DURHAM, N.C. The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team fell to No. 6 Duke, 78-50, Sunday afternoon at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandy Pennewell (West Chester, Pa.) led the Bobcats with 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the floor. Thirteen of her points came in the second half as she connected on three three-point field goals in the final period. The loss drops the Bobcats' overall record to 8-3, while the Blue Devils improve their mark to 10-1 this season.
Duke's full-court pressure in the first half limited the Bobcats' ability to move the ball across midcourt uncontested. After the Blue Devils jumped out to an initial lead, senior guard Brianna Rooney's (Guilford, Conn.) three-pointer from the left wing put the Bobcats up by one, 5-4. Quinnipiac would not regain the lead again in the game.
After a 22-5 run by the Blue Devils, Jacki Mann (Rutherford, N.J.) connected on her first career three-point field goal to pull the Bobcats back to within 13, 26-13. Duke's Krystal Thomas' three first-half blocks forced Quinnipiac to shoot from the perimeter. Sarah McGowan (Red Lion, Pa.) kicked the ball to Mann behind the line for the open look on the right side as the shot clock expired. Mann hit her second three pointer of the first half just under two minutes later.
The Bobcats trailed the Blue Devils at halftime, 49-21. Chante Black led all scorers with 13 first-half points, while adding three steals and one block. Erin Kerner (Erie, Pa.), the Northeast Conference Player of the Week, was held scoreless in the opening period for the first time this season. Freshman Jacinda Dunbar (Edison, N.J.) chipped in with five points in the first, matching her career-high.
The Bobcats began the second half by outscoring the Blue Devils, 16-10. Sparked by Pennewell's second three-pointer of the half, Quinnipiac cut the Duke lead to 21 points, 56-35. Kerner started the play by tossing a long pass to an open Pennewell at the right wing. The senior guard drew a defender out of position and stepped back for the three. After stopping the Blue Devils at the other end of the floor on the next possession, Krystal Lazos (Medford, N.J.) pushed the ball ahead to Pennewell for a fast-break lay-up.
Kerner led the Bobcats with seven rebounds, including five defensive boards. Dunbar finished with 11 points, more than doubling her previous high. Quinnipiac finished with twice as many three-pointers in the game, shooting 6-of-16 from long range, while holding Duke to just three on 19 attempts.
Black finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Devils. Quinnipiac held Duke's Abby Waner without a three-pointer in the game as she finished 0-for-9 from behind the arc. The Bobcats matched the Blue Devils' scoring output in the second half with both teams scoring 29 points in the final 20 minutes.
The Bobcats return to action Saturday, Jan. 3 when they travel to Teaneck, N.J., to take on Fairleigh Dickinson at 4:30 p.m. Beginning with the game against the Knights, Quinnipiac will play NEC opponents for the remainder of the season.