PITTSBURGH — The Duquesne Dukes (8-11, 3-4 A10) survived a furious third quarter comeback bid from the George Mason Patriots (6-12, 0-6 A10) to take the 67-55 win Wednesday night at the Cooper Fieldhouse.
Tess Myers scored 15 points for the Dukes, all from beyond the three-point arc, as Laia Sole (14), Fatou Pouye (12), and Precious Johnson (12), joined her in double digit points.
After jumping out to an early 8-2 lead with Myers’ first three in the first quarter, the patriots pulled within a point, 8-7, behind an Amaya Scott jumper. Scott, the Patriots’ team leader in points and rebounds, was held to just 10 points, four in the second half.
the Patriots kept it close through the first quarter, but the Dukes pulled away in the second to take an eight point lead into halftime, 37-29.
George Mason made the right adjustments coming out for the third quarter, though. The Patriots outscored Duquesne in the third quarter, 17-10 and took their first lead of the game in the process, with 2:28 left. The Dukes kept it close, but shots weren’t falling, as head coach Dan Burt lamented afterwards.
“Shots just weren’t falling. When shots don’t fall, we get down on ourselves a little bit and our defensive energy and effort just isn’t there,” Burt said after the game.
It was almost like a tale of two halfs. When Pouye’s three-pointers weren’t falling and Sole started to struggle, it would have been easy for the Dukes to throw in the towel. But Duquesne has taken steps forward with this roster. Production has started to come from more depth. When Pouye’s shots weren’t falling, Tess Myers stepped up and hit four three-pointers in the second half, including the one that gave Duquesne the lead back for good with just seconds left in the third quarter, 47-46. When Sole started struggling, Precious Johnson stepped up her production, converting six field goals in the second half.
Even first-year Megan McConnell had herself a night with 9 points, 7 assists, and 8 rebounds. While not quite the triple-double fans might have been hoping for, there’s no doubt the impact was there.
Duquesne outscored the Patriots 20-9 in the fourth quarter and grabbed their third win in conference play to improve to 3-4. The win keeps the Dukes in 10th place in the conference after Wednesday’s games.
“The level of competition has gotten to the point where almost anyone can make it to the semifinals [of the A10 Tournament],” Burt stated after the game.
MAJOR FOCUS: Duquesne defeats George Mason, 67-55