Women’s Basketball

QU ends season in heartbreaking loss

By Gilbert A. Celaya, QBSN Staff Writer

In a game to determine who would advance to the 2012 Northeast Conference Championship game, the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team lost to the Monmouth Hawks 66-69.

Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) hit a three-pointer for the Bobcats to score the first points of the game.  However, Quinnipiac went cold and was not able to do much for the rest of the first half.

Monmouth scored at will during the first half and Quinnipiac could not find a defensive answer to stop the Hawks.  Quinnipiac fell behind as much as 16 points three different times throughout the first half.

“They were ready to go play,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said of the first half performance.  “We were just on our heels and knocked back and just really took it instead of making a stand early in the first half.”

Despite out-rebounding the Hawks in the first half, Quinnipiac was simply outplayed.  In the first half, the Bobcats shot 41.7 percent from the field, and 33.3 percent from the three-point line compared to Monmouth who shot 56.7 percent from the field and 60 percent from three-point range.

With two minutes and 11-seconds left in the first half, Barron was called for a personal foul while going for a loose ball.  Frustrated with the call and by poor play from the Lady Bobcats, Barron spiked the ball off the floor, which earned her a technical foul. Alysha Womack buried the technical free throws for Monmouth to make the score 26-40 at that point in the game.  The Hawks took a 28-42 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Bobcats started the second half by once again taking very poor shot selections.  However, Quinnipiac did come out with intensity and aggression in the second half, especially by using a full-court press on defense.

Quinnipiac was able to disrupt the Hawks’ offense by using the full-court press and force Monmouth to start turning over the ball.  Not only were the Bobcats able to steal the ball from Monmouth and gain turnovers, Quinnipiac’s high rebounding percentage carried over from the first half.

“It took us out of our rhythm a little bit,” said Monmouth head coach Jenny Palmateer of the Bobcat defense.  “So it was very effective.  But I thought we handled it really, really well once we got the hang of it.”

The Bobcats were able to fight their way back form a 14-point halftime deficit during the second half.  With nine minutes and seven seconds left to play, freshman forward Samantha Guastella (Red Bank, N.J.) buried a three-pointer to make the score 51-50.  Then later with the game tied at 53, Guastella was fouled while grabbing an offensive rebound, which put QU in the lead.  Guastella made one and missed one, giving the Bobcats their first lead of the game since Barron’s three-pointer that opened the game.

However, the run by the Bobcats was too little, too late.  With 2.1 seconds left in the game and the Monmouth leading 66-69, Guastella inbounded the ball to Barron who was able to drive the ball to mid-court where she took a desperation shot to try and tie the game.  The shot fell short as the clock expired thus ending the season for the Bobcats.

“Honestly, we just went out there and gave it everything we had and if we could have done that in the first half we would have came out of this game with a win, but we didn’t put two halves together and the outcome of this game was a loss,” said freshman guard Jasmine Martin (Sicklerville, N.J..  Martin led all scorers with 26 points on Tuesday Night.

Even with a heartbreaking loss that has ended the Bobcats 2011-2012 season, Martin also expressed her eagerness about the team next season.

“Everyone all together, but I really think this freshman group that we have,” said Martin.  “I’m really excited to see what we can do for the next couple of years because we just want it so bad, and I know all the other girls do too.  We just have to go out there and keep fighting because that’s exactly what we did in the second half.”

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QU defeats Mount St. Mary’s, moves on to semifinals

By Michael Desjardins, QBSN Staff Writer

In the NEC Tournament quarterfinals Sunday, the second-seed Quinnipiac Bobcats defeated the seventh-seed Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers, 65-61.

Quinnipiac started off the first half strong, scoring seven unanswered points and not allowing the Mountaineers to score in the first three minutes of the game. However, the Mountaineers answered back by scoring seven straight points. For the rest of the first half, the action remained close as the two teams traded the lead throughout. Quinnipiac would end up with the lead at the end of the first half thanks to a last-second shot by sophomore forward Camryn Warner (Keene, N.H.). Warner had eight points in this game.

Early on in the half, the Bobcats were up by 10. However, in the middle of the half, the Mountaineers went on a 10-0 run and tied the game up at 50-50. Throughout the rest of the game, the lead went back and forth, as both teams played with heart and intensity.

However, in the final minutes, the Bobcats made some key free throw shots, and sealed the deal.

Junior guard Felciia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) had a game-high 15 points, recording her 1000th career point. Freshman guard Jasmine Martin (Sicklerville, N.J.) scored 12 points off the bench and freshman forward Samantha Guastella (Red Bank, N.J.) recorded 11 points.

With the win, the Bobcats improve to 22-8 on the year, while the Mountaineers finish their season at 14-16.

Quinnipiac will host a NEC Semifinals match on Tuesday, March 6.

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No. 2 QU women tip off NEC tourney Saturday

By Kyle Brennan and Mike Auletta, QBSN Staff Writers

It’s March. Therefore, there’s madness. Now, it’s the women’s turn to get involved as the Northeast Conference tournament tips off with four quarterfinals on Saturday. Semifinals will be played Tuesday before next Sunday’s championship.

No. 2 Quinnipiac vs. No. 7 Mount St. Mary’s, 2 p.m.

The No. 2 Quinnipiac Bobcats (21-8, 13-5 NEC) will play host to the No.7 Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers (14-15, 10-8 NEC) on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Hamden, Conn.

The Bobcats come into the game on a two-game losing streak, tied for their longest of the season. Prior to that streak, the Bobcats were winners of 11 out of 12 NEC contests. Redshirt junior Felicia Barron leads the team in scoring with 17.1 points per game and leads the nation in steals with 4.4 steals per game. Barron is 11 points away from 1,000 career points for Quinnipiac.

The Bobcats lead the NEC in scoring with 68.9 points per game and in rebounding with 42.4 boards per game. Sophomore Brittany McQuain leads Quinnipiac in rebounds with 9.4 boards per game and ranks fourth in the conference in the category. Freshman Jasmine Martin, named to the NEC All-Rookie team, averages 10.9 points per game for the Bobcats. Quinnipiac has 10 different players that see significant time on the court.

The Mountaineers have won six of their last seven conference games heading into Saturday’s quarterfinal. The team is led in scoring by junior Sydney Henderson, who averages 17.1 points per game. The Mount is also led by All-NEC second team selection Selena Mann, who averages six points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, 139 total assists and ranks third in the nation in steals per game.

In 23 seasons, the Mount has appeared in the NEC Tournament a total 21 times and have a postseason record of 17 -17 while winning three conference championships.

This is the second meeting between the two teams this year. Earlier this season, the teams squared off in Hamden and the game turned out in the Bobcats’ favor 89-73. The Bobcats had six players score in double figures and recorded their second best shooting percentage of the season (58.2 percent). Mount St. Mary’s had two players score more than 20 points each in the game.

The key to the game for both teams will be ball control. Quinnipiac’s Felicia Barron and Mount St. Mary’s Selena Mann are among the best in the nation in taking the ball away and both teams have struggled recently with turnover ratio.

No. 3 Monmouth vs. No. 6 Long Island, 4 p.m.

The No. 3 Monmouth Hawks (17-12, 12-6 NEC) will host the No. 6 Long Island Blackbirds (21-9, 10-8 NEC) on Saturday at 4 p.m. in West Long Branch, N.J.

The Hawks come into the game winning four of their last five contests. All-NEC second team junior guard Alysha Womack leads the team with 15.3 points per game. Junior Abby Martin contributes 10.4 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game for the Hawks.

The Blackbirds are led by All-NEC first team selection Ashley Palmer, the senior is the NEC leader in points per game with 19.2. Palmer also averages 7.8 rebounds per game for the team. Junior Ebony Davis adds 9.8 points per game and senior Kiara Evans 7.6 points per game.

Monmouth won both regular season meetings between the two teams, both games were decided by 10 points or less. The key to the game is Ashley Palmer. If Palmer gets it going for the Hawks early, the Blackbirds will be in for a long day. If LIU can limit Palmer’s opportunities, they will have a chance to win the game.

No. 1 Sacred Heart vs. No. 8 Fairleigh Dickinson, 1 p.m.

The No. 1 Sacred Heart Pioneers (22-7, 15-3 NEC) will welcome the No. 8 Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (13-17, 8-10 NEC) on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Fairfield, Conn.

Sacred Heart won the NEC regular-season championship, holding off Quinnipiac thanks to the Bobcats’ losing their final two games of the regular slate. The Pioneers have lost only four games in 2012, thanks in part to their conference-best defense (57.2 ppg allowed), scoring margin (+8.1 ppg), field goal percentage (.412), and free throw percentage (.761).

The Knights stumble into the league tournament, having lost four of their last five games, including their last three at home. Fairleigh Dickinson lost a home contest to Sacred Heart, 62-47, in the teams’ only meeting of the season. In that game, the Pioneers’ Callan Taylor racked up 27 points and 10 rebounds.

It would be a major upset if Sacred Heart goes down in the tournament opener, as the Pioneers will host their tourney games as long as they last. But Sacred Heart has laid a few eggs at inopportune times this season—including a 71-34 thrashing at the hands of Quinnipiac in Fairfield two months ago—so nothing is out of the question.

No. 4 Robert Morris vs. No. 5 St. Francis (PA), 5 p.m.

The No. 4 Robert Morris Colonials (17-12, 11-7 NEC) will host the No. 5 St. Francis (PA) Red Flash (14-15, 11-7 NEC) on Saturday at 5 p.m. in Moon Township, Pa.

Both teams have a fair amount of momentum heading into the tournament. Robert Morris won five in a row before losing to Sacred Heart by four points in overtime in the regular-season finale, while St. Francis won three of its last four, including a 77-71 win over Quinnipiac on Monday.

This has the potential to be the tightest game of the weekend, but the paper story tells a different story. Robert Morris outranks St. Francis in nearly every major statistical category in the conference and has one of the league’s best players in Artemis Spanou (17.0 ppg, 11.0 ppg). In addition, the Colonials beat the Red Flash by 12 points in both of their regular-season meetings during NEC’s rivalry week.

If St. Francis can’t contain Spanou inside the paint with players like Alli Williams, the Red Flash will struggle and Robert Morris will advance to a likely date with Sacred Heart on the semifinals.

 

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Women’s basketball defeated by Robert Morris

By: Taylor Massey QBSN Staff Writer

The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team had a fiery start against Robert Morris, but the Colonials quickly extinguished the flame. The Bobcats (21-6, 13-3 NEC) fell to the Colonials (16-11, 10-6 NEC) 72-62 in their second to last regular season game.

The first four minutes of play showed the talented team Bobcat fans know, but once Robert Morris took the lead, it never let it go. The Bobcats’ point leader Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) showed the same strength she has had all season right out of the gate. Barron had three steals and seven points within the first four minutes of play. However, Robert Morris had some equally powerful players that took control of the game.

The Colonial’s Artemis Spanou and Josette Campbell were key players in their win. Spanou dominated the court with 24 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. The Bobcats had to adjust to Spanou’s quick moves.

“We tried to limit Spanou’s touches, which she’s so talented because she’s got her size and she really plays like a guard” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said.

Campbell was another force for Robert Morris almost matching Spanou with 23 points and nine rebounds of her own. She led the team in three-pointers, hitting five out of ten she took throughout the game.

While Barron kept the Bobcats in the game with 21 points, Brittany McQuain (Independence, Mo.) took care of business under the net grabbing 11 rebounds. She also contributed 12 points and Camryn Warner (Keene, N.H.) scored 13 points and eight rebounds. Unfortunately, the Bobcats faced a great difficulty in hitting shots and were unable to take over Robert Morris.

“I think that this was once again an eye-opener for us and letting us know that we’re going into the playoffs next week. We don’t have time to shoot poorly,” said McQuain.

Quinnipiac will be looking to bounce back from today’s loss as it enters into the playoffs. Before today’s games, the Bobcats and Pioneers were deadlocked for first, but with the Sacred Heart win over St. Francis (Pa.), Quinnipiac falls to second.

The Bobcat’s last regular season game is this Monday, Feb. 27 against Saint Francis (Pa.) at 7 p.m.

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Bobcats take win over Terriers and tie for first in NEC

By Ben Dias, QBSN Staff Writer

The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team is firing on all cylinders, playing well at the right time before the playoff run starts. The Bobcats routed St. Francis (N.Y.) 64-41 on Monday in a matinee game at Lender Court at the TD Bank Sports Center behind freshman Jasmine Martin’s (Sicklerville, N.J.) game-high 16 points and some stellar team-defense. With the win, the Bobcats are tied for first with Sacred Heart after Sacred Heart lost last night to Long Island-Brooklyn. The Bobcats play host to Robert Morris at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday on ESPN 3.

“Jasmine, since she hit the game winning shot against Minnesota, has just played like a seasoned veteran,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said.  “Jasmine is such an important piece to our plan and our success.”

The Bobcats (21-6, 13-3 NEC) held the Terriers of St. Francis (3-24, 2-14 NEC) to just 28 percent shooting from the field and three-of-18 from three-point range, the third time this season that the Bobcats have held an opponent under 30 percent shooting.

Senior Kari Goodchild (Van Horne, Iowa) scored 14 points on five-of-nine shooting including two-of-four from beyond the arc. Junior Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) added 12 points and two steals, and sophomore Brittany McQuain (Independence, Mo.) chipped in with nine rebounds and four blocks.

“The youth together with blend of veteran leadership is a nice chemistry and a good fit,” Fabbri said.

Sarah Benedetti led the Terriers with 10 points. Jessica Kaufman added eight points and four rebounds, while Jasmin Robinson collected seven points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists.

Quinnipiac opened the game on a 6-0 run as sophomore Camryn Warner (Keene, N.H.) scored on a layup in the lane, and the Bobcats would never trail. The Bobcats opened the first four minutes of play on a 10-2 run that was capped off by a Goodchild three-pointer.  Goodchild and Warner would combine for eight of the team’s first 10 points. Martin registered 11 of her 16 points during the first frame, while the Bobcats controlled the paint, 20-6 and scored 10 points on the break.

“Intensity on defense carries over to our offense,” Goodchild said. “Shooting the ball well, getting in the passing lanes, getting steals, going the other way really gets our offense going.”

The Bobcats would extend the lead to 10 points with over seven minutes left of the first half on a Martin layup. Soon after, the Bobcats increased their lead to as many as 20 points at 37-17 on two free throws converted by Barron.   With 30-seconds remaining, the Terriers’ Kim Snauwaert drilled a three-pointer to end the half with the Bobcats leading 37-20.

In the second half, Quinnipiac was looking for more points and to put the game away. Quinnipiac came out with the same aggressiveness and intensity in the second half as the first half as Goodchild drained her second three-pointer on the first possession of the second half.  The Bobcats continued to keep up the pressure limiting the Terriers in the first five minutes while going on an 8-2 run. The Bobcats would lead by as many as 28 points controlling the entire second half with less than five minutes remaining in the game.

The Bobcats outrebounded the Terriers 54-39 with 18 offensive boards, the fourth time this year that Quinnipiac has put up at least 50 boards in a game. Quinnipiac also compiled 19 points off 19 St. Francis (N.Y.) turnovers, while making 10 steals collectively.

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Bobcats continue to impress, clinch playoff spot

By Ben Dias, QBSN Staff Writer

The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team is on a roll. The Bobcats (19-6, 11-3 NEC) won their ninth out of 10 games, clinching a playoff spot for NEC tournament with only Sacred Heart the only other team locking up a playoff berth so far. The Bobcats defeated instate rival Central Connecticut State Blue Devils, 58-49 Wednesday night, three days after defeating CCSU 64-59 on the road on Sunday.

The Bobcats were led by three players in double figures as freshman Jasmine Martin (Sicklerville, N.J.) scored 15 points of Quinnipiac’s 27 points off the bench on five-of-nine shooting to go along with three rebounds and an assist.

“That has been our success all season long and we are not going away from it,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “That’s just so important, our depth has been extremely productive.”

Junior Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) scored 12 points despite shooting five-of-13 from the field and sophomore Brittany McQuain nearly had a double-double controlling the paint for Quinnipiac, adding nine points to go along with 12 rebounds.

“Her presence for us [McQuain], has made us a really good team this year gotten us to 19 wins. When she is determined to go after the ball which she does all the time, she’s really a playmaker for us in terms of our guards don’t have to worry about missing shots because they know we have a great rebounding presence down low in Brittany and then also just down on the defensive end. She moves so well, agile and strong that just her presence on the backboard makes us really strong and really tough to beat.”

The Bobcats also shot 43 percent from the floor.

The first 10 minutes was pretty evenly matched. Both teams were playing strong defense but some sloppy plays here and there contributed to a low scoring first half. With just under 10 minutes to play, the Bobcats were down 16-12 to the Blue Devils. Quinnipiac called a timeout and eventually went on an 18-6 run closed out by two free throws from freshman forward Samantha Guastella (Red Bank, N.J.) The Bobcats led 30-22 at halftime.

Martin led the way in the opening half, scoring nine points and notching three rebounds. McQuain had six points and six rebounds, helping QU to a 12-4 advantage in the paint.

Quinnipiac held the Blue Devils (11-14, 5-9 NEC) to 35 percent for the game.“We pride ourselves on defense,” Fabbri said. “If there is one thing you can control it’s defense and your intensity.”

Jaclyn Babe led the Blue Devils seven points and center Kirsten Daamen scored six points in the first half.

Opening the second half, the Bobcats kept the lead to 10 points before CCSU caught the deficit to five points at 40-35 with 10-minutes and 31-seconds to play on two free throws by Kaley Watras. After a missed layup by McQuain at the offensive end, the Blue Devils were only down three when Jaclyn Babe hit a jumper a minute later. The Bobcats soon got their offense going and played stellar defense down the stretch going on an 18-10 run to close out the game.

The Bobcats outscored the Blue Devils in the paint 30-22 and scored 11 second-chance points.

The Blue Devils were led by Babe who scored 15 points on seven-of-21 shooting and one-of-five from beyond the arc. Daamen and Lauren Arbogast each added eight points.

Quinnipiac returns to the hardwood when they travel to New York to visit NEC foe LIU-Brooklyn on Sat. at 2 p.m.

“We played a really good game for 40 minutes and that’s what you want to be doing this time of year.”

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Bobcats dominate Mountaineers at home

By: Dominic Lancella, QBSN Staff Writer

The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team stretched its winning streak to six games after routing Mount St. Mary’s 89-73 at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Bobcats had a balanced effort with 10 different players scoring and six of them in double digits.

The win allowed the Bobcats (16-5, 8-2 NEC) to keep pace with conference leader Sacred Heart (16-5, 9-1 NEC), who beat Wagner on Monday night. Mount St. Mary’s dropped to 4-6 in conference and 8-13 overall.

The Bobcats were led by junior Felicia Barron’s (Springfield, Mass.) 19 points, who also added to her league leading steal total with five. Freshman Jasmine Martin (Sicklerville, N.J.) scored 11 of her 13 points in the first half. She shot a perfect four-for-four on the night including three from behind the ark, nailing all of them in the left corner.

The team’s 89 total points was the most in a single game since 2009, with many of them coming from high pressure defense that caused turnovers. St. Mary’s had 15 in the first half alone. Assistant coach Mountain MacGillivray was especially happy with the team’s ability to make the most of those turnovers.

“We had steals that turned into points on the first three or four possessions and that really set the tempo, and the other team was frazzled right from the beginning,” MacGillivray said.

The other key to the game for the Bobcats was limiting the offensive production of St. Mary’s leading scorer Sydney Henderson, who is averaging 11.6 points per game. She played all 40 minutes and led all scorers with 23 points.  Her teammate Kayla Grossett added 21 of her own, but it still was not enough as the rest of the team combined for just 29.

The only thing more impressive than the overall defense was the Bobcats bench, which accounted for 46 of the team’s points. After coming into this game averaging five points per game, freshman Samantha Guastella (Red Bank, N.J.) shot six-for-seven from the field and chipped in 14 points. Jacinda Dunbar (Edision, N.J.) had 10 points off the bench in just 10 minutes.

“Any given day, anyone can get hot on this team,” Guastella said.

Starters Kari Goodchild (Van Horne, Iowa) and Brittany McQuain (Independence, Mo.) rounded out the six players to score double digits, putting in 11 and 10 points respectively. The Bobcats were the faster team all night, as nobody on the team played more than 25 minutes and it kept their energy up.

The Mountaineers struggled offensively and were particularly unable to penetrate the defense. They were outscored 44-28 in the paint, and the game was all but over at halftime. Quinnipiac ended the half on a 28-7 run and led by 22 points.

The Mountaineers had a better second half and actually outscored the Bobcats, but it was too late as they could never close the large gap. After starting off the game 5-11 from the field, St. Mary’s missed 14 of their next 18 shots to close the first frame.

Barron has no doubt been the catalyst for the team on both ends of the floor. Her active defense had plagued teams all season.  She’s swiped 96 steals in 21 games this season. She also does a good job of staying out of foul trouble with 57 personal fouls this season.

She also scores frequently after knocking a ball loose to a teammate and taking off on the fast break.

“When I’m sprinting – just throw it,” Barron said smiling.

Coming into the stretch run before the start of the NEC tournament, it seems the entire Quinnipiac team has hit their stride at the right time, and the team chemistry is better than ever.

“Every day in practice there are 13 kids practicing who can help us win basketball games,” MacGillvray said.

“We’ve had teams in the past where the starter had no competition with the player behind them. Right now the person behind them is at the same level and it makes us better.”

The team is now set to start a three-game road trip, starting with Monmouth on Feb. 4, followed by Farleigh Dickinson and then Central Connecticut State. The Bobcats will gladly welcome the trip, as they have posted a stellar 9-1 road record so far.

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Pioneers hand Bobcats first NEC loss

By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Web Editor

When the Sacred Heart Pioneers defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats by a score of 74-65 Monday night, they did more than just hand the team their first loss to an NEC opponent this year.  They put an end to the women’s five-game winning streak.  The loss brings the Bobcats to 5-3 overall and 1-1 in NEC play.

In spite of how the game ended, the Bobcats held the lead for much of the first half, breaking it open by as much as eight points, but eventually giving the lead up to the Pioneers to end the half 31-34.

The second half started with such promise, as Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) hit a jump shot to cut the Pioneers’ lead to one.  Barron then stole the ball on the ensuing Sacred Heart possession and brought it in for a layup to give the Bobcats the one point lead, 35-34.  Barron’s dominance opened up the first 45 seconds of the second half.

Quinnipiac enjoyed a lead until Sacred Heart tied it up at 44-44 with 12 minutes and 35 seconds remaining.  The Bobcats never regained the lead.

The game saw an “uncharacteristic” statistics, according to head coach Tricia Fabbri, including a stunning 26 turnovers.

“Our three point guards who played combined for only three turnovers,” said Fabbri.  “The turnovers were coming from everywhere else.  So that’s just a frustrating way to lose tonight.”

In addition to the turnovers, Sacred Heart’s Callan Taylor had on-court presence that the Bobcats could not ignore.  She led the game with nine total rebounds, 26 total points and notched five of her seven free-throw attempts, all of which came in the second half.

“She’s doing what she should do for her team.  Her role has been completely established.  We’re still figuring it out,” said Fabbri of Taylor’s performance.

While Taylor led the way for the Pioneers, Barron had 19 points of her own.  Freshman Jasmine Martin (Sicklerville, N.J.) had a team leading eight total rebounds.  Even with these numbers, Fabbri acknowledged their opponents ability to hinder their offensive performance.

“What Sacred Heart was able to do was really slow us down pace in the zone and the two-two-one, and we really didn’t make the change with the ball for forty minutes,” said Fabbri.  “That’s where the frustration came in tonight.  We’ve got a long way to go to reach our potential.”

Even though the team is “obviously disappointed not to have gotten 2-0 in the conference,” according to Fabbri, the team still must look forward to its next challenge.

The Bobcats face Rhode Island on Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center.

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Barron steals record, Bobcats win

By Matt Eisenberg, QBSN Staff Writer

Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) smiled and then brushed off all the compliments. She wasn’t about to let setting a program record get to her head.

Barron recorded 12 steals, a new Division I program record, and the Bobcats forced 27 turnovers in their 67-56 win against Northeast Conference opponent Bryant Saturday at TD Bank Sports Center.

“It feels great. I’m very humble so I don’t let that get to me,” said Barron, who earned her first-career double-double with 16 points. “I’m still gonna play the game how I play it.”

Barron entered the game third in the country in steals, averaging 5.2 per game. She tied the previous program-record with eight steals in Quinnipiac’s second game of the season against Holy Cross.

“She’s lightning fast; she really is causing such havoc on other teams that no one wants to bring the ball up against her,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “Her effort on the defensive side is phenomenal, and what she continues to do on the offensive side for us … it’s a lot of fun to watch.”

Led by Barron’s effort, the Bobcats (5-2, 1-0 NEC) stole the ball 20 times, the most since 2006. They came into the game averaging 10.2 steals per game.

“We’re starting to expect it, and then [for Barron] to get 12 today, it was an amazing individual performance to go in and have those instincts and all the speed and skill to make those plays happen for the team,” Fabbri said.

The Bobcats scored 20 points off turnovers.

“Once we got the steals, everyone was just running actually, so when I got the steal I just pushed the ball,” Barron said. “When I get the ball I just look up to whoever’s open and give it to them. We came down with great transition points.”

Brittany McQuain (Independence, Mo.) earned a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, Jasmine Martin (Sicklerville, N.J.) scored 18 points off the bench and both Kari Goodchild (Van Horne, Iowa) and Gillian Abshire (Washington DC) brought down eight rebounds for the Bobcats, who have won five in-a-row.

“It’s really nice to continue when you start a season, you want to get that confidence with a relatively new, young group that it’s really important,” Fabbri said. “We’ve been able to find a way to win and win close … the nonconference has prepared us; the level of competition that we did see and we were able to have victories against really prepared us for this conference game today.”

The Bobcats led Bryant (4-3, 0-1) by as many as 25 points with 4:12 left in the second half. Quinnipiac held the Bulldogs to 23.5 percent shooting in the second half. The Bulldogs missed 25 of their first 27 shots in the second half.

“We speak a lot about defense, rebounding, control what you can control,” Fabbri said. “You can’t coach the ball into the basket, but we can certainly have an effort and understand the defensive game plan. … That really put the game away and said it’s over. We went out, we took it, we dictated the terms and we went on to have a really good second half.”

The Bulldogs outrebounded the Bobcats 62-49, as three players were in double-figures for rebounding. Naana Ankoma-Mensa recorded 15 points and 15 rebounds, while Meredith Soper had 14 points and 14 boards.

The Bobcats trailed early, being outscored 10-4 3:43 into the first half, but then outscored the Bulldogs by 14 and take an eight-point halftime lead, 41-33.

The Bobcats host Sacred Heart Monday at 7 p.m.

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Women’s basketball finds early season confidence

By Brian Farrell, QBSN Staff Writer

While most folks across America were stuffing their faces with turkey and pumpkin pie, the Quinnipiac women’s basketball squad was busy making a national statement.

Last holiday weekend, the Bobcats traveled to Concord, Calif. to participate in the St. Mary’s Concord Hilton Thanksgiving Classic. Along with the Bobcats and the host St. Mary’s, the University of Minnesota and Virginia Tech made the trip to the west coast for the holiday tournament.

“Every year we go out and play in a national tournament,” said Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri. “We’ve seen Vanderbilt, we’ve seen Miami, we’ve seen tournament teams, and this year we had Minnesota up first.”

After a convincing win over Fairfield earlier in the week, the Bobcats were able to bring some of that confidence to the court against the Golden Gophers. So much confidence that QU was able to rely on freshman guard Jasmine Martin (Sickerville, N.J.) to knock down the game winning shot with less than two seconds left for the 64-62 win.

“When the game was tied we had the chance to put the isolation play on for our freshman Jasmine Martin,” said Fabbri.  “We had put the play in for two days and we were able to get the ball into her hands and it just worked to perfection like it did in practice…I don’t know how the ball went in. It was just Jas one on one confidence as a freshman really in her fourth collegiate game just doing what we knew she could do for us.”

Junior Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) led the game with 18 points and admitted the team was a little nervous for that first game against Minnesota.

“When we first got there we were down on ourselves thinking that we weren’t going to win because they are a bigger team than us, but when we got on the court we just looked up and noticed they had the same jerseys we had on,” said Barron.  “From there we were just trying to play hard and play as a team.”

The magic would continue the next night as Quinnipiac defeated host team St. Mary’s 69-67. Once again Barron would lead the team in points, this time with 17.

The game featured six lead changes and was tied on eight occasions.

“We were down thirteen at one point and we were able to come back and with 19 seconds left in the game, we were able to play tight defense and seal the deal,” Barron said.

Following the game Barron was announced as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Despite the late game heroics of Martin and the consistent offensive production of Barron, coach Fabbri believes the key to their success lies on the other end of the court.

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Bobcats nearly pull off comeback in season opening thriller

By Spencer Gottschall, QBSN Staff Writer

The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team suffered a hard fought, season opening loss Friday afternoon against two time defending CAA Champion, James Madison University. After the final buzzer, the score read Quinnipiac 73, James Madison 81. Junior Tarik Hislop collected 20 points in the winning effort.  Leading the charge for the Bobcats was freshman standout Jasmine Martin (Sicklerville, N.J.) scoring 20 points of her own.

The Bobcats opened the first half of the first meeting between these teams with a strong defensive presence, causing the Dukes to turn over the ball eight times in the first seven minutes of play. With 11:54 remaining in the half, Quinnipiac held an 11 – 8 lead against James Madison. The Bobcats’ game plan from the start was to play the ball down low and create opportunities. Sophomore Camryn Warner (Keene, N.H.) contributed in a big way. She totaled a near double-double in the first, with nine points and eight rebounds. Warner would finish the game with 12 and 11 respectively.

Nonetheless, James Madison stuck right there. At the 6:40 mark, the Dukes took their first lead of the game (20 -19). At 4:22, they increased their lead to four (25-21) after a three-point from sophomore Kirby Burkholder.

Foul trouble hindered the Bobcats in the first half as well. They had 11 fouls, and James Madison capitalized. Second team, preseason all-conference player, Hislop gained nine points from foul shots alone. Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) committed a technical foul with 2:03 left in the half, and the Dukes began to run with it before heading to the locker room. Burkholder hit a buzzer beater three to close out the first, increasing their lead to eight (36-28).

James Madison started the second half where they led off. Pushing the ball and forcing turnovers of their own, they put the Bobcats down big. Senior Lauren Whithurst contributed; having nine of her 17 points in the second half. With 10 minutes remaining, the Dukes held their largest lead of the game (59 – 37).

Midway through the second, 22 points down, Quinnipiac changed their defensive mentality and began to full-court press. Their press seemed to work as the Bobcats cut the lead to 15 with 6:30 remaining. The ensuing possession, head coach Tricia Fabbri called a time out.

“There is a lot of time and there is an eternity of a game left,” Fabbri told her team in the huddle.

What followed was a series of steals and fast break layups from the Bobcats. Barron was at the forefront having four steals in the second half and multiple layups. Senior captain, Kerri Goodchild (Van Horne, Iowa) who was perfect from the line (6-6) got in the mix as well.

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