January 23, 2013

VCU Suffers 73-51 Setback Against Duquesne

FINAL: Duquesne 73, VCU 51 (Richmond, Va. – Verizon Wireless Arena)

VCU STARTERS: #1 Atwater, #3 Green, #14 Adebayo, #20 Alaeze, #24 Parks

DUQUESNE STARTERS: #10 Agunbiade, #13 Szecsi, #23 Nurkic, #24 Abel, #32 Robinson

THE BASICS:

  • VCU freshman Kaneisha Atwater led all scorers with a career-high 19 points and junior Robyn Parks chipped in 14 but Duquesne, behind its balanced attack, won for the 14th time in 16 games with a 73-51 victory over the Rams Wednesday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
  • VCU nearly erased a 17-point deficit with 3:30 left in the first half, pulling within four less than three minutes into the second stanza, but it was as close as the Rams would get as Duquesne responded with a 15-3 run.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • A traditional 3-point play from Atwater gave VCU a 15-11 lead at the 12:41 mark in the first half.  However, Duquesne responded with 11 straight points as part of a 24-3 run spanning nine minutes, and the Dukes eventually pulled ahead 35-18 with 3:35 left.
  • Trailing by 15 with time winding down in the half, senior Robyn Hobson buried a long triple from the right wing as time expired, which pull the Rams within 38-26 at the break.
  • VCU carried that momentum into the second stanza, scoring six straight points to start the period, including four from Parks, and cut the deficit to 38-32 with 18:52 showing.
  • Duquesne went back up by eight less than a minute later before the Rams made another surge, pulling within 43-39 with 16 minutes to go.  The Dukes locked down on defense, holding VCU to just one field goal over the next eight minutes and built a 16-point advantage with 8:18 remaining.
  • VCU could only get within 14 twice the rest of the game.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • Atwater has posted career-highs in points in back-to-back games.  She scored 17 against George Washington on Sunday and added a game-high 19 against Duquesne.  Atwater is averaging 12.4 points in her last eight contests, including four straight starts.
  • Parks added 14 points, four rebounds and a team-high six steals.
  • Green, who chipped in nine points, dished out a game-high tying five assists.
  • Duquesne shot 56 percent (14-of-25) from the field in the second half.

WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU travels to fellow Atlantic 10 newcomer Butler on Jan. 27.  Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.  The Rams then welcome nationally ranked Dayton to the Verizon Wireless Arena on Jan. 30.  Check VCUAthletics.com for complete game coverage.

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