University Bobcats (5-1) vs.
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (5-1) vs.
University of Hartford Hawks (4-3)
Wednesday, December 3, 2008 8 p.m.
TD Banknorth Sports Center Hamden, Conn.
The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team plays host to the Hartford Hawks Wednesday night at the TD Banknorth Sports Center at 8 p.m. The game will be televised live on the New England Sports Network (NESN). The Bobcats come into the game having won their last two contests. Quinnipiac won its home opener against Delaware, 50-41, last Tuesday before dispatching Big East opponent Providence on Sunday, 78-69. Quinnipiac and Hartford last played on Dec. 9, 2003, with the Bobcats prevailing 72-66. Quinnipiac holds a 10-6 advantage in the all-time series.
Scouting the Hawks
Hartford comes to the TD Banknorth Sports Center for the first time Wednesday. Earlier this season, the defending America East Champions defeated the fifth-ranked Duke Blue Devils at the DePaul Tournament in Chicago, Ill. It was the highest ranked team the Hawks had ever defeated and kept their streak of four consecutive seasons with a win over a ranked opponent intact. In its most recent game, Hartford fell to tournament-host George Washington in the Championship Game of the George Washington Thanksgiving Classic Nov. 29, 67-65. This season, the Hawks are led by Lisa Etienne's 11.4 points per game. Erica Beverly is averaging 8.4 rebounds per game, good for the team lead.
Live By The Three
The Bobcats have hit 17 three-point field goals in the last two games. Against Delaware, Quinnipiac used six second-half three-pointers to spark the comeback victory. In the next game, the Bobcats began by shooting 8-of-9 from behind the arc in the first half against the Friars, including hitting their first seven attempts. Senior Erin Kerner (Erie, Pa.) led the Bobcats, shooting 5-of-6 from long range in the game to help her to a season-high 26 points. Quinnipiac is second in the Northeast Conference with 38 three-point field goals this season, averaging just over six a game.
Kathleen Neyens (Jaffrey, N.H.) made her presence felt against the Friars Sunday afternoon. Her 18 points and 12 rebounds were both career high figures. She also tied her career-high assist total with four in the game. The Quinnipiac forward shot 8-of-10 from the floor as she helped the Bobcats to a first-half surge to take the lead. Neyens collected an offensive rebound in the final seconds of the opening period and beat the buzzer with a layup to give the Bobcats a 14-point advantage at halftime.
Neyens' double-double was the first of the season for the Bobcats. Joining her in double-digit scoring figures against Providence were Brianna Rooney (Guilford, Conn.), Mandy Pennewell (West Chester, Pa.) and Kerner. Rooney and Pennewell added 12 points each in the Bobcats' second home game of the 2008-09 campaign.
The Bronze Age
The Bobcats rank third in the NEC in both scoring offense and defense this season. Quinnipiac is averaging 64.3 points per game, while holding opponents to 58.5 in six games. That +5.8 scoring margin is tied for the top figure in the conference.
The Bobcats are second in the NEC in turnover margin. Through six games, the Bobcats are forcing their opponents into making 2.5 more turnovers per game. Quinnipiac is just one of four teams in the conference to have fewer turnovers than its opponents.
I'll Take That
Freshman guard Felicia Barron's (Springfield, Mass.) 2.83 steals per game is second in the conference. Barron leads the team with 17 steals this season. In the first game of the season, Barron recorded seven steals against Stony Brook. Rooney also accomplished the feat in the home opener against Delaware.
Movin' On Up
Her five blocks against Delaware propelled freshman forward Jacki Mann (Rutherford, N.J.) into the top 10 shot-blockers in the NEC. Mann ranks seventh in the conference in rejections with 0.83 per game. She has also added at the offensive end of the court, scoring the go-ahead basket midway through the second half against the Blue Hens.
The Bobcats shot an astounding 69.2% from three-point range against the Friars. Quinnipiac shot 24-of-45 from the field against Providence as well. It was the first time that the team had connected on more than 50% of its field goal attempts in a game this season. When the Bobcats shoot better than their opponent this season the team is 4-0. Quinnipiac defeated Delaware despite the Blue Hens holding a slight advantage in field-goal percentage.
Home or Away
Since the beginning of the 2007-08 season, Quinnipiac has won 86% of its home games. The Bobcats have won 13 of their last 15 games played at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Quinnipiac has fared just as well on the road, winning 16 games away from Hamden. The Bobcats are 3-0 on the road this season and 2-0 in home contests with the team's lone loss coming on a neutral court.