Dukes Comeback Falls Short at GW, 85-82

Duquesne's women's basketball team, down by as many as 22 points in the first half, fought back behind Kristi Little's 29 points and 19 from Samantha Pollino but fell a basket short to George Washington, 85-82, in an Atlantic 10 Conference game Saturday afternoon at the Smith Center in our post-inauguration nation's capital.

GameTracker | Box Score

This is the second consecutive conference road game where the Dukes have overcome a double-digit deficit only to come out a basket short. DU was down 16 points Wednesday at Dayton before losing, 77-75.

Senior Kristi Little, whose consecutive free throw streak was stopped at 24 this afternoon, led the Dukes with the game-high 29 points, one shy of her career-best 30 scored in last week's win over Temple. The Altoona, Pa. native made 11-of-14 from the charity and had eight steals, four rebounds and three assists for the Dukes, whose record is now 11-8, 1-3 in the A-10.

Redshirt sophomore Samantha Pollino shot 9-of-14 from the floor in scoring 19 points.

Freshman Alex Gensler added 12 points. One of her three treys got the Dukes within eight with 13:03 to go, and another that got DU back to within nine points with 2:37 left in regulation.

Junior Eve Pyle, one of two Mid-American Conference transfers seeing their first year of action with Duquesne, led DU with six rebounds. The other ex-MAC player, junior Rachel Frederick, had to leave the game near the end of the first half after she suffered a cut under her left eye when she was fouled under Duquesne's basket.

Cold shooting by the visiting Dukes while George Washington was scorching the bucket with high percentage shots enabled the hosts to rush out to a 17-4 lead seven minutes in, take a 35-20 edge with six minutes leftin the period, and dribble out the first half clock up 45-27.

Duquesne, with increased defensive pressure and focused offensive play, got the score into single digits at eight points with 13;03 left but couldn't get closer than nine until the final minutes when a 12-5 charge put Duquesne within a basket, 85-82, with 14 seconds left to play. Kelly Britcher's three-point attempt was short as the Colonials won their fourth straight.

George Washington (11-8, 2-1) had five players in double figures led by Adair's 18 points and 10 rebounds. Antelia Parrish had 15, Tara Booker 13, Yolanda Lavender 12 and Tiana Myers added 11 points. Booker had a game-high 12 rebounds as the Colonials outdueled DU, 41-33; she also had three steals. Levender had seven assists and Adair blocked four shots.

The Dukes return to Pittsburgh for a three game homestand at the Palumbo Center starting with a Wednesday, January 28, 2009, game at 7:00 p.m. against St. Bonaventure (14-5, 3-1).

Game Play

George Washington ran off eight straight points, six by All A-10 center Jessica Adair, before Frederick put Duquesne on the scoreboard with 17:04 on the first half clock.

The Colonials then ran off five more and were headed the other way following Amanda Peck's miss but Keri Pryor stole the ball from Booker and scored a layin, the score 13-4.

Little led a 14-9 run to get DU within eight, 26-18, with 7:38 on the clock.

GW responded with a 9-2 run that gave the hosts a 15-point, 35-20 lead, two minutes later. The Colonials had a 45-27 halftime lead, their biggest edge 22 points at the 1:06 mark.

With more than half of GW's points (24) coming in the paint, the Colonials shot 55.2 percent (16/29) in the first 20 minutes. Duquesne, which made just two of its first 13 shots (15.4%), hit at a 35.5% rate in the half, bust made just 1-of-10 from three-point range.

The Dukes charged out in the second half with tougher defense and crisper passing and shooting to cut 10 points off the lead when Gensler hit a trey to bring the score to 56-48, 13:03 left in the game.

Duquesne got within nine a few times, the last, 78-67, at 2:37 on another Gensler three-pointer; and back to eight twice, both on Little free throws; then to seven, 83-76, on a Little drive with 43 seconds left; to five, 84-79, on Pyle's trey; and then to three, 85-82, on Kristi Little's three-pointer with 14 seconds to go.

Britcher's 3-point attempt was short as the ball went out of bounds under DU's basket with one second left.


  • Duquesne made half of their second half shots (19/38), 6-of-17 beyond the arc, to bring their game averages to 43.6 percent and 25.9 percent, respectively,
  • Duquesne won the turnover battle, 21-14; 16 came off steals and GW's miscures led to 25 points.
  • The teams both shot in the 60 percent range from the charity stripe with GW making 28 (60.9%) to DU's 15 (62.4%).
  • Senior Kristi Little missed her second foul shot of the game, stopping her consecutive made free throw streak at 24. She was 11-of-14 this afternoon and makes 77.2 percent of her attempts, number nine in the A-10. Saint Louis's Theresa Lisch leads at 88.9 percent (112/126).
  • Duquesne's first score of the second half came on freshman Alex Gensler's in-bounds pass under DU's basket to sophomore Samantha Pollino for a layup. The Dukes successfully repeated the play on another inbounds situation three minutes later.
  • Rachel Frederick got a two-inch cut under her eye when she was elbowed by Jessica Adair under the Duquesne basket in the first half. She left the court for with 2:39 to go before the break and didn't return to the bench until the final minutes of the game.
  • Duquesne was "T'd" up after debating a non-traveling call on Erica Rivera who stole a Keri Pryor pass and saved the ball before going out of bounds. Antelia Parrish (71.7% FT average) made both free throws to raise the score to 45-23, 1:06 left in the first period.
  • GW, which scored 24 points in the paint in the opening half, got their first in the second on an Adair drive with 5:55 left to play. The Colonials ended with 30 for the game. The Dukes had 38!
  • This game was successfully videocast by All-Access so the referees could check the "tape" when needed, which they did. This was unlike Wednesday's men's basketball game at Saint Joseph's when the game-winning tip couldn't be reviewed to determine if it had, in fact, gone in before the bell rang.
  • George Washington has a new coach, Mike Bozeman, for the first time in 20 years. Joe McKeon had a 441-154 record at the school before taking the Big Ten job at Northwestern. Bozeman had been an assistant at GW for four years prior to his promotion last June.