A poor second-half performance proved to be the downfall for the women's basketball team, despite the 34th career double-double by senior forward Kourtney Brown.
The Bulls (4-4) lost to Duquesne (6-1), 67-55 at Alumni Arena in a non-conference battle on Monday night.
The first 20 minutes of the game went back and forth; the score was tied seven times, and there were five lead changes. The largest lead either team had in the first half was four points.
A major issue was the inability to get Brown the ball in the second half. She went the first 14:43 of the half without a shot attempt after finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.
"They were double teaming me," Brown said. "Fronting me and bringing someone over the top. They all sucked in and were digging on the ball. So it was important for me to chin it, kick it back out, and repost."
Brown finished with 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting. However, she only had three of those attempts in the second half, although she managed to make all of them. Brown also contributed 16 rebounds, nine of them on the offensive glass.
Head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald was not happy with the inability to get Brown the ball in the second half.
"The guards were not putting themselves in a position to get the ball inside," Hill-MacDonald said. "Kourtney had a lot of company in there and one way to get her the ball is to shoot it well and we didn't do that. The Duquesne defense really sucks in the paint and Kourtney had five players sinking in on her. Our guards needed to ball fake and shoot well and we didn't have that in the second half."
Duquesne was up four points with only a few seconds left in the half, but a jumper by senior Bridgette Kendricks cut the deficit for the Bulls to only two, at 29-27, going into the half. This would be as close as Buffalo would get for the rest of the night.
Six quick points from Duquesne forward Samantha Pollino sparked the Dukes at the start of the second half. They took a 44-35 lead into the first media timeout. Pollino would continue to hurt the Bulls for the rest of the half.
Pollino scored 18 second-half points en route to a 24-point outing. She also contributed nine rebounds, eight of which were on the offensive glass.
"She was a player we knew could contribute, but we weren't expecting 24 points and nine rebounds," Hill-MacDonald said. "We didn't make adjustments to stop her. She was relentless on the boards in the second half."
The Bulls' struggle to avoid turnovers affected the outcome of the game. The Dukes forced the Bulls into 23 giveaways on the night.
"We didn't use pass and shot fakes, didn't reverse the ball enough, our off the ball movement wasn't good enough, [and] we didn't get into triple threat," Hill-MacDonald said. "There were 23 turnovers, and there could be 23 different reasons for us turning the ball over."
The Bulls shot only 33 percent in the second half in comparison to Duquesne's 50 percent. The poor shooting, along with turnover issues and the inability to get Brown the ball, led to a frustrating night for Buffalo.
The Bulls will remain home on Friday as they host Big Four rival St. Bonaventure (5-3). The game is set to begin at 7 p.m.