HAMDEN, Conn. Three Bobcats scored in double figures, but the Quinnipiac University women's basketball team lost to Mount St. Mary's, 70-64, Monday night at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. It was the third consecutive loss for the Bobcats who dropped to 12-8 overall and 6-5 in Northeast Conference play. The Mountaineers improved to 4-7 in league play and 9-12 overall with the win.
Erin Kerner (Erie, Pa.) led the Bobcats with 16 points and Mandy Pennewell (West Chester, Pa.) added 15 points. Kathleen Neyens (Jaffrey, N.H.) added 12 points of her own, while Brianna Rooney finished one assist shy of a double-double. The senior guard posted season highs of 10 rebounds and nine assists in the game. Brianna Gauthier had a game-high 21 points for the Mountaineers, while Leah Westbrooks pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds.
"We dug ourselves in too deep in the first half," said Head Coach Tricia Fabbri. "We started to put the ball in in the second half and if we continue to hang in there and put together 40 good minutes of basketball and not 20 then we will be successful."
Quinnipiac jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the game's opening minute before the Mount's Gauthier took control, scoring 15 first-half points on 6-of-9 shooting, including three three-point field goals. The Mountaineers held Quinnipiac without a three-pointer in the first half as the Bobcats misfired on seven attempts. Sarah McGowan (Red Lion, Pa.) led the Bobcats with six points in the opening period on 3-of-5 shooting from the field as the Bobcats trailed at the half, 33-18.
Quinnipiac came out on a 10-0 run to start the second half, pulling to within five points, 33-28. The Bobcats' defense held the Mountaineers to just four points in the first 8:06 of the half, before Lauren Howell connected on one of her three three-point field goals in the game.
Two free throws by Rooney with 6:34 showing on the clock pulled the Bobcats to within three, 46-43. Howell pushed the lead back to six with another three-pointer on the Mount's next possession. The Bobcats and Mountaineers exchanged baskets for much of the remainder of the game.
Pennewell connected on two three-pointers in a 21-second span to help Quinnipiac make it a two possession game, but Mount St. Mary's answered each time. Neyens added six points down the stretch on two jumpers from the left wing and Kerner scored five points in the final minute, but the Mountaineers' free-throw shooting sealed the team's fourth NEC victory of the season, 70-64.
For the game, the Mount outshot the Bobcats 44.2 percent (23-52) to 32.9 percent (23-70). The Mountaineers connected on 9-of-20 (45 percent) from three-point range, while Quinnipiac finished 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) from long range. Each team finished with 41 rebounds in the game, while the Bobcats connected on 73.7 percent (14-19) of its free throws to Mountaineers' 68.2 percent (15-22) from the line.
Quinnipiac returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 7 against Bryant at noon at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. The Bobcats and Bulldogs will take part in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's "Pink Zone". The event will feature the teams using a pink game ball and pink NEC t-shirts to the first 250 fans in attendance. Quinnipiac University will also recognize National Girls & Women In Sports Day at the game.