With a game-high 17 points, Quinnipiac junior Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) earned Most Valuable Player honors after leading the Quinnipiac University women's basketball team to a 69-67 win against Saint Mary's in the Concord Hilton Classic Championship Game on Saturday evening. With the victory, the Bobcats improve to 3-2 on the year, while the Gaels drop to 3-3 overall.
In addition, sophomore Brittany McQuain (Independence, Mo.) was named All-Tournament as she posted her 11th career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Quinnipiac freshman Jasmine Martin (Sicklerville, N.J.) also posted double figures, scoring 13 points on the evening. Three Gaels scored in double digits, including Jackie Nared, who tallied 14 points and 14 boards.
Overall, the game saw six lead changes, while the score was tied at eight different points. The Bobcats compiled 12 steals overall and forced 20 turnovers in the contest. In addition, Quinnipiac's bench scored 28 points.
After Saint Mary's opened the first half with a 6-1 run in the first three minutes of play, Quinnipiac answered with a 7-0 run to pull within one point, 8-7, with 15:16 on the clock. Both teams continued to trade baskets as the Bobcats found themselves with a two-point lead, 15-13, with just over 13 minutes remaining. The Gaels responded with an 8-0 run to hold a six-point advantage, 21-15, over the Bobcats. Quinnipiac's Martin broke the run as she nailed a three-point shot with 7:42 on the clock.
After Saint Mary's Jasmine Smith added two points from the free-throw line, the Bobcats went on a 4-0 run to tie the game at 23 points each with just over four minutes left in the half. The Gaels' 7-0 run, which increased their lead by seven points, 30-23, their biggest lead of the half, was ended when senior Jacinda Dunbar (Edison, N.J.) stole the ball in the paint and finished a lay-up at 2:22.
Quinnipiac freshman Gillian Abshire (Washington, DC) narrowed the gap by two points, 30-28, as she drained a three-pointer with under a minute on the clock. Saint Mary's Kate Gaze would collect her fourth three-point field goal of the half with seven seconds left in the half, increasing the team's advantage, 33-28, entering the second stanza.
Midway through the second half, the Bobcats found themselves trailing by 13 points, 52-39, as Saint Mary's took their largest lead of the game. Quinnipiac battled back as they went on a 13-2 run to come within two points of Saint Mary's, 54-52, with six minutes left in the game.
The Gaels added two points before Quinnipiac would tie the game, 56-56, on Barron's two free throw shots with five minutes on the clock. Saint Mary's answered with its own two free throws to take back the lead, 58-56, with just over four minutes to play. McQuain responded with a layup to even the score again before Barron would knock down a three-pointer to give Quinnipiac its first lead of the second half, 61-58, with 3:40 to play.
As play continued, the Bobcats took a four-point lead, 66-62, with just under two minutes remaining as Barron made her third three-pointer of the contest. Both teams battled, but Quinnipiac's McQuain would add another three points to the Bobcats' score to increase their advantage, 68-65 with just over a minute left.
After Jackie Nared scored two points, Quinnipiac freshman Shaina Earle (South Orange, N.J.) made a free throw to give the Bobcats a final 69-67 advantage with 18 seconds on the clock.
The Bobcats return to action when they host non-conference opponent Massachusetts on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.