PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team lost to Temple University, 75-60, in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament on Thursday night at McGonigle Hall. With the loss, the Bobcats end the 2011-12 season at 22-10, while the Owls improve to 22-9 and move on to the second round of the WNIT, where they will host Harvard University.
Quinnipiac was led by freshman Samantha Guastella's (Red Bank, N.J) team-high 11 points and junior Felicia Barron's (Springfield, Mass.) 10-point performance. Guastella and senior Jacinda Dunbar (Edison, N.J.) each pulled down six boards for QU. Temple's Shey Peddy led four Owls who saw double digits in the scoring column with a game-leading 21 points. Kristen McCarthy posted the only double-double of the night with 13 points and 12 rebounds for Temple.
Overall, 11 Bobcats scored in the postseason contest, compiling a 35.6 field-goal percentage. Quinnipiac's bench played an integral part of the outing, combining for almost half of the team's total points with 26 together. Temple shot 44.3 percent from the floor and out-rebounded QU, 44-to-35.
The Bobcats took an 8-4 lead to open the contest as Barron collected two three-pointers in the first three minutes of play. Temple managed to move in front of Quinnipiac for the first time, 11-10, at the 15-minute mark.
As both squads traded baskets over the next four minutes, QU took back the advance. However, the Owls then went on a 14-0 run to widen the gap by 11 points, 27-16, with just under eight minutes on the clock. Bobcats' rookie point-guard Gillian Abshire (Washington, DC) ended the run as she finished one of two free-throw attempts at 7:32.
The Owls kept the momentum for the remainder of the first half and went ahead by 17 points, their largest lead of the half, as Peddy hit a three-pointer giving Temple a 43-26 advantage with just over a minute to play. Junior Lisa Lebak (Robbinsville, N.J.) answered with a Quinnipiac three-point shot, but Temple's Kristen McCarthy would add two points to the scoreboard before the clock ran out, sending the Owls into the locker room on top, 45-29.
The Bobcats battled throughout the second stanza, but Temple positioned itself with a 25-point advantage, 61-36, six minutes into action. Guastella ended the Owls' 9-0 run as she connected on a shot from three-point range at the 12-minute mark.
Guastella's three-pointer led a Quinnipiac 6-0 run to narrow the deficit, 61-42, across the next minute. The Owls responded with a 9-0 run, followed by a Bobcats 11-2 run, putting QU within 18 points of Temple, 71-53, with five minutes on the clock. QU managed to outscore Temple, 8-4, in the final minutes, ending the contest with an Owls' 75-60 victory.
The loss marks the Quinnipiac women's basketball program's second in the WNIT.
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