March 3, 2009

Women's Basketball Beats Wagner, 77-65, In Final Regular-Season Game

HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team defeated Wagner, 77-65, in the team's final regular-season game of the season Monday night at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Erin Kerner (Erie, Pa.) scored 24 points and Brianna Rooney (Guilford, Conn.) had a career-high 10 assists in the game. The Bobcats end the regular season with an 11-7 Northeast Conference record and an 18-10 overall record. The Seahawks conclude their season 7-22 overall and 3-15 in NEC play. Quinnipiac will be the No. 4 seed and take on No. 5 Monmouth Saturday afternoon in the first round of the NEC Tournament.

Rooney eclipsed her previous career high of nine assists late in the second half, while matching her career high in steals with seven in the win. Freshman Jacki Mann (Rutherford, N.J.) had seven rebounds and eight points, while senior guard Mandy Pennewell (West Chester, Pa.) had 11 points and matched her season high of four assists. Freshman Jacinda Dunbar (Edison, N.J.) added a team-high eight rebounds and eight points in the game. Wagner's Kelly Clark had a game-high 11 rebounds and 11 points for a double-double.

"We came into this game with great energy," said Head Coach Tricia Fabbri. "This team played with confidence and that helped us take control and be the better team wire-to-wire."

The Bobcats took control early in the first half, building a 20-10 lead with just under 11 minutes remaining. Kerner scored 13 of her points in the opening period on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor. Rooney had seven assists in the first 20 minutes of play, while also adding four steals. Wagner went on 15-5 run to tie the game, 25-25, but two three-point field goals in the final minute by Kerner gave the Bobcats a five-point halftime lead, 33-28.

Quinnipiac outscored Wagner 23-8 in the first 10 minutes of the second half to take a 20-point lead, 56-36; its largest of the game. The Seahawks made another push late in the third, but would come no closer than 11 in the final period as the Bobcats held on for the 12-point victory, 77-65.

For the game, Wagner outrebounded Quinnipiac, 42-30, while also being outshot 44.2 percent (23-53) to 41.9 percent (26-62). The Bobcats caused the Seahawks to commit 23 turnovers, while making just 10 as a team. Quinnipiac connected on 20-of-28 (71.4 percent) from the free-throw line, while Wagner was 13-of-21 (61.9 percent).

Quinnipiac will take on Monmouth in the first round of the NEC Tournament Saturday at Sacred Heart's Pitt Center in Fairfield, Conn. The Bobcats and Hawks are scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. tip-off. The teams split the season series this year, with each team winning one game on their home floor.