Raegan Moore was the name thrown out by Duquesne women’s basketball coach Dan Burt when asked for who would breakout.
Moore scored 47 points in her two seasons prior with Duquesne University after transferring. She nearly matched that feat in one game Thursday night.
Moore sank nine a program record nine 3-point shots on her way to a career-high 35 points as the Dukes defeated Kent State 94-63 on the road.
“It felt good coming out of my hand every time, so I just let it fire,” Moore said. “My teammates kept feeding me the ball, so I kept shooting.”
The 94 points are the most Duquesne has scored in a single game since Nov. 14, 2011 – a 90-46 victory over Buffalo. Moore’s long-range shooting broke the old Duquesne record previously held by Alex Gensler.
“I think anytime you set a school record in 3-point shots and score 35 points, it’s certainly beyond being just a breakout, that’s a dominant performance,” Burt said. “Thank goodness we have her tonight, because we weren’t clicking on all cylinders. I expected Raegan to be a double figures scorer for us and I think she just needed belief and confidence.
“She certainly has that right now and has it in abundance. She has things going her way right now.”
Following a 1-1 weekend in Chicago, Duquesne looked to improve its defense and was able to force 26 turnovers as allowed the Golden Flashes just nine assists.
Kent State came out strong to open the game, scoring the first six points, but it was all Dukes from there. Moore replied scoring the first five Duquesne points before the first media timeout.
Duquesne got its first lead with 12:05 left in the first half thanks to a 3-point shot from Belma Nurkic. Nurkic finished with 15 points and shot 5 of 6 from the field.
The Dukes’ Wumi Agunbiade was held in check, scoring nine points and grabbing seven rebounds. Still, this was enough for her to eclipse 1,300 points for her Duquesne career.
The turning point in the game came with 11:10 left in the first half. With the score tied at 16, Golden Flashes forward Montia Johnson was called for traveling. She reacted by spiking the ball to the ground and was immediately called for a technical foul. Nurkic sank both free throws and helped start a 24-4 run in the next 7:30 of the game. Duquesne led 47-25 at the half.
In this game, the Dukes enjoyed two advantages. The first were the rebounds. In the first half, Duquesne outrebounded Kent State 22-9 and won the battle of the boards 39-26 overall.
The second advantage was the free throw line. Both teams shot well from the line, but Duquesne shot 63.2 percent last season and through two games this season was at 55.2 percent. In this game, the Dukes shot 20 of 23 for an 87 percent success rate.
“We don’t want to overemphasize it. We understand that to be an NCAA tournament team, we have to make free throws,” Burt said. “Other than that we have not stressed it or emphasized it. Some nights are better than other nights, but tonight I thought we did well shooting the ball from the line.”
Another key was April Robinson’s 11 assists, which were a career high. She told the press that attended media day that she wanted to work on getting more assists and communicating. Robinson also scored nine points in the victory.
Duquesne outscored Kent State 47-38 in the second half and all 10 players scored, which Burt said was important with the new rules in regards to fouls. He stressed that all 10 players would be needed to produce.
Up next for Duquesne is its home opener Sunday at 2 p.m. against University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
“Anytime you get a consistent top-25 team that is a mid-major power in women’s basketball to come to your gym, you’re always excited about that challenge,” Burt said. “It’s a very good RPI game for us, especially to have it at home. We have a lot of work to do between now and Sunday, because we are playing a very good team that plays a very distinct style.”
Burt takes students to museum
Normally on game days, players do a walk-through and then mentally prepare for the game. However, Burt had different ideas and took his team to the May 4 Museum on the Kent State campus.
The significance of the museum was that on May 4, 1970, Kent State had a student protest against the Vietnam War. The Ohio National Guard opened fire on the crowd and in 13 seconds four students were dead, one was permanently paralyzed and eight were injured.
The experience meant a lot to Moore.
“I really enjoyed the museum, it was kind of sad though, I wanted to cry. It’s great that coach Burt is starting to make us be student-athletes and getting educational field trips in,” Moore said. “He said there would be more to come, so we’re looking forward to those.”
The museum contains images, artifacts and multimedia to tell the story of the events leading up to and following the day.
Burt deemed the trip a success.
“I really do believe that we’re doing this not just for basketball, but for the school,” Burt said. “We can educate the kids in many different ways and I believe in us doing different things in cities like this. We’ll do something in Washington D.C., New York City and Philadelphia if time permits.
“Our first focus is basketball and school. The museum was a lot more impactful to our kids than I thought, I’m really glad I went.”