In a game that saw each team take a significant lead and lose it, Duquesne fell short against Penn State, 68-60, at UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon.
The Dukes (5-7) were down by as much as 11 to the Nittany Lions (7-5) and were able to tie the game in the middle of the fourth quarter, but were unable to take the lead. Dukes’ head coach Dan Burt was proud of his team’s effort and competitiveness, but acknowledged the missed layups and turnovers that were crucial in the loss.
“Certainly a game that was filled with a lot of mistakes,” Burt said. “When you have 20 turnovers and you have at least 20 missed layups and that’s your game right there…We’re certainly disappointed in the loss, very disappointed in the loss, because it was a game we could’ve won…”
Both teams started off going back-and-forth, tied at 9 with 4:46 left in the first quarter. Then the Dukes pulled off a 9-2 run, thanks to a 3-pointer from first-year guard Tess Myers, a layup each from sophomore center Precious Johnson and graduate guard Fatou Pouye and two free throws from first-year guard Megan McConnell.
The Nittany Lions pulled the lead back to four, 18-14 at the end of the first quarter, with a 3-pointer from junior guard Makenna Marisa, their first of the game after missing their first seven attempts from behind the arc.
It was a similar story to begin the second quarter, with each team scoring five points in the first two minutes. Duquesne then took an 8-4 run to lead 31-23, with Myers making a 3-pointer and a layup.
Penn State took control the rest of the quarter, going on a 13-3 run to take a 36-34 lead into halftime. Junior guard Mackenna Marisa led with seven points and sophomore forward Ali Brigham had five to combine for 12 of the 13 points on the run.
Myers led the Dukes back in the third quarter with a layup and a 3-pointer to tie the game at 40 with 7:32 left.
The Nittany Lions responded and went on a 10-2 run to take a 50-42 lead, with Marisa making a 3-pointer and a layup and then juniors, guard Shay Hagans and forward Anna Camden, made a layup and 3-pointer, respectively, to finish the run.
Penn State outscored Duquesne 9-7 the rest of the quarter to take a double-digit, 59-49 lead. Marisa scored seven of Penn State’s points on a 3-pointer and two layups to lead her team, while Myers and McConnell both hit 3-pointers to get Duquesne back in the game.
The Dukes managed to tie the game in the fourth quarter, starting on a 10-0 run. Sophomore guard/forward Amaya Hamilton and Pouye each scored four points to lead the Dukes, and also take advantage of some poor Nittany Lions’ offense.
Neither team could get anything to go the rest of the way, but Penn State managed to stop Duquesne’s run and hold them to only a free throw the rest of the way. Marisa scored a layup and two free throws to lead her team once again, as she finished with a career high 33 points.
McConnell spoke on how they knew that they could’ve won this game against Penn State, but that their problems were self-inflicted and can be fixed going forward.
“It’s our mistakes,” McConnell said. “We get frantic with the ball, we throw bad passes when we don’t need to. I think we need to take better care of the ball on offense and then our offense will come, but we don’t give it a chance because we’re either throwing it out of bounds or it’s a bad pass off our legs. I feel like once we limit our turnovers our offense will flow much better.”
Duquesne was supposed to finish their non-conference schedule on Tuesday with a game against Cornell at home, but due to COVID-19 concerns within the Cornell team, it has been cancelled.
The Dukes will instead wait until New Year’s Day to play at Richmond at 4 p.m. in the opening game of their A-10 conference schedule