RICHMOND, Va. - A three-point play by Amadea Szamosi with 20 seconds remaining propelled the seventh-seeded Duquesne Dukes to victory, eliminating the two-time defending Atlantic 10 Champion George Washington Colonials 62-58 Friday evening in the third quarterfinal of the 2017 Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Championship.
The second-seeded Colonials, who led by nine points with 6:26 remaining, retook a 58-57 lead with 25 seconds left on a short jumper by Caira Washington, who joined Lexi Martins to score 12 points each to lead George Washington. After Szamosi's three-point play, the Dukes forced a five-second violation on the ensuing inbounds pass attempt by the Colonials. Conor Richardson hit 2-of-4 free throws in the final seconds to seal the upset victory.
"We talked about being competitive for forty minutes, and we couldn't have a three-minute spell, that (kind of) lapse against George Washington and their seniors, and we didn't," noted Duquesne head coach Dan Burt. "Overall, the way we played today, and the way George Washington played, was championship basketball. Our kids truly love each other. That's a dangerous thing in March."
"I knew I had to keep my mind clean, trust my teammates, and that we had to score," Szamosi said when asked about the game-winner. "I'm just really proud of everybody."
Szamosi led the Dukes (17-14) with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists, while Julijana Vojinovic had 13 points and Chassidy Omogrosso added 10. Conor Richardson scored seven points, but came away with 15 rebounds, nine of them offensive.
The Colonials (20-9) saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end, a streak that began after a 73-63 home loss to Duquesne on January 29th. Martins added 12 rebounds to register a double-double, while Shannon Cranshaw contributed 10 points.
"Sometimes in basketball the ball bounces your way, and sometimes it doesn't," explained George Washington head coach Jennifer Rizzotti. "I'm disappointed for my seniors; I can't imagine walking into a group like Hannah (Schaible), Shannon and Caira. Hopefully, the sting of the loss will last a little bit, so hopefully, this blip on the screen won't affect us."
The win marks Duquesne's third straight appearance in the Atlantic 10 Championship Semifinal round where they will face the winner of Saint Joseph's and La Salle on Saturday at 1:30pm at the Richmond (Va.) Coliseum.