Women's Basketball Tips Off Season in Preseason WNIT Friday at 5 PM

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University (0-0, 0-0 MEAC)
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (0-0, 0-0 MAAC)
Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 – 5 PM
TD Bank Sports Center– Hamden, Conn.

Multimedia vs. NC A&T
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Quinnipiac Game Notes


Women's Basketball Tips Off New Season
Quinnipiac Women's Basketball opens their 2013-14 in the opening round of the preseason WNIT on Friday at 5 PM against North Carolina A&T. The winner faces the winner of the Louisville vs Loyola Chicago opening round game. The loser will play in a consolation game.

On The Air
WQUN will provide live audio for the game. The link is for internet only. Bob Mortali will be on play by play while Bob Tipson will be on color. Live video will also be available on YouTube.

About The WNIT Preseason Tournament
The WNIT Preseason Tipoff celebrates its 20th season this year. 10 of the 16 teams in the field this season made it to the NCAA Tournament last season. The field includes national runner up Louisville and Big 12 Preseason Favorite Oklahoma. Each team will be guaranteed a minimum of three games with losers from the championship bracket falling into a consolation bracket. All games, including the semifinal and championship, will be hosted by participating schools. The championship game will be nationally televised live in HD on CBS Sports Network on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 4:00 p.m. Since 1994, over 200 teams representing 32 Division I conferences have competed in the Preseason WNIT. The WNIT is currently the longest-running preseason women's basketball tournament. A team may participate in the Preseason WNIT no more than once in a four year period.

Scouting The Aggies
Expectations are high for NC A&T this year after posting a 22-10 record, appearing in the Postseason WNIT and finishing second in the MEAC in 2012-13. A&T returns senior forward Tracy King, junior guard Ariel Bursey and redshirt-sophomore center Eboni Ross who was named the MEAC Rookie of the Year last season. King has scored 464 points, grabbed 206 rebounds and dished out 53 assists while posting an 81% free throw percentage. Last season she averaged 10.1 points per game. Bursey started 22 games last season averaging 6.3 points per game last year. Ross started 19 games last year while averaging 8.0 points per game last season. This is A&T's second appearance in the Preseason WNIT, after posting a 1-2 record in the 2009 tournament.

Series History Vs North Carolina A&T
Quinnipiac has never faced off against North Carolina A&T, a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The Bobcats are 3-2 all-time against the MEAC.

Backcourt
Big shoes will need to be filled in the backcourt as the Quinnipiac Division I leader in steals and leading scorer from a year ago must be replaced. Two-time NEC Defensive Player of the Year Felicia Barron was lost to graduation in May of 2013, after wrapping up a sensational career with the Bobcats. However, talent and flexibility on the perimeter put the Bobcats in great position to fill the void of the potent scorer/defender. Quinnipiac boasted one of the most suffocating team defenses in the nation in 2012-13, and was named the NCAA Division I Statistical Champion for turnover margin at the end of the season. The "Gold Rush" was spearheaded by a relentless back court, in which the Bobcats return five players from last year's corps.

Leading the way are All-NEC Third Teamer Jasmine Martin and starting point guard Gillian Abshire, who are both back for their junior seasons. Together Martin and Abshire combined for 6.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game on a team that totaled 17.0 assists and 12.4 steals per game. Both statistics were amongst national leaders.

Martin, a 5-8 guard out of Sicklerville, N.J., is one of the most exciting players to watch in the region. She earned her second All-Conference honor with her third team selection in 2012-13. An All-Rookie Team honoree in 2011-12, Martin's offensive prowess has her on pace to challenge QU's all-time scoring leaders. She averaged 12.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game last year and already has 773 career points at Quinnipiac. Martin's sophomore season was highlighted by a 22 point outburst at Sacred Heart in a victory that clinched the NEC Regular Season Title for the Bobcats.

Abshire, a 5-10 guard from Washington, D.C., led the 2012-13 team in assists per game (5.0) and assists-to-turnover ratio (2.41). She finished with a total of 164 assists, which set a new Division I program record for assists in a single season. Abshire's assist-to-turnover ratio was also good enough for 10th best in the entire nation. She shot 40 percent from the field and averaged 5.3 points per game.

Helping Martin on the wing will be senior Ellen Cannon and sophomore Maria Napolitano, two sharp-shooters from beyond the arc. The tandem combined for 53 three-pointers in 2012-13, while connecting on nearly 38 percent of their attempts. Cannon played in all 33 games and averaged 4.1 points per game, while leading the team in free-throw shooting percentage (76.2). Napolitano shot 35.8 percent beyond the arc last season, averaging 3.6 points and 1.1 rebounds per game.

Also joining the Bobcats' perimeter will be a slew of dynamic guards. Shaina Earle, a 5-5, junior from South Orange, N.J., returns after missing most of the 2012-13 campaign due to injury. Earle averaged 1.8 points and one assist per outing in 30 appearances as a freshman. Sophomore Adily Martucci sat out last season and intends to use a red-shirt to gain another year of eligibility. She led her high school team to a 21-3 season record that concluded with an ECC Championship in her final season back in 2011-12.

Wrapping up the backcourt will be a newcomer to the Quinnipiac basketball family. Freshman Brianah Ramos came to Quinnipiac from Montgomery, N.Y. after a tremendous basketball career at DePaul Catholic High School. The 5-9 guard compiled an overall record of 77-31 at DePaul including two Passaic County Championships (2011, 2013) and a Sectional Championship in 2011. The 2012-13 season also saw Ramos score her 1,000th career points as she averaged 18 points per contest to accomplish the feat.

Front Court
Quinnipiac presents arguably the most formidable front court in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with the return of Brittany McQuain, Camryn Warner, Nikoline Ostergaard and Samantha Guastella. If that's not enough, add Katie Carroll, Jaci Oskam, Tiffany Webster and Morgan Manz to the mix, granting the Bobcats a front line that averages nearly 6-feet tall. However this group brings more than size to the table as Coach Fabbri calls this bunch one of her most talented units since taking over the program.

McQuain served as the one of the most dominate post players in the Northeast Conference last season. She nearly averaged a double-double with 11.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, but also chipped in with 1.7 steals and 1.4 assists per outing. After a spectacular junior campaign, McQuain remains just 18 points away from the 1,000 point club – which would make her the 19th player in Quinnipiac history to accomplish the feat. She also has 794 career rebounds and 78 career blocks, which is good enough for sixth on both all-time lists.

Warner emerged into a prominent force on the block last year, averaging 6.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Warner shot nearly 47 percent from the field and was third on the team from the free-throw line shooting 74.2 percent from the charity stripe. On the other side of the ball, Warner's efforts didn't go unnoticed either, as she sits right behind McQuain in fifth place all-time with 76 career blocks.

The Bobcats also welcome back Nikoline Ostergaard and Samantha Guastella for their junior seasons. Both played key roles in the front court for the Bobcats a year ago, and will bring the same intensity this time around. Ostergaard was a key component of the Gold Rush. She played in all 33 games while averaging 19.2 minutes per game. She shot 38.5 percent from the field and totaled 176 points on the year.

Guastella, even though slowed by an injury last year, still managed to play in 22 games and make 13 starts for the Bobcats. She shot 41.0 percent from the field and 43.4 percent from downtown, a major reason why Quinnipiac ranked 23rd in the nation in three-point field goal percentage. Along with McQuain and Warner, Guastella also tied for the team-lead with 30 blocks on the season.

Junior Jaci Oskam and sophomore Katie Carroll wrap up the front court returners for the Bobcats. Oskam, a 5-10 forward from Glenmont, N.Y., missed last season with an injury, but is eager to return to the court after the setback. Katie Carroll, a 6-0 forward from Westlake, Ohio, returns after totaling 128 minutes in 24 games last season. She averaged close to one point and two rebounds per game last year.

Freshmen Tiffany Webster and Morgan Manz serve as the new faces to join the highly touted Bobcat front court. Webster came to Quinnipiac from Washington, D.C. after a year at Hampton University. Prior to Hampton, she attended Montrose Christian High School for four years where she was the third-leading scorer in the Washington D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area. Manz enjoyed four years of successful high school basketball before deciding to sign with the Bobcats. She led her high school team, The Taft School, to two Founders League Championships which featured a 2011-12 campaign that featured a 20-3 overall record.

The Schedule
If the Quinnipiac women's basketball team is going to return to the NCAA Tournament in 2014 it will have a solid building base to start from with a challenging schedule. Fabbri has announced a 30-game slate that features eight opponents who are coming off of an NCAA Tournament, WNIT or WBI bid last year – with the potential of seeing 10 teams that advanced to postseason play.

Quinnipiac's 2013-14 season presents a daunting mission early on, as the Bobcats will be one of 16 teams in the 2013 Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) - 10 of which are coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance. The field consists of Georgia State, Gonzaga, Idaho, IPFW, Louisville, Loyola Chicago, LSU, Mount St. Mary's, North Carolina A&T, Oklahoma, Quinnipiac, Saint Joseph's, Stephen F. Austin, Stetson, Tennessee-Martin, and Wichita State.

After the WNIT Tournament, Quinnipiac will play seven more non-conference games, beginning with BIG EAST foe St. John's on Wednesday, Nov. 20 (7 p.m.) at Carnesecca Arena in New York, N.Y. The Bobcats follow with home games against American (Nov. 23 – 7 p.m.), St. Joseph's (Dec. 1 – 1 p.m.) and Hartford (Dec. 4 – 7 p.m.) and road games against Missouri State (Nov. 26 – 1 p.m.), Albany (Dec. 15 – 7 p.m.) and Holy Cross (Dec. 18 -7 p.m.).

With the addition of Monmouth University and Quinnipiac to the MAAC, each team will play 20 league games over a 10-week period. MAAC teams will face each other twice during the season, once on their home court and once on the road.

MAAC Championships
The 2014 MAAC Championships will be held Thursday, March 6 through Monday, March 10 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.

Last Season
The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team made the 2012-13 season a special one. The Bobcats produced the best campaign in program history. It was a dream season for the Bobcats, who made their way unscathed through the Northeast Conference Tournament en route to an NEC Championship. Fabbri led the Bobcats to their first 30-win season in program history, also a Northeast Conference first as well, which included a perfect 18-0 through the regular season. Quinnipiac garnered the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament and swept through the field en route to a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

The Beginning
Quinnipiac began the 2012-13 season with a 7-0 record which was the best start in Division I program history and second best all-time. It only trailed a 9-0 start during the 1986-87 campaign. The stretch included an impressive road win at James Madison in the season-opener, and two wins at the Brown Bear Classic that resulted in Quinnipiac's second, in-season tournament title in as many seasons.

Fabbri Collects 250
Head coach Tricia Fabbri marked her 250th career win on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2012 against Holy Cross. Fabbri is the only Quinnipiac women's basketball coach with 250 wins to her name in program history. The Bobcats defeated the Crusaders, 61-49, in a game that was televised throughout the region on NESN.

Weathering The Storm
The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team defeated St. John's, 75-72, at the TD Bank Sports Center on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012 to improve to 8-1 on the season. Quinnipiac last defeated a BIG EAST opponent in 2009-10 when the Bobcats defeated Providence College, 78-69.

Best Start to a Season
On Monday, January 28, 2013, the Quinnipiac women's basketball team improved to 17-2 and left their mark in Quinnipiac history by surpassing the previous record for best start to a season, which was set by Tricia Fabbri's 2007-08 team. The Bobcats defeated CCSU, 82-73, for their 17th win.

Perfection
The Bobcats went a perfect 16-0 in the months of January and February for the first time in program history. Quinnipiac shared this distinction with only seven other teams in the NCAA Division I.

NEC Regular Season Champions
With their win over defending Northeast Conference champion Sacred Heart on Saturday, February 23, 2013, the Bobcats were named the NEC Regular Season Champions for the 2012-13 season. This marked the second time in program history that Quinnipiac captured the title and was only the fourth team in NEC history to complete an 18-0 season. Quinnipiac claimed home-court advantage throughout the NEC Tournament.

Accolades Galore
Highlighted by head coach Tricia Fabbri and senior guard Felicia Barron, four members of the Quinnipiac University women's basketball team earned Northeast All-Conference accolades for the 2012-13 season. Fabbri secured her third Brenda Reilly NEC Coach of the Year honor, while Barron retained her NEC Defensive Player of the Year crown and was tabbed to the NEC First Team. Brittany McQuain was named to the All-NEC Second Team and Jasmine Martin earned a trip to the third team.

The NEC Championship
Quinnipiac defeated Saint Francis University, 72-33, in the Northeast Conference Championship on Sunday, March 17, 2013. QU earned the program's first Northeast Conference title and became just the fifth team in the 27-year history of NEC women's basketball to complete an undefeated season against conference foes. The Bobcats were also the fourth team in conference history to earn a No. 13 in the NCAA Tournament. Quinnipiac defeated Bryant in the NEC Quarterfinals and Mount St. Mary's in the NEC Semifinals.

NEC All-Tournament Team
Brittany McQuain finished with 14 points and seven rebounds in the championship game en route to an All-Tournament MVP selection. Felicia Barron and Jasmine Martin joined McQuain on the All-Tournament team after chipping in with nine points and eight points, respectively. Barron added five rebounds and four steals.

Tournament Records
The lopsided victory in the final game set two Northeast Conference Tournament records, including largest margin of victory in a championship game (39). Quinnipiac also set the new mark for fewest points allowed in an NEC Tournament game and fewest points allowed in an NEC Championship game (33).

The NCAA Tournament
The No. 13 seeded Quinnipiac University women's basketball team fell short in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament to the No. 4 seed Maryland, 72-52, on Gary Williams Court at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md. With the loss, the Bobcats concluded their historic season with a 30-3 record.

Another National Postseason Appearance
Quinnipiac's first trip to the NCAA Tournament marked its third national postseason appearance in its last six seasons. The Bobcats earned its first appearance with a trip to Iona in the 2008 WNIT Tournament and then made a second WNIT Tournament appearance in 2011-12. Quinnipiac is still in search for its first national postseason victory.

A 30 Win Season
With their win in the NEC Championship, the Bobcats eclipsed the 30-win plateau for the 2012-13 season. Quinnipiac joined eight other Division I programs across the nation to accomplish the feat.

The Streak
Quinnipiac set a new program record with 22 straight wins from December 30, 2012 to March 17, 2013. It was tied for the fifth longest winning streak in the nation throughout the season.

Among the Nation's Best
Quinnipiac is among the national leaders in several statistical categories. The Bobcats finished first in turnover margin (+8.5); fifth in win/loss percentage (90.9); seventh in assists (17.0) and; 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2); 23rd in three-point field goal percentage (35.0); 26th in scoring margin (+13.2) and scoring offense (70.5); 19th in three-point field goal percentage defense (26.8); and 29th in three-point field goals per game (7.0).

20-20 Vision
With their win against CCSU (2/13), the Bobcats claimed 20 wins in a season for the seventh time in program history. It's the second consecutive 20-win season, fourth time under the direction of head coach Tricia Fabbri and fourth time in the Division I era.

New England's Finest
The Bobcats (30-3) served as the top women's basketball team in New England with only three losses on the season. The nationally-ranked No. 3 UConn Huskies are 29-4, sitting right behind the Bobcats among New England teams.

Dishing Out
Gillian Abshire ranked 10th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.41). For the season, 'Boo' had 164 assists to only 68 turnovers. In the game against Bryant (1/14), Abshire collected a career high of 10 assists and only one turnover in one of her best performances of her sophomore campaign. Boo dished out five or more assists in 19 of Quinnipiac's 33 games.

Next Up For The Bobcats
The winner of this game will play the winner of Louisville vs Loyola Chicago. If Louisville wins, the game will be at Louisville on Monday.