Duquesne women's basketball pulls rare upset
The Duquesne women's basketball team upended No. 17 Delaware, 51-47, on Wednesday in the Preseason WNIT consolation round at the A.J. Palumbo Center, marking only its fourth win over a ranked opponent in program history.
Junior guard Wumi Agunbiade led all scorers with 17 points and 12 rebounds — her first double-double of the season. Former Baldwin standout Belma Nurkic, a sophomore guard, added nine points and seven rebounds. Guard Jocelyn Floyd had seven steals.
Delaware (1-2) has played all three games without unanimous preseason All-American Elena Delle Donne, who is dealing with symptoms of Lyme disease. Delaware was led by Lauren Carra with 12 points. Danielle Parker finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.
“It feels great to know you beat someone recognized with the league,” Agunbiade said. “Despite not having their star player, I think we did pretty well.”
Three of Duquesne's wins against ranked opponents have come under head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio, the most recent coming against No. 12 Ohio State in 2010. They are 4-24 all-time against teams in the Top 25.
“It's a good win against a quality team, even without Elena Delle Donne,” McConnell-Serio said. “They have good inside game. They have good shooters, penetrators, and it's everything you're looking for in a team.”
With the Dukes leading by one, junior forward Orsi Szecsi drained a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left. Szecsi then took a charge, and Duquesne held on for the victory.
“There wasn't a bigger shot than the one Orsi hit,” McConnell-Serio said. “The first option was to go inside for a quick two to Wumi, but they did a nice job of taking that option away. Belma set a nice screen, and she was able to knock down the shot in rhythm, and that's when Orsi's at her best, when she's in rhythm.”
Duquesne led, 26-18, at halftime, but Delaware opened the second half on a 6-0 run.
McConnell-Serio called a timeout, and the Dukes responded with a basket by Agunbiade, but their 17 percent shooting in the first eight minutes allowed Delaware to stay close. The Blue Hens tied the game three times in 2 1⁄2 minutes and took their first lead with just over five minutes left.
Duquesne regained the lead on two free throws by Szecsi and with under a minute to play.
“We had some offensive struggles, and it was really difficult throughout the game to get any flow,” McConnell-Serio said. “But we talked down the stretch about finding a way to get it done.”
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.