Duquesne Secures A-10 Championship Slot

Duquesne's women's basketball team closed the regular season with a 62-35 rout of the La Salle Explorers Saturday evening at the Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh. The win ensures Coach Suzie McConnell-Serio's team has a slot in next weekend's Atlantic 10 Conference Championships. Seeds will be announced later by the A-10.

The win also clinches at least a .500 season for the Dukes, who improved from last year's mark of 7-20, 2-12 in the Atlantic 10, to 15-14, 6-8 in the league, a gain of at least eight victories under Duquesne's first year head coach.

Senior forward Jade Singleton led the Dukes with a double-double: 12 points on 5-for-8 from the floor, and a game-best 13 rebounds. Junior point guard Kristi Little also had a dozen points, to go along with six rebounds, seven assists, four steals, four turnovers for a 1.75 assist / turnover ratio.

Sophomore Amanda Peck added three blocks and 12 rebounds as the hosts won the battle of the boards, 48-35. The other player honored on senior night, guard Jocelyn Chandler, had five points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal in 29 minutes of action.

    Seven returning players will be joined by two MAC transfers (Rachel Feederick, Eve Pyle) and at least two recruits (Jackie Babe, Alex Gensler) for the 2008-09 season.

The Dukes outshot La Salle, hitting 40.7 percent overall and 47.1 percent from beyond the arc. The Explorers, who made half (11) of Duquesne's field goals, shot 20.0 percent, including 17.6% from three-point range. La Salle (12-17, 4-10 A-10) entered the game with a 40.4 percent shooting average, and scored @ 24 points below their game average (58.8 ppg.).

Duquesne grabbed their first lead, 5-4, on Little's traditional 3-point play free throw with 16:47 left in the first half. A layup by Carlene Hightower returned the edge to La Salle, 9-8. Samantha Pollino's jumper 30 seconds later put the Dukes ahead for good, 10-9, with just under six minutes played.

DU extended the first half lead to as many as 10, 21-11, on a Peck free throw at 8:40, and went to the break with a 23-17 lead.

Duquesne opened the second half with 12 straight points for a 35-17 lead with 13:44 left to play. The final result was the Dukes' largest margin (27 points).

Hightower was La Salle's only double-digit scorer, tying Little and Singleton with a game high of 12 points. Melanie Gibson had eight rebounds and two assists.

LSU and Fordham (0-14) will miss the 2008 playoffs which begin in Philadelphia on Friday, March 7, 2008.

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