HAMDEN, Conn. Freshman Jacinda Dunbar's (Edison, N.J.) lay-up with eight seconds remaining in regulation gave the Quinnipiac University women's basketball team a 51-49 win against Robert Morris at the TD Banknorth Sports Center Monday night. Dunbar also posted her first career double-double, totaling career-highs in points with 15 and rebounds with 13. Mandy Pennewell (West Chester, Pa.) led all scorers with 21 points while Erin Kerner (Erie, Pa.) tallied 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals. Quinnipiac improves to 10-4 overall and 4-1 in Northeast Conference play, while Robert Morris drops to 5-10 overall and 3-2 in NEC action.
"Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good," Head Coach Tricia Fabbri said. "I'm proud of the team in the second half and the senior leadership. Pennewell, Kerner and Brianna Rooney (Guilford, Conn.) put the team on their backs in the second half and I'm happy we found a way back into the game and won."
Robert Morris' Monet Johnson had 12 points and 18 rebounds, while Sade Logan tallied 13 points in 21 minutes of play. Kendra Williams finished with 11 points while Grace Williams pulled down 12 rebounds.
Quinnipiac struggled from the floor to begin the game, hitting on just five of their first 20 shots from the floor. The Bobcats also had a five-minute scoring drought that saw Quinnipiac miss 11-straight shots before a three-pointer by Kerner at with 8:02 remaining cut into the Colonials' lead, 15-11. The Colonials had shooting woes of their own as they hit on six of their first 22 shots during that stretch.
The Bobcats pulled to within a basket, 15-13, at the 6:18 mark on a lay-up by Pennewell. Robert Morris then responded with four unanswered baskets to push its lead to 24-14 with just under four minutes to play. The Colonials would end up outscoring the Bobcats, 15-6, over the final six minutes of the first half as they headed to intermission with a 30-19 lead. Monet Johnson led Robert Morris with 11 points and 12 rebounds in the first half, while Sade Logan dropped in 10 points.
Quinnipiac used a 12-4 run to open the second half. Led by a pair of three-point field goals by Pennewell, the Bobcats closed the scoring gap to three, 34-31, with 15:41 remaining. Quinnipiac outscored Robert Morris, 27-11, over the first 12 minutes of the second half. Pennewell dropped in 14 points in the run as they jumped out to a 48-41 lead. The senior guard hit just 3-of-10 from the floor in the first half, but rebounded to hit five of her first 10 shots of the second half including four three-pointers.
After the Bobcats built the lead to seven (their largest of the game) on a lay-up by Kerner, Quinnipiac gave up a six-point run to the Colonials, capped off a three-pointer by Destiny Harrison with less than five minutes to play. Robert Morris re-took the lead, 49-48, at the 2:57 mark when Shakeena Cunningham converted on a drive to the hoop.
Dunbar hit the front end of a pair of free throws to tie the game, 49-49, with two minutes to play. Robert Morris missed four field goal attempts all in the paint before a turnover gave Quinnipiac the ball with 51 seconds remaining. After a miss by Pennewell from the top of the key, Robert Morris collected the rebound and advanced the ball over halfcourt and called a timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, Rooney stole the inbounds pass and streaked the length of the court before the ball was knocked out of bounds by a Colonial defender. With eight seconds remaining, Kerner found Dunbar alone in the paint for a lay-up to give the Bobcats a 51-49 lead. Robert Morris' Kendra Williams' last-second lay-up rimmed out, giving the Bobcats the two-point win.
Quinnipiac returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 17 when they travel to West Long Branch, N.J. to take on the Hawks of Monmouth University in a Northeast Conference tilt scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.