COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Duquesne rallied from eight points down in the final five minutes to upset Ohio State (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) 71-67 on Tuesday.
Ohio State (8-3) led 65-64 before the Dukes took the lead on Orsi Szecsi's two free throws with 1:49 left. She followed with a field goal 27 seconds later before Jantel Lavender made a field goal to make it 68-67.
"We're not tough enough," Ohio State coach Jim Foster said after the Buckeyes' third loss in four games. "We don't play the game hard enough and we don't play tough. We get hit, we whine."
The Buckeyes had a chance to take the lead but Samantha Prahalis missed a contested layup and Duquesne's Kelly Britcher made a 3-pointer with nine seconds left for the final margin.
"I never thought we would lose the game," Lavender said.
The Buckeyes had won 115 of previous 117 home games against unranked opponents until the Dukes (10-2) rallied behind the 17 points from Wumi Agunbiade and 14 by Samantha Pollino.
"I couldn't be more proud of this team and the effort they put forth," Duquesne coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said. "With five minutes to go, I looked at our team and said 'If you aren't enjoying this, I don't know what you will enjoy."
Prahalis was benched to start the game. She started all 78 games she had been eligible for (she was suspended the first three games this season for an NCAA violation) but played poorly in a loss against UConn.
Agunbiade left the game and when she returned 4½ minutes later the Dukes were down 60-53. The deficit stretched to 63-55 before the comeback.
"We took a couple of quick shots. I took a couple of quick shots and we just stopped executing and getting stops," Prahalis said.
She scored 22 points and Lavender had 21 for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State opens defense of its sixth straight Big Ten regular-season title Thursday at Michigan.
"I read in their game notes they were 70-2 coming off of a loss," McConnell-Serio said. "I know Coach Foster, having played for him. He is just an unbelievable coach and I knew he would have his team ready. We wanted to match their intensity."
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