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VCU & Fordham Have Streaks Snapped in Busy #A10WBB Wednesday

Release: 01/08/2014
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Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference

Duquesne 65, Fordham 61
The Duquesne women's basketball team ended Fordham's 12-game winning streak with a 65-61 victory on Wednesday night in Bronx, N.Y. The Dukes improve to 10-6 overall and 2-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference while the Rams, who were undefeated at home Rose Hill Gym this season, fall to 13-2, 2-1 A-10.

The Dukes were led by Wumi Agunbiade who scored a game-high 26 points. April Robinson added 13. Agunbiade pulled down a team-best nine rebounds and tied a career-high with five assists. Olivia Bresnahan also tied a career-high with five assists.

Fordham's Samantha Clark scored 22 and Erin Rooney 19. Emily Tapio had a game-high 10 rebounds.

The first half was played tight, with two ties and six lead changes. With Fordham up early 7-3, Robinson drained a 3-pointer from the right side at the 16:31 mark. After a Rooney layup, Agunbiade would hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to tie the game at 9-9 just before the 16-minute media timeout. Bresnahan would give Duquesne an 11-9 lead before the Rams would regain the advantage on a Rooney 3-pointer with 14:42 to play in the half.

With Fordham up 14-13 at the 13:51 mark of the half, Moore's layup gave the Dukes the go-ahead basket and a lead that they would hang onto for the rest of the game. The Duquesne first half lead would get a high as nine points two times - a Stasia King layup with 3:33 left made the score 27-18 and Agunbiade's jumper closed out the first half scoring with the Dukes leading 31-22.

Moore opened up the 2nd half with a breakaway layup that gave the Dukes its first double-digit lead of the contest at 33-22. Duquesne would extend its lead to 15 points at the 15:30 mark when Agunbiade finished an and-1 to make the score 47-32. The Dukes' largest lead of the game came at 5:40 when Belma Nurkic's jumper put Duquesne up 59-40.

Fordham came back with a 10-1 run over the next four minutes to get within 10 points at 60-50 with 2:01 remaining. Clark's 3-pointer with 17.9 seconds remaining closed the gap to five points at 61-55. Bresnahan was fouled on the ensuing possession and converted both foul shots, making the score 63-58 with 12 seconds to go. Bresnahan made 1-of-2 from the line before Rooney hit a 3-pointer with 4 seconds to play, making it a one possession game at 64-61. Moore was fouled with 2.8 seconds left, missing the first free throw and making the next to put the Dukes up 65-61. Fordham's Danielle Burns' 3-pointer at the buzzer was off.

La Salle 63, VCU 58
The La Salle women's basketball squad continued its impressive streak, winning its fifth in the last six games with a 63-58 upset of VCU at Tom Gola Arena on Wednesday night in the Atlantic 10 home opener.

The Explorers' 8-7 record is the best through 15 games in Head Coach Jeff Williams' tenure and is the best since the 2008-09 squad went 9-6 through its first 15. The Explorers also start the Atlantic 10 season at 3-0 for the second time in the past three years, also going 3-0 at the start of the 2011-12 season.

"It was a great team win," Williams said. "We're starting to get better, we're starting to play together as a team both offensively and defensively. It took some time but I think the kids are starting to believe. Of our top eight kids, seven of them are new, so it's taken a little time to gel and mesh. It's still a work in progress, but we're getting better and just have to take one game at a time."

Alicia Cropper exploded for a career-high and game-high 23 points, including four three-pointers. She bettered her previous career high of 17, reached twice this season. She added seven rebounds, and is leading the squad in scoring in A-10 games with 14.0 ppg in those three contests.

Leeza Burdgess continued to roll, recording her fourth double-double in the last five games with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Seven of those rebounds were on the offensive glass to help the Explorers post 16 second-chance points. Burdgess is averaging a double-double of 12.3 points and 11.3 rebounds in A-10 play so far.

The Explorer defense was stifling, limiting VCU to a season-low 58 points. The Rams entered the contest averaging 82.9 points per game and whopping 91.5 in their first two Atlantic 10 games this season, and their lowest point total before tonight was 67 in a 67-57 win at Texas-Pan American on Nov. 21. The Explorers also snapped the Rams' league-best and school-record 13-game win streak, dating back to an 83-71 loss at Ohio State on Nov. 14.

"Our success has been our defense," Williams added. "We just wanted to defend them. They came in averaging a lot of points, they play solid defense and they have the conference's leading scorer in [Robyn] Parks. We wanted to take away the three and we didn't do a great job of that. We got in early foul trouble and had to go zone... But we wanted to hold Parks down and take away the three and transition baskets."

Parks led VCU (14-2, 2-1 Atlantic 10) with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds. However, her 15 points were well below her league-leading average of 23.7 ppg heading into the game tonight.. Jessica Pellechio added 14 points, 11 of which came in the first half. She hit four three-pointers as well. Isis Thorpe chipped in 11, all in the second half.

Parks drained the first basket of the game and the visitors took an early 4-0 lead with two Zakia Williams free throws. The Explorers didn't get on the board until Siobhan Beslow hit the first of two free throws at the 17:10 mark. Just about a minute later, Jasmine Alston hit the Explorers' first field goal.

The Rams saw two more four point leads before the Explorers mounted an 8-0 run to take a 13-9 lead. Burdgess hit two freebies, and Beslow, Khristin Lee and Lisa Mintzer added buckets in the run.

Adaeze Alaeze broke up the run with a three to spark a 10-0 Ram spurt over the next 3:10 to put the score at 19-13 and force an Explorer timeout. The timeout was worth it, and the home squad responded with a 5-0 spurt to draw within one at 19-18 with 7:20 on the clock.

The Rams pushed their lead back to six with a 7-2 spurt and held a two-possession advantage until Beslow hit a jumper in the paint with one second left in the half for the 32-30 halftime score.

Cropper jumpstarted the scoring with a fastbreak jumper 15 seconds into the half and added a trey 40 seconds later to give the Explorers the lead back at 35-32. Parks responded with jumper to draw within 35-34 at 18:10.

Cropper then found Burdgess under the basket and she drained the bucket to spark an 11-3 run to give the Explorers a nine-point lead at 46-37 with 14:27 on the clock.

Two Micahya Owens free throws at 11:06 regained a nine-point advantage at 48-39, the largest either team would have down the stretch.

The Rams started chipping away slowly, eventually regaining a 57-56 lead on a Ryen Henry layup with just 1:12 remaining. The Explorers were unfazed, as Cropper scored what proved to be the game winner with a jumper with 43 seconds left to put the squad up 58-57.

Parks missed a jumper with 30 on the clock, which Burdgess picked up and the Explorers called timeout before a jump ball could be called. On the ensuing inbounds, Alston was fouled and sank both free throws for a three-point cushion with 19 seconds left.

After a VCU timeout, Thorpe tried to get off a three-pointer but was fouled and had the opportunity to tie the game on three free throws. She made the first to draw within two, but missed the second to force an intentional miss on the third. The Explorers picked up a team rebound to get the ball back after that miss. Thorpe then fouled Cropper, who made one of two with four seconds left to put the score at 61-58, and Lee iced the game with two made free throws with one second remaining after one more VCU foul.

La Salle shot 36.7 percent (22-60) from the field and 41.7 percent (5-12) from long range. The Explorers stepped up their game at the free throw line, going 77.8 percent (14-18). The Rams went 36.1 percent (22-61) overall and just 28.0 percent (7-25) from three. They were done in at the charity stripe, going a paltry 7-for-17.

The Explorers also owned a 45-41 advantage on the glass, including 15 offensive boards leading to the 16 second-chance points.

Dayton 91, George Mason 64
The University of Dayton women's basketball team defeated George Mason 91-64 in the Flyers' Atlantic 10 opener Wednesday night at the Patriot Center.

UD improves to 8-4 overall and 1-0 in conference play, while the Patriots drop to 6-10 overall and 0-3 in A-10 action.

10 Flyers scored in the game – including five in double figures –  led by junior Ally Malott's 19 points and 12 rebounds, her fourth double-double this season. Junior Andrea Hoover added 18 points, senior Cassie Sant had 14 points, sophomore Kelley Austria chipped in 11 points and 7 assists, and sophomore Amber Deane had 10 points.

The Flyers trailed early in the game. They were down 29-26 with 3:35 left in the first half. Back-to-back threes, the first made by the Flyers in the game, by Malott (1:45) and Hoover (39 seconds left) helped UD to a 38-32 lead. Dayton led just 38-32 at the half.

The Flyers shot 50 percent from the field (38-of-76) and held George Mason to just 38 percent (21-of-56). Dayton won the battle of the boards 46-35.

UD hosts St. Bonaventure this Saturday, Jan. 11 at 5 p.m. Fans who bring their men's basketball ticket stub from the morning Saint Louis game will be entered in a raffle to win a free Kindle.

Saint Joseph’s  72, Rhode Island 35
- Backed by a balanced attack, the Saint Joseph's women's basketball team topped Rhode Island, 72-35, in front of 2,451 fans Wednesday afternoon at Hagan Arena. The Hawks, who were hosting their annual "Field Trip to Hawk Hill," were led by sophomore Ciara Andrews' 13 points as they improved to 12-3 overall and 2-1 in the Atlantic 10.

Leading wire to wire, Saint Joseph's dominated the majority of the first half as it opened a 30-7 edge on a jumper by freshman Jessica Pongonis at 6:12. The Hawks' defense flustered the Rams causing four turnovers and held them to just 3-of-17 from the field and 1-of-2 from the foul line to start the game.

Saint Joseph's, which had seven players score in the opening half, took a 38-15 lead into the half, and quickly pushed its advantage even further in the second. Up 47-21, the Hawks used an 8-2 run to open a 55-23 lead on a three-pointer by Ilze Gotfrida at 11:13.

The Hawks continued to hold Rhode Island at a distance until the final buzzer.

For the game, Saint Joseph's shot 48.1 percent overall (25-of-52), 54.5 percent from three-point range (6-of-11) and 88.9 percent from the foul line (16-of-18). The Hawks also finished with a 45-25 edge in rebounding, including a 20-2 edge in second-chance points.

Individually, Andrews went 9-of-9 from the foul line and added a pair of field goals for 13 points, while classmate Sarah Fairbanks added 12 points and two blocked shots. Senior Erin Shields was the third Hawk in double figures, scoring 12 points to go with a career-best eight rebounds and six assists. Ten off the 11 SJU players to play scored a basket on the day.

At the other end, Rhode Island shot just 25.5 percent overall (14-of-55), went 4-of-15 from three-point range (26.7 percent) and just 3-of-6 from the foul line. Kerry Wallack and Sydney Lewis each had eight points to lead Rhode Island. The Rams fall to 5-11 overall and 0-3 in the A-10 with the loss.

St. Bonaventure 55, Richmond 43
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. - The St. Bonaventure women's basketball team defeated Richmond 55-43 on Wednesday in the team's A-10 Conference home opener. Katie Healy registered a double-double with a game-high in both points with 16 and rebounds with 10.  

The Bonnies took a one point lead into the halftime break (24-23), as they shot 7-23 (30.4%) from the field and 6-7 from the free throw line in the first 20 minutes while Richmond shot 9-24 (37.5%) and 2-3 from the line. Nyla Rueter and Katie Healy both recorded six points in the first half to lead all scorers along with Richmond freshman guard Janelle Hubbard. The Brown and White also converted on four of 10 from three point land before the break.

Rueter and Healy would continue to heat up in the second half as they combined to knock down the Bonnies first 10 points. After eight lead changes throughout first half, the Bonnies grabbed hold of the lead with just over four minutes to go in the first half and did not surrender it for the remainder of the game. The Brown and White extended their lead to as many as 13 points with two minutes left in the game. The Spiders did not get any closer than coming within four points since the eight minute mark of the second half. The Bonnies kept adding to their lead from that point forward and refused to look back as they would cruise to the 12-point victory.

George Washington 84, Saint Louis 61
– George Washington took command early in the second half and defeated Saint Louis 84-61 Wednesday night at the Charles E. Smith Center.

George Washington (12-4, 3-0 A-10), which extended its winning streak to eight, got 16 points, 14 assists and four steals from Danni Jackson. Caira Washington had 14 points and nine rebounds; Chakecia Miller tallied 13 points and six assists; Hannah Schaible registered 11 points, six rebounds and four steals; and Jonquel Jones contributed 10 points and six rebounds. Brooke Wilson collected eight rebounds as GW earned a 47-38 edge on the glass.

SLU’s Erin Nelson scored a game-high 17 points and was joined by Jamesia Price and Denisha Womack in double figures. Price tossed in 14 points and Womack added 11 for the Billikens, who fell to 5-10 overall and 0-2 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Sadie Stipanovich had eight points and a team-high eight rebounds, while Lexi Lopez and Nelson grabbed seven and six boards, respectively. Price added five rebounds and three steals.

Desirae Ball’s short pull-up jumper on SLU’s initial second-half possession put the Billikens on top 39-36, but that was the last lead Saint Louis would enjoy. Schaible answered with a trey of her own on GW’s next possession, a bucket that triggered a 17-4 flurry that put the Colonials in front 53-43 with 15:53 remaining.

Womack’s layup trimmed the margin to eight, but Wilson’s layup gave GW a double-digit advantage for good. The Billikens trailed 61-51 following Nelson’s jumper with 9:12 left, only to see the Colonials use a 13-3 run to build a 74-54 cushion with 4:59 to play.

GW got seven early points from Jones and owned a 13-5 lead at the 15:42 mark before the SLU offense kicked into gear.

Price’s first of two first-half 3-pointers ignited an 11-3 run that also included a Womack layup, Stipanovich’s baseline jumper, a driving layup by Price and Ball’s jumper in the lane, and it was 16 apiece with 13:26 left.

The Colonials tallied the next five points and later led 27-21 before an 11-4 spurt gave the Billikens their first lead. Price again sparked the run with a pull-up jumper, Womack followed with a three-point play, and two Nelson treys on consecutive possessions put the Bills on top 32-31 at the 5:33 mark. SLU went on to lead 37-36 at the break.

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