Women's Basketball Hands Sacred Heart First NEC Loss, 71-34
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team picked up its 10th consecutive road win as it defeated first-place Sacred Heart University, 71-34, in a Northeast Conference contest at the William H. Pitt Center on Monday night. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 14-5, 6-2 in league action, while the Pioneers drop to 14-5, 7-1 in conference play. The Bobcats' 37-point victory was their first win at the Pitt Center since the 2000-01 season.
Quinnipiac's defense stymied the Pioneers, holding Sacred Heart to its lowest point total of the season, and the second fewest since SHU joined the Division I ranks for the 1999-2000 season. Last season, nationally-ranked #1 Connecticut held Sacred Heart to 32 points on Dec. 5, 2010. It was also Sacred Heart's first loss at the Pitt Center this season.
Quinnipiac senior Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) led all scorers with 26 points, converting on 10-of-20 from the floor, including 4-of-8 from three-point range. Brittany McQuain (Independence, Mo.) tallied nine points while also grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds in the winning effort for the Bobcats as 12 different players found their way into the scoring column for the second straight game. Camryn Warner (Keene, N.H.) had a solid all-around game with five points, eight rebounds, four steals and three assists.
"We've really turned into some road warriors," said Head Coach Tricia Fabbri. "Just from the onset, we dug in and did a great job defensively. The team worked together and there's a real trust there on the defensive end."
The Bobcats took control early into the first half as Barron put QU ahead, 11-2, on a three-pointer four minutes into thegame. Quinnipiac continued to keep possession as it went on an 11-4 run, sparked by three-pointers from freshman Samantha Guastella (Red Bank, N.J.) and Barron.
QU widened the gap by 26 points, its largest advantage of the half, as it went on 16-6 run to hold a 38-12 lead at the four-minute mark. The Pioneers added four points to the scoreboard over the next minute, but Barron would send the Bobcats into the locker room ahead, 41-17, as she nailed her fourth three-pointer of the half with only three seconds on the clock.
Barron registered an impressive 20 points as she went 7-for-12 from the floor in the first frame, also scoring four of the Bobcats' five three-pointers. Quinnipiac outshot the Pioneers with a 40.0 field-goal percentage, scoring 13 points off 13 SHU turnovers. The Bobcats also dominated inside the paint, 18-to-12.
Both clubs battled at the start of the second stanza, but QU would outscore Sacred Heart, 9-to-7, in the first 12 minutes to move in front, 55-24. The Bobcats then tallied eight straight points over the next two minutes before thePioneers answered with a 5-0 run, narrowing the deficit to 58-29, as Gabrielle Washington scored three points at 9:09.
As play continued, the Bobcats positioned themselves ahead of the Pioneers by a game-high 37 points, 69-32, as Lisa Lebak hit another QU three-pointer with one minute remaining. Both squads added two points to the scoreboard in the final minute, allowing Quinnipiac its second consecutive final-scoring margin of 37 points.
"Tonight was a really good win to have against a really good team that hadn't lost on their home floor," said Fabbri. "It's a lot of fun to play in games like this. But, the challenge is to continue to get better and not be satisfied."
Quinnipiac returns home after a four-game stint on the road when it hosts Wagner in a league match-up on Saturday, Jan. 28. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center.
Contact: Lindsay Oliveri (Lmoliveri@quinnipiac.edu)