Quinnipiac University Bobcats (9-8, 4-2 NEC) vs.
Bryant University Bulldogs (6-11, 3-3 NEC)
Thursday, January 21, 2010 - 5 p.m.
Hamden, Conn. - TD Bank Sports Center
The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team will face off with a familiar foe as its plays host to Northeast Conference opponent Bryant Thursday at 5 p.m., at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Bobcats and Bulldogs squared off on Saturday afternoon in Smithfield, R.I., in Quinnipiac's most recent game. Bryant used a second-half comeback to erase a six-point halftime deficit for the 72-62 victory. Entering this week's matchup, Quinnipiac is third in the NEC with a 4-2 conference mark.
Scouting the Bulldogs
In Bryant's first season as a full member of the NEC, the team has won three of its first six conference matchups. The Bulldogs' 10-point win on Saturday helped the team to its third NEC win of the season. Bryant forward Kelsey O'Keefe scored a career-high 34 points in the game, including 28 in the second half to bring her team back from a halftime deficit for the win. Her 34 points were one more than her previous best of 33 set two times in her career. Bryant played a game between NEC contests with the Bobcats, welcoming Yale to the Chace Athletic Center on Monday afternoon. The "Battle of the Bulldogs" went to the home team with a seven-point win, 69-62. O'Keefe is now eighth in the NEC in scoring, averaging 14.7 points per game, thanks in large part to her performance against Quinnipiac on Jan. 16.
Thursday's game can be heard live on AM 1220 WQUN and the WQUN.com webstream. Bill Schweizer will provide play-by-play, while Bill Mecca and Bob Tipson will add color analysis. The game can also be seen live on the Bobcat Channel's live video feed as well as live stats provided by www.quinnipiacbobcats.com. All can be accessed by clicking appropriate links above.
What Happened Last Time?
The Bobcats had a six-point halftime advantage against the Bulldogs on Saturday in Smithfield, but were not able to hold the lead as Bryant fought back for the win. It marked just the second time this season in ten games that Quinnipiac failed to win a game in which they lead at halftime.
Sophomore Jacinda Dunbar (Edison, N.J.) had a career day in the loss to Bryant on Saturday. The second-year Bobcat had a career-high 21 points, while matching the best rebounding total of her career, pulling down 13 boards on the Bulldogs' home floor. The 21-point performance was the best scoring output by any member of the Bobcats this season.
She Did It Again!
Junior center Courtney Kaminski (Dudley, Mass.) posted her team-leading fifth double-double of the season Saturday. Kaminski scored 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the loss to Bryant. Quinnipiac's center and leading scorer now has double-doubles in her last two games and four in her last five after starting the season with only one in the first 12 contests.
Kaminski and Dunbar recorded a double-double in the same game for the first time this season. The double-double duo leads the team with five (Kaminski) and four (Dunbar) this season. It also marked the first time since Mar. 1, 2008 that two Quinnipiac players had a double-double in the same game. Kaminski, Mandy Pennewell and Nicole Duperron all accomplished the feat against Wagner in that contest.
National Power Defenders
Entering the week, Quinnipiac is 11th in the nation in field goal defense. Holding opponents to just 34.2 percent shooting from the field this season, the Bobcats are one of the top defensive teams in the country, ranking ahead of national powers like Tennessee, Duke and Stanford.
New Game, Same Result
In each of the last three games, junior Lailah Pratt (Palmyra, N.J.) has set or tied a statistical career high. After setting new marks for points and rebounds against FDU and CCSU last week, Pratt tied her career high with two steals against Bryant.
Leading the Way
Kaminski ranks among the nation's best free-throw shooters this season. Second in the NEC from the charity stripe, the redshirt junior is 17th in the country amongst Division I players shooting 88.6 percent (62-70) from the free-throw line in 2009-10.
Quinnipiac's back-to-back games with Bryant means that for consecutive games, the NEC's top three shot blockers will square off. Saimone Bennett leads the league with 28 blocks (1.65 per game) this season, while sophomore Jacki Mann (Rutherford, N.J.) ranks second with 24 (1.41 per game) and Kaminski third with 21 (1.29 per game).