FAIRFAX, VA— How you do in practice certainly can result in a correlation with in-game performance. The Duquesne women’s basketball team nearly learned that the hard way in a 72-56 road win against George Mason.
Coach Dan Burt admitted the Dukes had two days of practice which were below par and it clearly seemed to affect the team.
To the Duquesne friends and family members in attendance for Thursday night’s game, seeing a 32-31 halftime deficit against a rebuilding George Mason team had to be a little concerning.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well. At all,” Burt said of the team’s first half shooting struggles.
The Dukes had just run roughshod against three consecutive tough opponents. On this night though, it was a 6-8 team creating problems.
Though the Patriots clearly scouted Duquesne well and wanted the win, it was the Dukes who were doing a lot of the damage themselves.
In that first half, players clearly were not completing plays on offense and they knew it. The body language at times was absolutely atrocious.
Burt noticed that as well.
“I didn’t think we had great body language and I brought that up in two different huddles,” Burt said. “It was just like we were running in quicksand almost.”
Though Duquesne had a better second half, it should be no surprise that it was a silent library once again once the players left the floor.
“This was definitely a quiet locker room,” freshman forward Kadri-Ann Lass said. “We didn’t play well the first half and we were not happy with the game. We got the win, that’s good but now we have forget about this game and come back better.”
Lass made key shots down the stretch and finished with 13 points and nine rebounds, just missing a double-double. It appears she has become more of a consistent force in the Duquesne offense, though she downplayed this.
“I was just in the game and wanted to win so badly,” she said. “I didn’t think about getting the shots. We were down when we came back to play the second half, and our goal was to win the second half. It’s a team and that’s what I like. You’re happy for everyone.”
It was another good game for senior guard Deva’Nyar Workman. A 21-point 12-rebound performance was her second double-double of the season as well as her second 20-plus point contest this season.
Workman carried the Dukes first half offense and was the lone bright spot.
Key to the game: Getting to the free throw line is a sign of aggression and Duquesne fired 23 shots from there in comparison to George Mason’s seven. Sure passes into the post were defended well for most of the game but the plays often were not completed resulting in free throws. Workman was 9-9 in this game, getting to the line more than the Patriots did as a team.
Up next: The Dukes face Fordham Sunday at noon in a game televised on CBS Sports Network. Fordham is 6-9/1-1 A-10. The Rams are traditionally known as a tough defensive team which could test the Dukes offense to see what it learned in this game.
Photo credit: Ed Thompson