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Women's basketball falls in Philadelphia

By Chad Houck
On March 7, 2012

  • Alex Gensler shoots a three against George Washington in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament. She finished the game with 14 points. Courtesy Mitch Leff / Atlantic 10

In the Atlantic 10 tournament, there are no second chances. You lose and you go home. But those in-game shots that do arise can be deciding factors in the outcome.

In Saturday night's quarterfinal game against Temple (21-8, 14-1), the Dukes gave the Owls one too many second shots, as the tournament's second seed used 19 offensive rebounds to score 19 second- chance points to send Duquesne home with a 64-55 loss.

"We gave up way too many offensive rebounds and they capitalized, and number one on the board offensively was take care of the basketball … I think we needed to do a better job in both categories to be successful today," coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said.

After holding A-10 Player of the Year Shey Peddy to only three first-half points and forcing five turnovers, the Dukes (20-11, 8-8) allowed the 5-foot-7 guard to get back up off the mat as she scored 27 second-half points to doom the Dukes upset chances.

"They had a player who took over the game and there's no doubt in my mind that that was the difference," McConnell-Serio said.

Wumi Agunbiade scored 21 points, including nine at the line, but couldn't match Peddy's ability to put the team out of place.

"Her being able to get to the basket and her beating our guards at the point, it put the post out of position and they were able to guards up high for their post and they are long and athletic and they were able to take advantage of that," Agunbiade said.

Duquesne led the game at the half 25-24 and opened up their biggest lead 39-31 following a Szecsi jumper, but Peddy quickly turned it on and the Owls came back with an 8-0 run to tie the game at 39. A few possessions later with the score still tied, Peddy drove hard into the lane and past the basket, into the front row of the baseline bleachers. After being cared for behind the basket with the crowd in silence, Peddy left the court under her own power and re-entered the game with a bandaged nose just three minutes later with nine to play in the game.

She scored 20 points in the final nine minutes, and the Owls broke away from a 45-44 lead to lead 51-44 and never led by less than five from that point on.

Orsi Szecsi recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Alex Gensler, in her last A-10 game, scored 13 points, but had four turnovers to add to the team's 19 total giveaways.

Szecsi said handling the ball throughout the game was an exhausting challenge.

"It was really tough because we had to stop on defense because they were outrebounding us and if we got a rebound we had to handle their pressure on the offensive side," Szecsi said. "I just felt like we ran out of gas a little bit.

The Owls scored 20 points off of the 19 turnovers, many of them entry passes from the point to the wing that led to easy baskets. They pulled away down the stretch as Duquesne's guard depth thinned out with the lingering absence of former starter Vanessa Abel who has been out of the lineup with a patella injury since the first week of January. 

"It hurts us just because she was our leader on the floor, she was our playmaker and it depleted our depth," McConnell-Serio said. "Our players have had an entire conference season to play without her so we haven't looked to use that as an excuse by any means."

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