NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- In their first ever meeting, the Duquesne Dukes came out with a 61-58 win over the Iona Gaels. The Maroon & Gold came within inches of tying the game in the final seconds, but a pair of late three-point attempts by sophomore Alexis Lewis and senior Marina Lizarazu fell short.
Trailing 59-55, Lizarazu made her second triple of the game with 1:12 left off an assist from senior Karynda DuPree to bring the Gaels within one. Sophomore Kadri-Ann Lass made a bucket with 32 seconds left to give the Dukes a three-point edge. The Duquesne second year player had ten points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of three-pointers.
Head coach Billi Godsey called a timeout with 17 seconds left to set up the final possession. Iona got an open shot from Lewis with nine seconds left but it clanked of the back iron. Lizarazu collected the offensive rebound and had one final chuck that fell short of the mark as the clock hit zeroes.
Lizarazu and Lewis each tallied sixteen points to lead the team. Lizarazu finished with career-high nine rebounds and season-high six assists. Lewis had season-high three assists and collected a season-high two steals.
The Dukes and Gaels played toe-to-toe in the first half. They entered the break knotted at 24 apiece, with the help of a late lay up by Duquesne freshman Nina Aho. The Dukes forced 12 first-half Iona turnovers, leading to 11 points off turnovers. A strong 44.0 shooting percentage anchored the Gaels first-half performance.
The second half brought with it a large adjustment from the Maroon & Gold coaching staff. Duquesne senior Amadea Szamosi had 13 rebounds in the first half, but was limited to just two boards in the second half. The Dukes answered with Lass, who netted all 17 of her game-high points over the final 20 minutes.
Lewis scored 13 of her points in the second half, including all three of her long-range attacks. Iona recorded 12 of its 14 assists in the final quarters.
Senior Karynda DuPree had a season-high 10 points and four rebounds in the loss. Freshman Tori Lesko and sophomore Treyanna Clay each had eight points. The Maroon & Gold shot a season-best 44.8% for the game.
For the Dukes, Aho scored 16 points, and sophomore Chassidy Omogrosso ended up with 14 points, six assists, and two steals.
It’s a quick turn around for Iona. The Gaels travel to Annapolis, MD tomorrow and take on the Midshipmen on Monday night at 7 PM.