Duquesne Dukes Push Win Streak To Seven


Duquesne Dukes guard Olivia Bresnahan had 14 rebounds in a 58-51 overtime victory against Richmond. Photo courtesy Stephen Pope.

The Duquesne Dukes women’s basketball team led for 13 seconds in regulation however its resiliency resulted in a 58-51 overtime victory against Richmond.

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The victory extended the team’s winning streak to seven games. Duquesne (18-8, 10-3 Atlantic 10) moves into solo third place in the conference standings while Richmond (16-10, 8-5) is fifth.

“I’m so proud of our team tonight, the grit and toughness we displayed played with tonight was in a sense overwhelming,” coach Dan Burt said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the kids and coaching staff we have. Our program is really defined on grit and toughness, we’ve tried to develop that and we saw it come to fruition tonight.”

Leading the way for the Dukes was junior guard April Robinson who scored 17 points and added nine rebounds. Senior guard Belma Nurkic contributed 11 points while fellow senior guard Olivia Bresnahan had 14 rebounds and five steals. Duquesne had a 17-6 advantage in points off turnovers and won the rebounding battle 52-39.

The Spiders were led by guard Janelle Hubbard‘s game high 21 points. Guard Lauren Tolson assisted with 10 points.

Richmond was the aggressor early scoring the first seven points and 10 of the first 12. Robinson however allowed Duquesne to get back into the game and in the process made her 75th three point basket of the season which is a single season record. Robinson now has 163 three point makes which allowed her to pass Korie Hlede for fourth place all-time. She needs 21 more makes to move into solo third place.

Despite this, it was Richmond that created separation with a 10-0 run to take a 26-14 lead with 6:28 to play in the first half. The lead grew to 13 points before Duquesne cut its deficit to 32-23 at the half.

“Having 12 turnovers in the first half was really uncharacteristic of us and we weren’t playing Duquesne basketball so we had a little bit of a talk, cleaned it up and pushed ourselves,” said Bresnahan. “We weren’t playing with Richmond in the second half, Richmond had to play with us.”

Duquesne continued to chip away at the Richmond advantage in the second half with Nurkic making two free throws to make the score 42-39 Spiders with 9:11 to play in the second half.

The Dukes did not lead until Nurkic converted an and-one opportunity finishing at the free throw line.

Down 49-48, Richmond converted another and-one chance with Liz Brown putting the Spiders up 51-49 with 26 seconds to play in regulation. Duquesne came up empty on its next possession and fouled Genevieve Okoro who missed both free throws with Deva’Nyar Workman rebounding the ball with 13 seconds to play.

Workman who shot 1-7 in the contest drove and made a bounce pass to Amadea Szamosi who made an open lay-up with one second to play.

Szamosi went out early in the game with a split eyelid and came back into the game despite doctors expressing their doubts that she could see clearly.

“Dev’s (Workman’s) ability to drive it to the basket and bounce pass especially when she was 1-7 from the floor and not having a good shooting night… that’s what our team is really about, sharing the ball and really taking care of one another,” said Burt.

In the overtime period, neither team scored a basket, however Duquesne was the aggressor as evidenced by its trips to the free throw line. Richmond shot 0-7 in the overtime period with two Nurkic free throws representing the winning points. Nurkic has made 56 of 59 free throws this season for a 94.9 percent success rate.


Duquesne will play its next game Sunday at 2 pm where it hosts Rhode Island. The game will also serve as senior day with Olivia Bresnahan, Jose-Ann Johnson, Stasia Carey, Belma Nurkic and head student manager Monica Chmiel all being honored for their respective contributions to the team.

My take: The following is a quote from Burt after a win earlier in this win streak.

“Every win is important,” Burt said. “Not having a let down might be even more important. At some point you will face adversity or a let down. The question is how will you handle that adversity? We did well, no panic, no loss of focus; just grind and shine.”

The Dukes have won nine consecutive home games and there is a reason why. This team is now in the discussion for a potential berth in the NCAA Tournament. This was a goal last season but instead resulted in a WNIT berth. In my opinion, this is an NCAA Tournament team. Duquesne can rebound, get stops when needed and has a good core that does not take days off and a bench that is ready to answer the call whenever a name is called to come into the game. Burt’s quote referenced how important it was not to have a let down after emotional wins at St. Bonaventure and Fordham and very much applies to this game. The Dukes committed too many turnovers in this game and with the exception of 13 seconds in regulation did not lead in this contest until the overtime period. All that matters though is that Duquesne for a seventh consecutive time had more points than the opponent when the final horn sounded. Sunday will be an emotional day considering how many people will be honored so it will be important to not let down in the game after everyone is honored.

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