The city has a new team to call the queens of basketball, at least for a year, as Duquesne upset No. 20 Pitt, 72-63, this afternoon at the Petersen Events Center.
The victory by the Dukes (10-4) snapped a four-game losing streak to the Panthers and improved their overall record in the series to 9-19. It was Duquesne's first win over a ranked team since Jan. 8, 1994, when the Dukes upset George Washington, 57-56.
Duquesne clearly outhustled Pitt (10-2) in the first half, and the statistics reflected as much. The Dukes had nine fastbreak points to Pitt's two, had as many rebounds as Pitt despite a big disadvantage in size and had four steals to Pitt's one.
The result was a 10-point halftime lead for Duquesne, but more importantly, the Dukes established themselves as the hungrier and more aggressive team and that carried over into the second half.
In fact, the Dukes controlled the entire second half and never let the Panthers get closer than six points as head coach Suzie McConnell Serio used her time-outs well when she needed to settle her team down.
The Dukes had a balanced attack with five players scoring in double figures, led by Vanessa Abel with 17, Alex Gensler with 14 and Samantha Pollino and Keri Pryor with 13 each.
Taneisha Harrison led Pitt with 17 points while Shayla Scott chipped in 16 and Chelsea Cole had six points and 21 rebounds.
Paul Zeise can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1720.