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Duquesne denies Fordham's 3rd quarter comeback bid

The Dukes jumped out to an early lead, looking like the better team for much of the first half. But Fordham's three point shooting in the third quarter gave the team life in a likely blowout. Mistakes down the stretch cost the Rams the game, as Duquesne survived the upset scare to move into the next round of the A-10 Tournament.

Kadri-Ann Lass rises for a jumper against the Fordham Rams.
Kadri-Ann Lass rises for a jumper against the Fordham Rams.
Atlantic-10 Conference and Mitchell Leff

Richmond, VA -- At halftime, Duquesne looked to be well on their way to a semifinal matchup with St. Louis with a nine-point lead that seemed insurmountable. Fordham and the Dukes were playing the same style of inside-out basketball, only Duquesne was doing it with much more effectiveness.

Kadri-Ann Lass was dominating the post, in a tough battle with Fordham's Samantha Clark. However, every time the Rams got a bucket, the Dukes came right down the floor and responded.

Eventually, the Dukes wore Fordham down, causing the Rams to go almost five minutes without registering a single basket, ending the last half of the quarter shooting two out of their last 10. Duquesne capitalized with a 9-0 run, and it seemed like the last game of the night would end in blowout fashion.

That is, until the third quarter.

Fordham unleashed a barrage of three-pointers, making five in the period to shave points off the deficit possession by possession. The Rams only missed on four of their 15 shots, converting on 73% of their attempts on the way to a 28 point quarter. The Dukes bid for a rout ended quickly, as Hannah Missry sent home three of Fordham's long distance shots, with the last one helping get the Rams within six.

Samantha Clark's layup at the end of the third brought Fordham within one, and Danielle Burns started off the final 10 minutes with a beautiful make from beyond the arc, giving the Rams their first lead of the entire game. Duquesne snapped back into their defensive mode, and the game went back and forth until Samantha Clark's and-one layup gave Fordham a two-point advantage with three minutes to go.

Post play from Lass and Deva'Nyar Workman helped the Dukes find themselves back on top with 14 seconds left, leaving Fordham with more than enough time to get a quality look at the basket. But the out-of-bounds play broke down early, and Lauren Holden threw the ball away in an attempt to prevent the five-second violation, effectively ending the game.

Workman and Lass were forces in the paint, achieving double-doubles of 20 and 17 and 14 and 10, respectively. Samantha Clark was the high scorer for the Rams, scoring 20 points and adding 12 rebounds.

Duquesne has extra motivation to play a tough 40 minutes after their scare against the Rams, and will look to prevent another third quarter defensive lapse against Saint Louis tomorrow afternoon.