Duquesne women fall in overtime

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 10:36 p.m.

To lose an important game Wednesday against Saint Joseph's would have been difficult for Duquesne coach Suzie McConnell-Serio to take no matter how it happened.

To lose, 69-68, on free throws made it so much worse.

After the Dukes fought back from a 14-point deficit in the second half to take the lead with 25 seconds to play on a layup by senior guard Jocelyn Floyd, the Hawks tied the score on free throws and forced overtime. Duquesne had a four-point lead with 1:44 left in the extra period, but frittered it away and lost a key Atlantic 10 Conference showdown.

Saint Joseph's (17-6, 8-1 A-10) went ahead on a layup and a 3-point shot.

Duquesne (19-5, 8-2) regained the lead on a layup by guard Ahjah Hall, but a foul called on Stasia King with 18 seconds left sent the Hawks to the line again. The Hawks, the second-best free-throw shooting team in the conference, made both shots, and the Dukes couldn't do anything on their final possession.

Saint Joseph's was 20 of 27 from the line. Duquesne, which ranks last in the conference in free-throw shooting at 63.3 percent, was 13 of 27.

“I'm not going to lie, this one hurts,” McConnell-Serio said. “When you look at the opportunities we had, and what an important game this was, it's very disappointing right now.”

Duquesne entered in second place in the A-10 behind undefeated Dayton, but with just one more win than Saint Joseph's, Charlotte (7-1) and Fordham (7-2).

The Dukes have four games remaining in the regular season, beginning Monday at No. 17 Dayton (21-1, 9-0). They'll most likely play that game, and perhaps more, without starting forward Orsi Szecsi, who re-injured her right shoulder in the second half.

“This was a huge game for us, and we knew that coming in and we didn't respond,” McConnell-Serio said.

Duquesne started the game doing everything right, forcing turnovers and disrupting Saint Joseph's offense. The Dukes scored at a nearly 43-percent pace during the first five minutes, but when the Hawks turned up the pressure, the Dukes struggled to respond. Saint Joseph's went on a 9-0 run that gave them a two-point lead before April Robinson got it back for the Dukes with a 3-point shot to make it 14-13.

The Hawks didn't let up and led at halftime, 35-25. Saint Joseph's led by 14 with 17:43 left in the game.

“We fought to the end and made a great comeback,” Floyd said. “We just couldn't finish.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

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