Offense is lacking for Duquesne women's basketball squad
By Karen Price
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 11:00 p.m.
After jumping to a 15-4 lead in the first six minutes of its final nonconference game against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday, the situation quickly turned for the Duquesne women.
Miami caught up, then went ahead as Duquesne struggled through long stretches without a field goal. The Dukes scored just 20 points on 29 percent shooting in the second half of a 54-49 loss that left coach Suzie McConnell-Serio striving to understand her team's offensive woes.
“We've just struggled to shoot the basketball,” McConnell-Serio said. “We can't find answers. … It's just frustrating.”
Despite the Dukes' struggles, they enter the Atlantic 10 season at Xavier on Sunday tied for the second-best record in the conference at 11-3.
Two wins came against ranked teams, then-No. 17 Delaware on Nov. 14 and then-No. 20 West Virginia on Dec. 20. Delaware didn't have Elena Delle Donne, one of the top players in women's basketball, for the first game, and the Blue Hens beat the Dukes in the championship game of the Blue Sky Classic with Delle Donne playing on Dec. 30. But before Saturday, Duquesne's only other loss was against North Carolina, 62-58, currently ranked No. 11.
Compared to last season's nonconference results, Duquesne's scoring is down 11 points per game. In 2011-12, the Dukes averaged 71.6 points against nonconference opponents, including a loss to Cincinnati in the WNIT. Three players — Wumi Agunbiade, Alex Gensler and Orsi Szecsi — averaged double-figures in scoring.
Defense has been solid this year, and the Dukes are outscoring opponents by 9.9 points per game, but they are averaging just 60.0 points.
Agunbiade is the only player averaging double-figures, and her average has dropped from a team-leading 15.4 points per game in nonconference play to 12.6 this season.
Gensler graduated, and Szecsi's average is down from 11.3 points per game to 7.9 in nonconference play.
The losses to Delaware (45 points) and Miami (49 points) have been their two lowest-scoring games of the year.
Outside of a wrist injury that sophomore guard Belma Nurkic is playing through, McConnell-Serio said the team is healthy. It's just not scoring.
“Our magic number is 60; we have to score at least 60 points a game, and in our losses we're not doing it,” McConnell-Serio said. “We need more weapons. We need more contributions across the board, and we need to find answers.”
The consensus after the loss Saturday was that having a full week to concentrate on practice couldn't come at a better time.
“Everyone knows how important conference play is,” senior guard Jocelyn Floyd said. “I think the week we have off, we're going to come in focused and ready.”
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at email@example.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.