HAMDEN, Conn. The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team defeated Providence College, 78-69, at the TD Banknorth Sports Center in Hamden, Conn. Quinnipiac improves to 5-1 overall while the Friars dropped to 2-4.
Kathleen Neyens (Jaffrey, N.H.) scored a career-high 18 points while also collecting 12 rebounds for her second career double-double and the first by a Quinnipiac player this season. Neyens also had four assists in the Quinnipiac win. Neyens' 18 points and 12 rebounds were both career-highs.
Quinnipiac had four players finish in double figures, led by Erin Kerner's (Erie, Pa.) season-high 26 points. Kerner hit 7-of-11 from the floor, including 5-of-6 from three-point range, as well as 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. Mandy Pennewell (West Chester, Pa.) and Brianna Rooney (Guilford, Conn.) each chipped in with 12 points, while Rooney added five assists.
"I was very pleased with how we played in the first half," head coach Tricia Fabbri said. "Kathleen [Neyens] played well, she gives us that third option to help us with what we need down low. Her 18 points and 12 rebounds were the difference for us today."
Quinnipiac hit on 53.3% (24-45) of its field goal attempts, including an incredible 69.2% (9-13) from three-point range. The Bobcats also converted 21-of-27 from the free-throw line. Providence featured four players to score in double figures, led by Catherine Bove's 14 points. Mi-Khida Hankins added 13 points, while Emily Cournoyer and Chelsea Marandola each chipped in with 11 points. Marandola also had five rebounds and five assists.
Catherine Bove led Providence to an early 8-2 lead, hitting a pair of three-pointers in the first four minutes of play. Pennewell responded when she scored Quinnipiac's first 10 points, knocking down a pair of three-pointers from the corner opposite the Friars' bench to pull Quinnipiac to within three, 13-10, with 16 minutes to play. A three-pointer by Kerner tied the game just over a minute later.
Another Kerner three-pointer at the 12-minute mark gave the Bobcats their first lead of the game, 19-18. After Providence jumped out to a 23-19 lead, Quinnipiac used a 13-0 run to take a 32-23 lead with just under eight minutes to play in the first half. Kerner and Rooney each hit three-pointers and Neyens added four points in a four-minute stretch to take a nine-point lead.
Quinnipiac went on a 22-4 run over a seven-minute stretch to take a 41-27 lead with just under four minutes to play in the half. The Friars and Bobcats would trade baskets over the final four minutes of the half to head into halftime with Quinnipiac leading, 48-34. Quinnipiac hit on 8-of-9 from three-point range in the opening period, their most in one half since Dec. 28, 2007 when they knocked down eight against San Diego State University in the first half of a 78-59 win.
Providence outscored Quinnipiac, 16-7, over the first six minutes of the second half, led by a pair of three-pointers by Bove. Six different Friars scored as Providence cut the Quinnipiac lead to five points, 55-50 with 13:18 remaining in regulation. It would prove to be the closest Providence would get to the Bobcats as they outscored the Friars, 9-4, over the next six minutes to take a 66-54 lead with Neyens scoring six of Quinnipiac's nine points in the run. Both teams traded baskets over the final four minutes as Quinnipiac held on for a nine-point win, 78-69.
Quinnipiac returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 3 when they host the University of Hartford in a non-conference match-up scheduled for an 8 p.m. start. The Bobcats will face their in-state foe in a game to be featured on the New England Sports Network (NESN).