Women's Basketball Gets First-Ever Post-Season Victory - 64-56 Over Kent State in WNIT

March 17, 2011

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PITTSBURGH -  For the first time in program history, the Duquesne women's basketball team earned a post-season victory after its 64-56 win against Kent State in the opening round of the 2011 Women's National Invitation Tournament. The Dukes will move to the second round to play at Kansas on Saturday night.

Vanessa Abel led the Dukes (23-8) with 18 points. Alex Gensler scored 16 and Orsi Szecsi added 13 for DU who recorded its sixth win this season over a school from the Mid-American Conference.

Jamilah Humes led all scorers with 23 points and Ellie Shields recorded a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. Taisja Jones added 15 for the Golden Flashes whose season ends with a record of 20-10.

With KSU leading 16-13 at the 9:56 mark of the first half, Duquesne went on a 14-0 run over the next seven minutes to make take a 27-16 lead.

The Dukes' lead would reach 15 points at 34-19 after a 3-pointer from Alex Gensler with 30 seconds remaining until halftime.

KSU would cut the DU advantage to nine points early in the second half on a Jones 3-pointer to make the score 37-28.

Abel's back-to-back baskets 24 seconds apart put DU up by 14 with 14:34 left. The first was a fast-break off a behind-the-back pass from Szecsi followed by a coast-to-coast layup after a steal.

A 12-4 Kent State run capped by a Humes 3-ball got the Flashes within six points at 50-44 at the midway point of the half, but Duquesne was able to keep KSU at arm's length the rest of way.

"We're excited we're moving on," said head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio. "We had an awesome turnout from our student-athletes and had some great fans here tonight."

The crowd of 1,176 was the third largest this season.

"Orsi is definitely playing better and has turned the corner and understands where her shots are coming from. She's really stepping up for us and has grown as a player."

Szecsi tied career-highs with a team-high nine rebounds and three 3-pointers.

"Everyone is so valuable right now and to get contributions from all eight players is tremendous."

The Dukes were without Carly Vendemia (stress fracture in ankle) and Jocelyn Floyd (concussion).

"We knew if we executed, defended and played with a lot of confidence, we could win the game," concluded Coach Serio.

Duquesne will look for its 14th road win of the season when they take on the Jayhawks (21-12). Game time from historic Allen Fieldhouse will be at 8:00 P.M.


  • Gensler recorded a career-high with five steals

  • The Dukes improved to 21-2 when scoring 60+ points

  • DU recorded wins over MAC schools Akron, Ball State, Buffalo, Miami and Ohio earlier in the season and improved to 15-15 all-time against the teams in the conference

  • With Floyd out of the lineup, Szecsi made her second career start - her first was an 84-79 overtime win at Massachusetts on Feb. 2nd

    Kent State at Duquesne

    Scoring by halves
    Kent State (20-10)
    Duquesne (23-8)




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