HAMDEN, Conn. – Behind double figures from Gillian Abshire (Washington, D.C.) and Brittany McQuain (Independence, Mo.), the Quinnipiac University women's basketball team defeated in-state rival Hartford, 62-49, at the TD Bank Sports Center on Wednesday night. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 4-4 on the season while the visiting Hawks fell to 1-7 overall. The game was aired live throughout the region on NESN.
Points off of turnovers was the statistic that stood out for both coaches at the end of the game. Quinnipiac didn't shoot the ball very well, however, converted 30 Hawk miscues into 24 points on the other end. Abshire finished with a game-high 14 points, six steals and two assists – with the six steals serving as a season high for the junior point guard. McQuain compiled another double-double, the third in her last four games, with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bobcats jumped out to an early lead after a quick start in the opening stanza. Quinnipiac's first double-digit lead came just over six minutes into the game, when Samantha Guastella (Red Bank, N.J.) capped off an 11-0 run for the Bobcats. Quinnipiac maintained its comfortable lead for the majority of the half, despite a 10-0 run from Hartford around the five-minute mark, and carried a 38-30 lead into the locker room at halftime.
After the break, both teams struggled to find a rhythm on the offensive end. Quinnipiac shot just 23.5 percent from the floor, with the visiting Hawks connecting on 23.8 percent of their field goals. In the end though, 13 second-half turnovers prevented Hartford from making a run to cut into the deficit. The Hawks crept to within five points with 4:47 left to play, but free-throws and timely baskets for the Bobcats disallowed the comeback.
Quinnipiac displayed a balanced attack when all was said and done, placing eight players into the scoring column. Guastella and Maria Napolitano (Cincinnati, Ohio) each chipped in with eight points while Guastella added eight rebounds and two blocks to her stat line. Jasmine Martin (Sicklerville, N.J.), Adily Martucci (Waterford, Conn.) and Camryn Warner (Keene, N.H.) each had six points apiece.
Along with the turnovers came several steals for the hosting Bobcats. Quinnipiac totaled a season-best 19 of them, which was enhanced by nine blocked shots as well. QU also bombarded the glass with 19 offensive rebounds for 12 second-chance points.
Hartford was led by Deanna Mayza and Shanise Bultron with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The Bobcats are back in action on Friday, Dec. 2 with their inaugural MAAC game against eight-time defending champion Marist. Tip-off is set for 6:05 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center with all the action aired live on ESPN3.com.
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