Women's Basketball Defeats Sacred Heart, 61-56, In NEC Rivalry Week Opener

HAMDEN, Conn. - Sophomore Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) scored a game-high 17 points and senior Courtney Kaminski (Dudley, Mass.) added a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds, as the Quinnipiac University women's basketball team defeated Sacred Heart, 61-56, Saturday afternoon at the TD Bank Sports Center. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 12-12 and 9-4 in the Northeast Conference, while the Pioneers drop to 14-10 and 8-5 in the NEC.

In addition to posting her fourth double-double of the 2010-11 season, Kaminski also recorded five of Quinnipiac's seven steals and four of the team's seven blocks. Barron made all six of her free-throw attempts. The Bobcats' Jacinda Dunbar (Edison, N.J.) matched a season-high 10 rebounds and put up nine points in the win, while Kari Goodchild (Van Horne, Iowa) collected eight points. The Pioneers' Callan Taylor recorded a double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds. Morgan Merriman led Sacred Heart with a team-high 16 points.

Quinnipiac outshot Sacred Heart 44 percent (22-50) to 32.3 percent (20-62) from the floor. In addition, the Bobcats outrebounded the Pioneers, 46-28, picking up 33 rebounds in the first half.

"We did a good job defensively," said Head Coach Tricia Fabbri. "We knew we were going to take a punch, deal with the momentum, and have to answer. That's exactly what we did and it was really good to see us do that today against Sacred Heart."

The Bobcats took an early 6-0 lead, two minutes into the game. The Pioneers responded and held a one-point advantage, 9-8, with 12:48 on the clock, as Alexis Campbell hit a three-pointer. Later in the half, Barron scored a three-pointer on an 11-2 Quinnipiac run, to take back the lead, 24-15, with less than six minutes in the half.

The lead changed four times in the first half, with the Bobcats leading by as many as 13 points, 33-20, with 3:48 left to play. Sacred Heart answered with a Merriman layup, to narrow the gap to 11 points, 33-22, at the break.

The Bobcats led until Sacred Heart went on a 10-0 run late in the second stanza. Kiley Evans' jumper at the 5:24 mark gave Sacred Heart its only lead of the second half, 49-48.

Kaminski's bucket in the paint at the 5:01 mark gave the Bobcats the lead for good. The Pioneers cut the deficit to one point on three different occasions in the remainder of the game, but the Bobcats held off Sacred Heart with timely shooting and made free throws. The contest ended with the Bobcats ahead by five points, 61-56, as Barron and Dunbar each completed two free throws in the last seconds of play.

"This was a team that we were going in 8-4 and now we're 9-4, and that's really huge, said Fabbri. "It's key to be winning games at this point in the season."

Quinnipiac will face Sacred Heart on Monday, February 14, in the final game of NEC Rivalry Week. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. at the William H. Pitt Center in Fairfield, Conn. The game will be televised on MSG.