HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team fell to in-state rival Sacred Heart, 66-51, Saturday afternoon at the TD Bank Sports Center. The loss was the seventh in a row for the Bobcats, who drop to 4-8 in Northeast Conference play and 9-14 overall. The Pioneers maintain their winning ways in NEC play, improving to 11-1 in the league and 18-5 overall. The two teams met Thursday night in Fairfield in the first of back-to-back games as part of NEC Rivalry Week with Sacred Heart emerging with the victory, 51-34.
"We kept it close in the first half, only trailing by eight at the break," head coach Tricia Fabbri said. "We aren't healthy enough to play our style against teams like Sacred Heart who like to run up and down the floor."
Quinnipiac employed its style of clock management for the second straight game. The Bobcats used most of the shot clock to look for better chances and to slow down the Pioneers in transition. Improving on this style from the first meeting between the two teams, Quinnipiac held Sacred Heart to just 26 points in the first half. Sophomore Jacinda Dunbar (Edison, N.J.) sparked the Bobcats early, leading the team with seven points as her team trailed 26-18 after the first period.
In the second half, the Bobcats cut the Pioneer lead to five in the early minutes before Sacred Heart regained control. Junior Courtney Kaminski (Dudley, Mass.) exploded for 16 second-half points to finish with a game-high 22 in the game. Her eight boards in the loss were also a team high. Sacred Heart's free-throw shooting down the stretch sealed the win, 66-51.
Freshman guard Lisa Lebak (Robbinsville, N.J.) helped spark Quinnipiac in the second half. Lebak matched her career high with eight assists in the game, many coming from over-the-top passes to Kaminski in the post for easy lay-ups for Quinnipiac points.
For the third time this season, the Bobcats did not record a three-point field goal in the game, finishing 0-for-7 from behind the arc. Sacred Heart connected on 5-of-11 from downtown in the win, with Alissa Apo hitting three. Apo scored a game-high 19 points with Callan Taylor and Kiley Evans each scoring 15 points.
Quinnipiac outrebounded Sacred Heart, 37-32, with four Bobcats recording at least five boards in the game. After Quinnipiac finished 9-for-9 from the free-throw line on Thursday night, Sacred Heart was the better team from the line Saturday. The Pioneers connected on 17-of-18 from the line, while the Bobcats hit 11 of the 14 opportunities they had from the charity stripe in the game.
Quinnipiac will look to end its skid when it hosts last-place St. Francis (N.Y.) Thursday, Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. The Bobcats and Terriers will tip off from Lender Court at the TD Bank Sports Center.