PITTSBURGH — The Duquesne Dukes (10-15, 5-8 A10) defeated the Richmond Spiders (14-12, 5-8 A10) 80-68 Wednesday at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse behind Precious Johnson’s double-double (14 points, 12 rebounds). Fatou Pouye led the team in points with 20, and was joined in double-digits by Tess Myers (15), Libby Bazelak (13), and Amaya Hamilton (12). Meg McConnell, while only scoring 3 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 6 assists.
It was the first repeat opponent of the season for the Dukes. The first time around, Richmond pulled out the win at home on Jan. 1 82-76. Head coach Dan Burt said after the game that the difference between the last month and a half has been aggressiveness. “The biggest difference? We were aggressive. We were just really, really aggressive offensively.”
That aggressiveness led to a 46-28 advantage of points in the paint.
“That’s our guards getting into the lane,” said Burt after the game. “When we don’t have success, we tend to go around the arc and we don’t get penetration. That’s our kryptonite. When we play like this, it’s hard for anyone to beat us.”
The Dukes jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead thanks to an Amaya Hamilton layup and a Tess Myers jumper. Richmond battled back, and the teams traded leads for most of the first quarter. Duquesne went on an 8-2 run to take a 15-9 lead with 3:19 to play and ended the quarter with a slim 17-14 lead. That lead hovered between three and six points for most of the second quarter until Amaya Hamilton hit a jumper to give Duquesne a 30-25 lead. The Dukes went on a 12-7 run to take a 42-32 lead into halftime.
Richmond came out in the second half on a 7-0 run to pull within three points, but that was as close as the Spiders ever got. A 9-2 Duquesne run in response, capped by a Tess Myers three-pointer just over halfway through the third quarter to bring the lead back to 10 points, 51-41.
At one point, the Dukes led by 16 points, 75-59, halfway through the fourth quarter. Richmond pulled within 10 at one point, but it was all the Spiders could muster.
It was the highest number of points scored this season for Duquesne.
“It’s very encouraging,” said sophomore forward Amaya Hamilton after the game. “We’ve been working a lot individually with the coaches on different movements and looks that we can get out of the offense.”
First-year guard Tess Myers agreed. “We faced a lot of adversity over the last two years so I’m really proud of us for coming together and being successful tonight.”
MAJOR FOCUS: DUQUESNE SNAPS 4-GAME LOSING STREAK, DEFEATS RICHMOND 80-68