In a season that has been full of history making, the Duquesne women’s basketball team made even more history Saturday afternoon.
Behind a career-high 25 points from Deva’Nyar Workman, the ninth-seeded Duquesne women easily dismantled the eigth-seeded Seton Hall Pirates 97-76 to score their first ever NCAA tournament win in program history. This win comes five days after the Dukes secured their first ever NCAA tournament berth.
It was evident early in Saturday’s first-round contest that the Dukes were feeding off the excitement and buzz that has surrounded the program since Monday’s selection show. Duquesne hammered the Pirates early and often and never looked back from there.
The Dukes set the tone of the game by scoring the first eight points and led 12-3 in the first three minutes. That lead continued to grow throughout the first two quarters from steady play out of Workman and company.
After building a lead by as much as 13 in the second quarter, the Pirates began to show life for the first time in the game. Seton Hall slowly chipped away at the Dukes lead by scoring seven of the last nine points of the second quarter to make it a six-point game at halftime.
The Pirates made it a four-point game early in the third quarter, but that was as close as they were going to get. Duquesne ended the Pirates comeback hopes with a decisive 15-0 run to make it 66-47. The Dukes held a huge advantage the rest of the way to move on to the second round.
Behind Workman’s 25 points, three Dukes also finished in double-digits scoring wise. Kadri-Ann Lass added 20 points, followed by 16 points from Amadea Szamosi, and 15 points from April Robinson. The 97 points were the most points Duquesne has scored all season.
Workman’s impact showed large especially on the glass. Workman’s game-high 12 rebounds helped the Dukes outrebound Seton Hall 43-37. Seton Hall also normally dominates underneath, outscoring opponents in the paint by about nine points a game. But Duquesne won that battle 28-26.
Seton Hall was led by a team-high 17 points from Tabatha Richardson-Smith, who now have lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament two years in a row.
Duquesne’s historic season will face without question their biggest obstacle Monday night as they will take on the three-time defending NCAA champion, UConn Huskies. The Huskies battered the other Pittsburgh area school in the tournament this season, Robert Morris, earlier in the day by an unbelievable score of 101-49.
The banner season for the Dukes would be punctuated with a win over one of the most storied women’s basketball programs in America.
Photo credit: @GoDuquesne