Duquesne women’s basketball led wire to wire for their first Atlantic 10 win in as many games against St Bonaventure 73-65. They dominated their rivals for the final ten minutes of the first to build a nineteen point half time advantage. It turns out they needed all of their buffer stay ahead for the duration.
The Bench. The Dukes essentially won the game by building a huge lead in the first and they did it largely on the backs of their deep reserves. Averaging less than five minutes a game, Amadea Szamosi got herself a double double before the break against a small Bonnies lineup riddled with foul trouble. Fellow frosh big Kyasia Duling ate eight minutes.
Transition offense. I thought the Dukes left quite a few easy baskets on the floor with some hesitation or bad decision making in transition. Only four fast break points for the Dukes.
Duke’s Interior Foul Trouble. Both Wumi Agunbiade and Stasia King found their way to the far end of the Duquesne bench before amassing nine minutes of combined playing time in the first half. To add fuel to the fire, King picked up both of hers on offense. Thankfully, Szamosi was up for the task and the Bonnies found themselves in foul trouble of their own.
The Moment I Knew It Was Over
Reagan Moore’s defensive rebound with 31 seconds remaining. With the Dukes up seven, she didn’t even need to make her foul shots, but she did for good measure. Really, I felt pretty good about the win after Gabrielle Richmond fouled out though it was far from over with six minutes left.
Play of the Game
Szamosi with a spinning drive down the lane for a lay up in the first. Looked great and it certainly got the fans going.
Player of the Game
Katie Healy. The box score says Katie Healy missed seven shots but it didn’t feel like it. If not for her and the three point heroics of Nyla Rueter, this ends up as a walk for the Dukes.
Giving Credit Where It’s Due
St Bonaventure has a nice young core to build around and they played with much more maturity than their class standing indicates. Sure, they got into late first half foul trouble but they played a pretty mistake free second half and showed guts cutting deeply into that Duquesne half time lead. They also showed some toughness keeping the rebounding margin within 2 in spite of their much smaller lineup.
I don’t get to comment much on women’s basketball since I don’t get out to many games, but when I do, I enjoy myself. Atmosphere is generally fantastic and it gets just as loud in the AJP as it does with half the fans that attend the men’s games.
I don’t like to comment on the future within the season, but I think the Dukes have plenty of size and talent to maintain their level of play from over the past few years into next season even without stars Wumi Agunbiade and Orsi Szecsi. Next year’s group might not be as skilled, but they will have all the size and enough guard play to match this group. Unfortunately though, that means its WNIT and a 50-80 RPI for the foreseeable future unless Burt develops his players better than Suzie McConnell Serio did when she was at the helm. He doesn’t appear to be the X’s and O’s coach that McConnell Serio was so he’ll need to make up for it with talent.
Also it was great meeting City of Champions’ writer Zachary Weiss at halftime. If you’re a fan of women’s basketball and twitter, he’s a must follow him @ZacharyMWeiss