December 4, 2008

Women's Basketball Overpowers Hartford, 73-61

HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team defeated the defending America East Champion University of Hartford Hawks Wednesday night at the TD Banknorth Sports Center, 73-61. Five Bobcats scored in double figures as Quinnipiac held off a late Hartford surge for the 12-point victory. The win improves Quinnipiac's record to 6-1 this season, while the loss evens the Hawks' record at 4-4.

Kathleen Neyens (Jaffrey, N.H.) recorded her second double-double in as many games, finishing with 11 points and 12 boards, tying her career high set in the team's last game against Providence. Mandy Pennewell (West Chester, Pa.) led the Bobcats in scoring with 13 points, while Brianna Rooney (Guilford, Conn.) chipped in with 12 points. Neyens, Erin Kerner (Erie, Pa.) and Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) finished with 11 points each. Hartford's Diana Delva scored a career-high 30 points in the loss and Erica Beverly added 15 of her own.

"We were ready to play tonight," said Head Coach Tricia Fabbri. "I'm very proud of the complete effort I saw from this team against a very good Hartford team tonight."

Quinnipiac jumped out to an early lead in the first half. Leading by as many as 13 points in opening period, Pennewell paced the Bobcats with 10 points heading into halftime. Delva led all scorers in the first with 14 points.

Pennewell got the Bobcats off to a quick start with two three-point field goals in the opening minutes of the game. On both shots, the senior guard cut behind a screen on the baseline and received a quick pass from Kerner at the top of the key before sinking the three-point buckets. Rooney hit the Bobcats' only other basket from long range in the first 20 minutes, while adding two steals as Quinnipiac headed into halftime leading by eight, 37-29.

Hartford began the second on a 9-2 run to pull within one, 39-38. But the Bobcats buckled down defensively and scored 13 of the next 15 points, capped by Barron's three-point field goal from the right wing, giving the Bobcats a 52-40 advantage.

A late push by the Hawks cut the Bobcats' lead to six in the final minute, but a series of free throws allowed the Bobcats to hold off the Hartford comeback. Two late steals by Quinnipiac's Rooney and Kerner sealed the win, 73-61.

Quinnipiac returns to action Saturday when they begin their Northeast Conference schedule against Monmouth at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.