Women’s team experiencing shooting woes early

Courtesy of David Hauge/Pittsburgh Sports Now | DU point guard Chassidy Omogrosso brings the ball up against Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 12.

David Borne | Staff Writer

Nov. 29, 2018

Almost through the first month of their season, the women’s basketball team is off to a bit of a rocky start. However, coming off consecutive wins over Saint Francis and Kent State, the team looks to finally be finding their stride. The win over Kent State on Wednesday night leveled out their record to 3-3 on the year.

Even with their mild inconsistency to kick off the 2018-19 campaign, there is no reason for Dukes fans to worry. Things will pick right back up to usual as the season progresses.

Of course, with a non-conference schedule as loaded with strong competition as this one is, losses here and there are to be expected. They managed to hang around with TCU in a losing effort in the season opener, and that was by no means a bad loss. Same with dropping a game to a Texas team that will compete for a national title this year.

However, the 13-point loss to Toledo on Nov. 18 is likely one Coach Burt and his squad wish they could have back. Toledo isn’t a bad team, and they did get some love in the MAC preseason polls, but nonetheless, it was a game Duquesne probably should’ve won.

Scoring from the guard position, usually Duquesne’s biggest offensive weapon, has been streaky so far this season — especially from beyond the arc. Coming into Wednesday’s matchup with Kent State, Duquesne was shooting just 24.7 percent from three as a team.

Last year, the Dukes ended the year with a 37.8 percent clip from 3-point land.

Senior guards Chassidy Omogrosso and Julijana Vojinovic, both All-Atlantic 10 First-Team selections, are the two Dukes struggling the most from downtown.

Entering Wednesday’s game, Omogrosso was shooting just 5-25 on the year from three-point range, with Vojinovic directly behind her at 3-21. Through the first five games of the season, the two are averaging just over 12 combined points per game.

The good news for the Dukes is that their post options are already in midseason form. Kadri-Ann Lass, an All-A-10 Second-Team and A-10 All-Defensive Team selection, has continued to produce down low, and has been the team’s most consistent scoring option so far this year.

Her post partner, Laia Sole, is just as talented as advertised, and is another reliable scoring option for Duquesne. The Maine transfer stood tied with Lass for the team lead in points per game (9.6) entering Wednesday night’s meeting with the Golden Flashes.

Paige Cannon has been another productive post option, with a highlight 17-point performance in the team’s win over Saint Francis on Nov. 25. Halle Bovell has also done a solid job adjusting to more of a forward role, and she seems to be settling in well.

On top of that, Libby Bazelak and Amanda Kalin have done a great job stepping up to help out at the guard spot. Both have emerged into efficient options on both sides of the ball, and their contributions have come up huge for Duquesne so far this season.

The non-conference path from here on out certainly does not get any easier. More competition against strong opponents will be good for a Dukes team looking to really settle in before conference play begins in January.

With teams such as Penn State, UCF, Eastern Tennessee State and Syracuse on the horizon, Duquesne still has plenty of opportunity to prove that they can hang with bigger programs.

It’s likely that the top team from the A-10 Preseason Coaches Poll will find its groove eventually.

Shooters are streaky. Everybody hits a rough patch here and there, and the shots will start to fall eventually. Omogrosso and Vojinovic will start knocking down shots, opening the floor up for multi-faceted Duquesne offense.

The season is long, and it still has a ways to go. Once everybody finds their shooting stroke, the Dukes will be back in championship form once again.

DU’s next game comes at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8 at Penn State.

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