WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team fell to Monmouth, 60-48, Saturday afternoon at Boylan Gymnasium. Erin Kerner (Erie, Pa.) led the Bobcats with 20 points in the game. The loss drops Quinnipiac to 4-2 in Northeast Conference play and 10-5 overall, while the Hawks improve their conference mark to 2-4 and are 7-9 overall.
The teams split the regular-season series after Quinnipiac dealt Monmouth a 57-52 loss in the teams' NEC openers on Dec. 6 at the TD Banknorth Sports Center in Hamden.
After Jacinda Dunbar's (Edison, N.J.) layup in the first minute gave the Bobcats the first lead of the game, both teams struggled to find their form in the first half, combing for 15 turnovers. Sarah McGowan (Red Lion, Pa.) scored on consecutive possessions and assisted on the next as Quinnipiac and Monmouth traded baskets midway through the half.
Kerner scored all of her points in the first half in the final eight minutes. She also scored the Bobcats' final eight points of the opening period. The Hawks' Jennifer Bender led all players at the break with nine points as she helped her team to a six-point lead at half, 23-17.
The Hawks stormed out in the second half, building the lead to 12 points, 40-28, with 9:55 showing on the game clock. Kerner's lone three-pointer of the contest came with just under eight minutes remaining and cut the lead to seven, 40-33.
Quinnipiac's Mandy Pennewell (West Chester) lifted the Bobcats, scoring five points in the initial minutes of the second half, but the Hawks' duo of Lakia Barber and Bender were too strong down the stretch as Quinnipiac fell behind by as many as 13. Bender finished with a game-high 22 points and eight rebounds, while Barber added 13 points.
The Bobcats tied a season-low with 48 points as the team shot just 18-of-51 from the floor. Kerner led the team in scoring for the ninth time this season, finishing with 20 points on 8-of-18 shooting. It was the seventh time this season that the senior guard scored 20 or more points.
Quinnipiac returns to action Monday, Jan. 19 as they travel to Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., to take on the Terriers of St. Francis. The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. tip.