PITTSBURGH - A big second half allowed Duquesne to pull past the Butler women's basketball team 59-43 on Sunday. The Bulldogs finish the regular season 17-12 overall and 8-6 in Atlantic 10 play.
BU will be the No. 6 seed in next weekend's Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Championship at Saint Joseph's in Philadelphia. Butler will play No. 11 Saint Louis Friday, March 8 in the first round.
A close game was broken open in the opening minutes of the second half. Duquesne pressured the Bulldogs into turnovers and the Dukes ripped off an 18-6 run over the first 8 minutes and led 44-27 at the 12:44 mark. Three points each by Schippers and sophomore Hannah Douglas cut DU's lead to 46-33 with 9:57 on the clock.
Duquesne's largest lead was 54-35 before the home team started taking out its seniors. The Bulldogs didn't quit, pressing and crashing the offensive glass until the end. A lay-up by McClung made the score 56-43 - capping and 8-2 Butler run - but Duquesne would hold on.
Duquesne was led by Oditte Odosho with 14 points. Jocelyn Floyd added 13. DU pulled in 19 offensive rebounds and forced Butler into 20 turnovers. The Bulldogs shot just .315 against the A-10's top defensive team.
The two teams were essentially even in the first half, with Duquesne staying just one step ahead. The two teams were back and forth and although the Bulldogs never led, they never trailed by more than five points. A pair of Schippers free throws with 9 seconds left made the score 23-21, but the Dukes' Vanessa Abel hit a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer to put DU ahead 26-21 at halftime.
The game was Senior Day for Duquesne, as the home team celebrated the winningest class in Duquesne history. The Dukes (22-6, 11-3) will be the No. 5 seed in the conference tournament and will open vs. VCU.