Dayton downs Duquesne despite Agunbiade's 30 points
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Duquesne senior Wumi Agunbiade scored 30 points, but her season-high performance Saturday wasn't enough to lift the Dukes past rival Dayton at Palumbo Center.
In a matchup between the Atlantic 10's top teams, the Flyers continued their recent dominance over the Dukes with an 87-77 victory that makes them 8-1 in the conference and 15-5 overall. Duquesne (16-8, 8-3) led for a brief time in the first half but trailed 45-37 at halftime.
Agunbiade was two points shy of tying a career best but took no satisfaction in the performance.
“Doesn't matter whatsoever because we didn't get the win,” she said. “That's what kills me.”
April Robinson added 19 points, but Duquesne shot just 35 percent in a whistle-filled game that saw the teams combine for 58 free throws.
Dayton shot 53.6 percent from the field and had five players in double figures, led by Andrea Hoover with 23 points.
“Dayton is a very good program, a team we kind of aspire to be,” Duquesne coach Dan Burt said. “We look at them as rivals, and we had the emotion of a rivalry, but we fell a little short. We're a couple possessions away from being equals.”
Duquesne leads the series 18-16, but Dayton has won the past four and six of the past seven. Duquesne's last win over the Flyers at home was an 83-69 victory Jan. 19, 2008.
Dayton built a 16-8 lead in the first five minutes, but Duquesne tied it at 18-18 on a 3-pointer from Belma Nurkic just before the midpoint of the first half. Agunbiade hit a pair of free throws, Nurkic stole the ball on Dayton's next possession and hit Agunbiade for a layup and 22-18 lead. But Dayton went on a 17-4 run over the next five minutes to lead 35-26.
Robinson made a pair of shots to make it 40-37 with 1:41 left in the half, but Amber Deane hit a layup and a 3-pointer for Dayton before the break.
The Dukes have lost two in a row after winning seven straight to move atop of the conference standings.
“We know we can compete with these teams,” Agunbiade said. “We're not playing our best basketball just yet. We're still making strides. We just have to watch film and learn from our slip-ups.”
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at email@example.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.
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