-52 on Friday night.
A well-balanced Dukes team was able to hold off their opponents through 40 minutes of action despite some quality scoring runs by the Mountaineers.
In their sixth straight WNIT appearance, Duquesne started on a strong note, holding The Mount scoreless through the first few minutes thanks to some strong defensive pressure.
Through the middle of the first half, the defensive pressure dwindled on an 11-0 Mount St. Mary’s run. The Dukes responded with a couple big runs of their own later in the half. The Red & Blue closed out the first 20 minutes leading The Mount 28-23.
First-year head coach Dan Burt was proud of his players for the win, but knew they had a lot to work on.
“We always celebrate till midnight, or drown our sorrows till midnight, so we are going to enjoy this,” Burt said. “I was disappointed with the way we shot the ball. For us to have success as we go forward, we are going to have to shoot the ball better.”
The game tilted back and forth throughout the second half. The Dukes struggled to pull away until a late-half surge secured a victory.
Four players on the Dukes scored in the double-digits, including seniors Orsi Szecsi and Wumi Agunbiade who both had 10 points. Guards Raegan Moore and April Robinson put up 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Agunbiade thought her teammates worked well together through the moments in the game where they struggled.
“I believe good teams are able to find a way to win and we did that today,” Agunbiade said. “We just have to try to stay in it mentally and push through adversity.”
April Robinson agreed.
“We just kept our momentum and we didn’t lose our composure or anything,” Robinson said. “I think it has to do with us on the court and our coaches. If we don’t panic, our coaches don’t panic.”
The Dukes found out after their Friday night matchup that they would be taking on Big 10 squadMichigan in Ann Arbor three days later on Monday.
The Dukes faced the Wolverines on Monday. They fell 68-52 in a game where the WoShow put on their final act. In their final games in Duquesne jerseys Agunbiade put up 13 points, six assists, and five rebounds while Szecsi scored 16 points off the bench.