#DuqWBB Finishes Regular Season With 54-51 Win at Rhode Island
March 1, 2014
KINGSTON, R.I. - The Duquesne women's basketball team concluded the 2014 regular season with a 54-51 victory over Rhode Island on Saturday evening at the Ryan Center.
The Dukes (18-11, 10-6 A-10) were led by Wumi Agunbiade with 15 points and nine rebounds. Belma Nurkic came off the bench to score 11 points. Additionally, the victory is the Dukes' sixth conference road win, the most in program history.
The Rams (7-22, 2-14 A-10) were led by Samantha Tabakman who scored a game-high 16 points. Tayra Melendez added 15 for URI.
The first half started out slow as the game's first 11 possessions were empty with the teams combining for 0-for-6 shooting and five turnovers. The Dukes did not record a point until Raegan Moore's layup at the 15:32 mark. The Rams took a 6-4 lead heading into the under-16 media timeout.
Neither team would score until Nurkic converted on a fast break at 10:57 to even the score at 6-6. Johnson followed with a layup to give the Dukes their first lead of the game at the 10:16 mark. The Dukes defense held Rhode Island to single-digit scoring until Melendez's foul shot at 5:51 made the score 13-10 in favor of the Dukes.
Moore's fast break basket with 42 seconds remaining was the final basket of the half and gave Duquesne its first double-digit lead of the game, 26-15 heading into halftime.
April Robinson's layup at 18:23 of the 2nd half gave the Dukes a 14-point lead at 31-17 and by the midway point of the half, the Dukes would have their largest lead of the game, 17 points at 43-26. The Rams would respond with a 15-4 run to cut the Duquesne lead into single-digits at 47-41 with 5:32 remaining.
With the Dukes leading 52-49 with 35 seconds to play and URI with the ball, Melendez was fouled, missing the first shot, making the second. On the ensuing possession, Olivia Bresnahan was fouled and made 1-of-2 from the line, making the score 53-50 with 31 seconds left.
Tabakman missed a jumper with 20 seconds left and the ball went out of bounds in favor of Duquesne. Nurkic was immediately fouled and made her first foul shot, putting the Dukes up 54-50. Nurkic missed the second foul shot and the ball was rebounded by Melendez who was fouled with 18 seconds remaining. She made the first foul shot and missed the second. Moore pulled down the rebound and was fouled with 15 seconds to play. However, she missed both foul shots and Rhode Island had the ball and a chance to tie. With less than 10 seconds left, Teneka Whittaker was all alone on the left side, but opted not to take the wide open shot. The Rams could not get a shot off and called timeout with 6 seconds to play. Melendez's had an attempt at the buzzer, but the shot was off and Duquesne escaped with the 54-51 victory.
"Although I am happy we came away with the victory tonight, I am very disappointed in the way that we played in our half-court offense," said head coach Dan Burt. "We have shot the ball very poorly the last two games, so Monday we're going to get in the gym and shoot the ball."
Duquesne was 18-of 51 from the floor (35.3 percent) and 25-of-72 (34.7 percent) in Wednesday's loss versus La Salle.
"We did get really good contributions from Jose-Ann Johnson who took good shots in the post."
Johnson finished with 7 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals.
"It's a win. Now we are going to concentrate on the Atlantic 10 Championship," concluded Burt.
Duquesne will play on Thursday in the First Round of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Championship. Their seed and opponent will be determined after Sunday's game between Saint Joseph's and Fordham.
Duquesne at Rhode Island