Women vs. St. Joe's

The Matchup - Perhaps the biggest home game in Duquesne women’s history
St. Joe’s (16-6, 7-1 A10, 47 RPI) at Duquesne (19-4, 8-1 A10, 30 RPI)
by Rogabee
                With Duquesne making a run at its first NCAA bid in the history of the women’s basketball program, the upcoming game Wednesday night at St. Joe’s may be the biggest home game in the program’s history.  Both the Hawks and Dukes enter the game desperate for a needed quality win for an at-large NCAA berth with a win over a top 50 team.  The game puts the winner in a tie with Charlotte for second place in the A10, while it pins the loser in fourth.  It is extremely unlikely any team outside the top 3 teams in the A10 regular season would have a shot at an NCAA bid, as the A10 is a 2-3 bid league.  As such, this becomes perhaps an at-large bid on the line for both teams...lose and you’re likely out of the at-large discussion barring a tourney finals appearance and some luck, win and you’re for now on the plus side of the bubble.
St. Joe’s is coming off a disheartening 71-66 home loss to Charlotte, and have struggled in their last two games (the prior one at VCU was closer than it should have been).  The Dukes are coming off a close win over Richmond after cruising past the Bonnies.  St. Joe’s is quite capable of knocking off the Dukes on the road.  The Hawks are 8-1 on the road, with their only loss at UCLA, a team I believe they would have beat had they not worn down from playing three games in four days while making a west coast trip in the middle.  The one thing with St. Joe’s is they can go through a stretch of cold shooting, much like our Dukes, for stretches.
                Starters for the Hawks:
                Chatilla van Grinsven.  The 6-3 forward transfer from Colorado State leads the way for the Hawks.  A potential first-team all A10 player, van Grinsven is averaging 14.8 and 9.9.  She will match up against Wumi in the battle of perhaps the A10s best two centers.
                Erin Shields, a local SG/PG from Archbishop Carroll, is more of a scoring threat than a passer.  A lights out three point shooter, Shields makes up in toughness what she lacks in size for a SG.  She does take very good control of the ball.  A player you love watching play if they’re on your team.
                Natasha Cloud.  The true PG for the Hawks is a transfer from Maryland.  Not the greatest of shooters, but a solid overall old-school pass first PG with good court awareness.  A previous top 100 recruit for Maryland.  I was very impressed with her midrange game.  It’s among the best in the conference.
                 Ilze Gotfrida.  Played an amazing defensive game against Maryland, holding Tianna Hawkins (averages 19 ppg for a 19-4 ACC team) to only two points.  Only averages 8 and 4.4 per game, but makes up for it with her post defense.
                Ashley Prim.  Returned for the Charlotte game after missing a pair of games.  A 5-7 guard who averages 6.8 and 3.6.

                Overall St. Joe’s from what I’ve seen is a team that has good offensive awareness and good ball movement.  They’re a solid defensive team also, particularly on the perimeter, and play a hardnosed game.  Look for a tight, extremely physical game down to the wire.