Balanced Duquesne women pull away for WNIT win

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What was a constant for the Duquesne women's team this season was evident again Friday night in a 62-52 victory against Mount St. Mary's in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament Friday night at Palumbo Center.

Four players -- starters Raegan Moore (13), April Robinson (12) and Wumi Agunbiade (10) and reserve Orsi Szecsi (10) -- reached double figures for the Dukes, who improved to 20-12. Duquesne travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a second-round game at 7 p.m. Monday against Michigan. The Wolverines routed Stony Brook, 86-48, in the first round.

Mount St. Mary's finished 19-14. The Mountaineers' top scorers were Sydney Henderson with 14 points and Jacqueline Brewer with 10.

The game featured a series of runs for both teams. After the Mountaineers closed the gap to 49-47 on a three-point play by Ashley Christie with 4:25 left in the second half, the Dukes outscored the Mountaineers, 11-4, with Moore's two free throws to give Duquesne a 60-51 lead with 17.6 seconds left.

"It was a game of runs," Duquesne coach Dan Burt said. "We stuck with the people that have gotten us here and gotten us 20 wins. That, by no means was a pretty basketball game. I was disappointed by the way we shot the ball in the last three weeks, and it continued [Friday night]. We shot very poorly."

Mount St. Mary's coach Bryan Whitten was disappointed that his team missed 10 free throws.

"We usually hit 73 percent, and we don't turn the ball over," he said.

Duquesne had a hand in forcing 22 turnovers, eight in a three-minute span of the second half when Duquesne rallied from a 40-39 deficit to take a 47-40 lead.

"We average about 15 turnovers a game," Whitten said.

The Dukes made 20 of 54 field-goal attempts and were 3 of 9 from 3-point range. The Dukes also converted 19 of 27 free throws that included 7 of 8 in the final 4:04.

Orsi and Agunbiade came close to double-doubles with nine and eight rebounds, respectively.

"They were both near a double-double, but those were two of the ugliest near double-doubles I've seen in my life," Burt said. "For us to have success as we go forward, we're going to have to shoot the ball better."

The Dukes were behind, 16-8, with just under nine minutes remaining in the first half, but Robinson hit a layup and then drilled a 3-point goal to cut the lead to 16-13 with 8:06 left in the first half.

The Dukes then went on a 9-2 run to take a 22-18 lead with 4:22 left in the half.

Neither team amassed a lead of greater than eight points until Moore made those two late free throws. Robinson's layup with nine seconds left was the final margin, and it was the first time either team had a double-digit lead.

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