WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team began the 2009-10 season with a 71-53 loss to Hartford at Chase Arena Saturday night. The Bobcats were led by sophomore forward Jacinda Dunbar (Edison, N.J.) with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the floor. Quinnipiac drops to 0-1 with the season-opening loss, while Hartford begins the year 1-0.
"I thought we battled hard in the first half," said head coach Tricia Fabbri. "That was a very good team we played tonight and they made us work for everything that we did earn. We showed a lot of character to keep coming back and I think it's a good jumping-off point for where this team can go this season."
The Hawks jumped out to an early 7-2 lead before the Bobcats climbed back into the game, taking the lead, 10-9, midway through the period. Both teams traded baskets for the next five minutes with Jacki Mann's (Rutherford, N.J.) three pointer tying the game at 17-17 with just over six minutes remaining in the first.
Hartford put distance between themselves and Quinnipiac in the final minutes of the opening period, however. The key to the Hawks' late first-half run came at the free-throw line where they missed just two shots from the charity stripe, finishing 10-for-12. The Bobcats were just 2-for-6 from the line in the first. Mann came off the bench to lead Quinnipiac with seven points as Hartford lead at the half, 26-21.
Another early run sparked the Hawks to take a 19-point lead, 47-28, with 14:05 showing on the clock. Quinnipiac would pull within 10, 47-37, on the strength of key defensive stops and baskets in transition. Hartford would hold off the Quinnipiac run midway through the period and build on their lead to close out the game, 71-53.
Hartford finished the game with four players in double figures in scoring with Erica Beverly leading the way with 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line. Beverly also pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds, including 10 off the offensive glass.
Quinnipiac redshirt junior Courtney Kaminski ( Dudley, Mass.) was 4-of-4 shooting from the floor in her first game back after missing all of the 2008-09 season recovering from an injury to finish with eight points.
Senior Kathleen Neyens (Jaffrey, N.H.) was the Bobcats' top rebounder on the night, pulling down seven boards in the game, including five at the defensive end of the court. Dunbar and Kaminski each finished the game with six rebounds. Redshirt freshman Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) and Neyens joined Dunbar in double-digit scoring as both finished with 10 in the loss.
For the game, the Bobcats shot 37 percent (20-54) from the floor. Hartford just edged Quinnipiac with a 37.9 percent (22-58) shooting performance. The Hawks outshot the Bobcats from the free-throw line as well, shooting 21-of-30 (70%) to Quinnipiac's 9-of-17 (52.9%).
Quinnipiac will have a 10-day break before returning to action on Tuesday, Nov. 24 against Providence. The Bobcats and Friars are set to tip-off from Mullaney Gymnasium in Providence, R.I., at 7 p.m.