Duquesne Dukes Win However Not Satisfied With Performance


Duquesne Dukes center Jose-Ann Johnson wins the opening tip. Duquesne defeated Saint Louis 77-64 Thursday in an Atlantic 10 contest. Photo courtesy Duquesne Athletics

It would be easy to be excited with a 13 point Atlantic 10 Conference win, however that is not the way the Duquesne Dukes women’s basketball team approached its contest Thursday against Saint Louis.

Instead the team was frustrated that after holding a 21 point lead at halftime, it lost its aggressiveness and lost the second half by eight points resulting in a 77-64 victory it could have been much more.

“All of our players in the locker room and coaches all agree that this was definitely not a clean win,” coach Dan Burt said. “We are definitely not satisfied or happy with our performance.”

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A bright side for the Dukes was that they got five scorers in double figures. Jose-Ann Johnson had a double-double with 11 points and a career high 12 rebounds. Also scoring 10 or more points was April Robinson (15), Olivia Bresnahan (13), Emilie Gronas (13) and Deva’Nyar Workman (10). Duquesne now is 10-7 overall and 2-2 in conference play. Saint Louis was led by Jamesia Price who scored a career high 19 points.

“It makes it harder to guard us because everybody can score,” said Johnson. “It’s not like there is one or two players like a lot of other teams have that you can key on. On our team, everybody can score at any time.”

Duquesne should be pleased with its rebounding. It came in at a +8 in conference play with Saint Louis a -2 in conference play. This was an area the Dukes should have exploited and they did with a +10 final margin with much of the difference being offensive rebounding (19-10).

The high point of the game for the Dukes came after the Billikens cut the Duquesne advantage to 13-10. In the next 9:23 Duquesne went on a 23-1 scoring run. It was a additional 49 seconds until Saint Louis scored. During this sequence the Billikens did not register a single shot attempt.

“We were able to challenge just about every shot that they took with high hands,” Burt said. “Sometimes it just doesn’t fall for a team and we were able to rebound the ball and score in transition, but we did a nice job there.”

Burt told the media in attendance at the game that he as well as his fellow coaches told his team that he wanted them to keep their feet on the accelerator however that did not happen and it visibly frustrated him. The locker room was certainly not immediately celebrating the win, but rather trying to try to assess what went wrong. With that said it is tough to maintain the same level of play for the duration of a contest. Robinson knows it will be back to the drawing board.

“It starts with practice,” said Robinson. “We try to go a full two hours of practice and then try to bring it into a game for the full 40 minutes hard. Sometimes there’s collapses and we have to find ways to overcome those. I really think we finished the game off poorly so it will be back to practice and back to the drawing board to make sure that does not happen the next game.”

Bresnahan had two big baskets that would ensure Saint Louis did not get too much momentum. With the Billikens trailing by 11 and 9:03 left in the game, Bresnahan used her dribble penetration from the top of the key to shake multiple defenders and score an easy layup. A similar situation happened with 2:44 to play and the Dukes up 12. Bresnahan again penetrated to the basket converting another lay-up this one coming with a foul. After the free throw, the lead was 15.

“Those were both good plays by Liv, we had to get an answer and we did,” Robinson said. “Obviously it helps with our momentum to get some stops on defense and on offense to get more open shots. One of the things our coaches preach is to get a shot each possession and I think we did that better.”


Duquesne will take a mixture of positives and negatives from this game. Preparations are well under way for a home contest Sunday afternoon at Saint Joseph’s. The 4 pm contest will be televised by the CBS Sports Network.

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