Duquesne’s high-powered offense snaps Flashes’ winning streak

Gina Butkovich

Shaky first and fourth quarters against Duquesne (3-3) resulted in a 77-72 loss for Kent State (3-3).

Duquesne hit 4 straight 3-pointers to start the game and then held the lead for all of the first quarter. With 5 minutes left in the first, Kent State was down, 16-7.

“We had a decision to make when we were down, 16-7, whether we were going to battle the night, and we did,” coach Todd Starkey said.

Freshman forward Lindsey Thall and freshman guard Mariah Modkins each made a 3-pointer to put the Flashes 2 points down. The quarter ended, 17-15, in favor of Duquesne.

This game marked a return for freshman guard Asiah Dingle since an ankle injury against Oakland on Nov. 18. Dingle made her presence known early, and by the end of the half, she led the team with 11 points and 4 assists. Duquesne struck back with a basket as well before another score from Dingle, and then a steal and a bucket from Dingle gave the Flashes their first lead of the game at 21-19. In the first half, the Flashes went on a 19-3 scoring run over Duquesne, and by halftime, they led, 34-29.

Two 3-pointers from Ali Poole and Thall at the start of the second half allowed the Flashes to hold onto the lead  at 52-47. Modkins followed it up with her second 3-pointer with 30 seconds left, and the Flashes ended the quarter winning, 55-53. With 13 points apiece, Thall and junior guard Megan Carter led Kent State.

“I thought the game got much more offensive in the second half, and defensively, we had some slip ups on some ball screen action that really hurt us,” said Starkey.

Part of the pain during the second half for Kent State was Duquesne player Chassidy Omogrosso, who had 20 points in the second half.

“She’s a first-team all-conference kid,” Starkey said. “We didn’t defend the ball screen action the right way, and she got loose in the second half and really scored for them in the second half.”

With a 55-55 tied game in the fourth quarter, Duquesne scored to give the Dukes their first lead since the second minute of the second quarter. At just under 7 minutes remaining in the game, Duquesne called a timeout. Duquesne scored a 3-pointer immediately after, giving them a 60-57 lead.

With under five minutes remaining in the game, Kent State trailed by 4 points before a 3-pointer by guard Julijana Vojinovic extended the lead to 67-60 in favor of Duquesne. A 3-pointer from Alexa Golden with 1:05 remaining cut Duquesne’s lead to 73-70. With 27 seconds remaining, Thall hit two foul shots, putting the Flashes two points behind at 74-72. However, a combination of missed chances and too many fouls down the stretch by Kent State led to the 77-72 loss.

“(Duquesne) showed their maturity and experience in the fourth quarter,” Starkey said. “That’s a team that won 25 games last year and has all five starters back, and I thought they showed that in the fourth quarter, but we didn’t go away, kept battling and had our chances but couldn’t quite execute it.”

The Flashes return to action on Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. at Wright State (4-3) inside the Nutter Center.

Gina Butkovich is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected].