PITTSBURGH − Duquesne entered Saturday’s women’s basketball game against St. Bonaventure as the team with everything to prove. A loss to George Washington a week earlier had knocked the Dukes out of the national rankings and a first-place tie in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Meanwhile, the Bonnies entered the A.J. Palumbo Center having won 16 straight, the second-longest run in program history,
The circumstances, coupled with a third conference road game in eight days, proved too much for the Bonnies to overcome.
Duquesne rode torrid early shooting to a 15-point halftime lead and withstood a couple mild Bona rallies to score a 74-62 victory in the A-10 showdown.
Katie Healy scored 20 points and Nyla Rueter 15 for Bona, which fell to 17-3 overall and 6-1 in the A-10, leaving it a game behind 7-0 GW in the conference race. Duquesne improved to 16-2 and 5-1 behind 20 points from April Robinson and a 14-point, 12-rebound effort by DevaNyer Workman.
The Bonnies had not allowed as many as 60 points since a victory over Penn State back on Dec. 12 but they couldn’t get a handle on Duquesne’s offense. The Dukes hit 11 of their first 18 shots en route to a 17-for-34 first-half performance that opened a 45-30 lead at intermission.
Robinson and Duquesne’s board work were Bona’s undoing. Robinson scored 17 in the half while the Dukes snared eight offensive rebounds and redeemed them for 12 second-chance points.
Bona closed the gap to 53-42 entering the fourth quarter but the Dukes responded by quickly stretching their advantage to 17. There would be not a repeat of Bona’s Wednesday victory over Dayton, a game in which it erased a 10-point deficit with 4:30 remaining.
Bona returns to action at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Saint Joseph’s.