March 7, 2010

Women's Basketball Falls To Long Island, 70-63, In NEC Quarterfinals

LORETTO, Pa. - Junior Courtney Kaminski (Dudley, Mass.) scored game-high 23 points, but the Quinnipiac University women's basketball team fell to Long Island, 70-63, in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Northeast Conference Tournament held at DeGol Arena on the campus of Saint Francis (PA). The loss eliminates the Bobcats from postseason play and ends their season with a 12-18 overall record. Long Island will move on to face the winner of the Sacred Heart and Central Connecticut contest.

"This team has a lot of character and perseverance," head coach Tricia Fabbri said. "We had a lot of things working against us with all the injuries. We have had a lot of things go wrong, but this is a special team who managed to fight back all season and again today. I am proud of the way we came back all season."

The Bobcats headed into the locker room trailing 38-24 at halftime. Kaminski led all scorers in the first 20 minutes of play, connecting on 6-of-8 from the floor for 13 points. Despite Kaminski's best efforts, the rebounding of LIU in the first half helped the Blackbirds stretch the lead to 14 late. Long Island pulled down 12 offensive rebounds in the first to the Bobcats' four through 20 minutes. Those offensive boards helped the Blackbirds outscore Quinnipiac 11-2 in second chance points.

Quinnipiac came out determined to cut into the LIU lead in the opening minutes of the second half. The Bobcats pulled with within four in the stanza, but Heidi Mothershead continued to squash Quinnipiac's comeback efforts with clutch three pointers.

After a 0-for-5 shooting performance in the first half, senior Kathleen Neyens (Jaffrey, N.H.) turned up her game in the final frame, shooting 4-of-5 in the final 20 minutes of action. A three-pointer from NBA range straight away by Neyens pulled Quinnipiac to within four, 67-63, with under two minutes remaining.

The Blackbirds pulled away in the final minute with free throws and two defensive stops to hold on for the 70-63 win. Long Island will next play the winner of the Sacred Heart and Central Connecticut game played Saturday evening in Loretto.

Kaminski's 23 points leaves her just four points short of 1,000 in her career as the junior center finished 10-of-19 from the floor. Junior Lailah Pratt (Palmyra, N.J.) finished with a career-high 12 points in the game, while Neyens scored all 10 of her points in the second half.

Pratt matched All-NEC First Team player Ashley Palmer with a game-high nine rebounds in the contest. For the game, the Bobcats outshot the Blackbirds 44.6 percent (25-56) to 39.1 percent (25-64). Quinnipiac fought back and outrebounded LIU, 19-16, in the second half to spark the comeback that fell just short.