BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, N.Y. The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team earned its fifth Northeast Conference win of the season with a 60-45 victory against St. Francis (N.Y.) Monday afternoon at the Pope Physical Education Center. Erin Kerner (Erie, Pa.) finished with a game-high 19 points, while Kathleen Neyens (Jaffrey, N.H.) added 12. With the victory Quinnipiac improves to 11-5 overall this season and 5-2 in NEC play, while the Terriers' record drops to 3-14 and 2-5 in conference.
"We were ready to play this game since Saturday," Head Coach Tricia Fabbri said. "We bounced back after a tough loss and answered. I think we played better in the second half and put our foot down."
The Bobcats jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead with Kerner scoring all seven points. Coming off the bench for the second time this season, Neyens hit jumpers on consecutive possessions in the early minutes. Junior Sarah McGowan (Red Lion, Pa.) found Neyens on the right baseline each time for almost identical 15-foot jump shots and an 11-4 lead.
After the Terriers cut the Quinnipiac lead to one, 17-16, freshman Brittany Capozziello (Fairfield, Conn.) scored her first career collegiate points on layup to push the lead back to three. Capozziello set season highs in points (2), rebounds (2) and minutes (10) in the first half as Bobcats took a 23-16 lead into the locker room. Neyens' eight points led all players at halftime.
"Brittany is a strong player and is not afraid to get out there," Fabbri said. "Kathleen came in and was huge in this game for us. She made a statement with her play today."
Quinnipiac came out shooting in the second half. Senior Mandy Pennewell (West Chester, Pa.) hit a three-point field goal on a fast break to open the half and on the team's next possession connected on a jumper from 18 feet on a long pass from Brianna Rooney (Guilford, Conn.). The Bobcats built the lead to as much as 21 in the final minutes of the game.
Kerner is now just 19 points shy of becoming the program's Division I career scoring leader after Monday's win. Rooney led all players with five assists in the game and four steals. The 45 points allowed were the fewest in conference play this season for the Bobcats. Quinnipiac's defense held the Terriers to just 15 field goals in the game, also season-low, as the team held an opponent under 30 percent from the floor for second time.
Neyens finished 6-of-10 from the floor, while adding three steals. Kerner's 19 points came on 8-of-12 shooting, including two three pointers. The senior guard also added two steals and one assist in the contest.
The Bobcats return to action Saturday, Jan. 24 when they travel to New Britain, Conn., to take on the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut State. The teams are set to tip-off at 4 p.m.