Rich Donahue | The Duquesne Duke
The Duquesne women’s basketball team (2-2) suffered a heartbreaking 68-60 loss to the Green Bay Phoenixes (2-1) in a nonconference game Sunday afternoon in the home opener at the A.J. Palumbo Center.
The Dukes came out of the gate strong leading 18-8 with 11:45 left in the first half. But with both Seniors Orsi Szecsi and Wumi Agunbiade, who led the Dukes in scoring with 15, on the bench due to foul trouble, the Phoenixes came back into the game with a 20-10 run tying it up at 28. The first half ended with the Dukes clinging to a 2 point led. Both the Dukes and Phoenixes were in the bonus in the first half with 26 combined fouls.
Coach Dan Burt stated they are expecting to play physical games throughout the beginning of the season.
“We are expecting this type of game through November and December and into January,” said Burt. “There is a point of emphasis from the NCAA for officials to call the game differently than in years past.”
The second half began with the Red and Blue and the visiting Phoenix trading baskets until the Dukes seemed to pull away leading at one point 52-41 with 8:34 remaining in the game. However, the Dukes were held without a basket for nearly six minutes which allowed the Phoenix to gain a led that they would never relinquished. Fouls were again a factor in the second half with a combined 29 with five foul outs. Four of the five starters for the Dukes (Agunbiade, Szecsi, Junior Jose-Ann Johnson and Sophomore April Robinson) fouled out while one starter for the Phoenix fouled out (Junior Megan Lukan).
Burt said after that this loss was on him.
“I take the brunt of this loss,” said Burt. “We went seven minutes without a score when Green Bay went zone in the second half. I thought we had some good looks, good touches but at the end of the day I probably to call another timeout to get us another look inside”.
The only Duke starter to not foul out of the game was senior Raegan Moore, who scored 13 points. Moore was coming off a career high 35 point game in last week’s win at Kent State.
Moore, who was starting her fourth career game for the Dukes, says she is just trying to help the team out.
“I thought I was finding a rhyme today, but I only shot 1 for 6 from the 3 point line,” said Moore. “I score when I can and I try to help my team out.”
Burt stated that he and the rest of the coaching are happy with Moore’s progression so far this season.
“Raegan has played really well for us and we are happy about what she has given us so far this season,” said Burt. “Today she did not shoot the ball as well as she has in past games but she was under the weather and still played the second most minutes on the team.”
The Dukes will play Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. at the A.J. Palumbo Center as they will take on the Buffalo Bulls in nonconference action in the third annual Education Day game.