HAMDEN, Conn. Despite 18 second-half points from Erin Kerner (Erie, Pa.) the Quinnipiac University women's basketball fell to the Long Island University, 52-49, in a Northeast Conference match-up at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. The loss drops the Bobcats to 6-4 in NEC play and 12-7 overall, while the Blackbirds earned their second conference win of the season to improve to 2-7 and 7-13 overall.
Kerner connected on all seven of her field goals in the second half as she finished 7-of-17 from the field in the game. Kathleen Neyens (Jaffrey, N.H.) pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds and freshman Jacinda Dunbar (Edison, N.J.) added 10 points. Long Island's Chelsi Johnson had a game-high 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the win. LIU freshman Ashley Palmer matched Neyens with 10 boards, all on the defensive end.
"Nothing's easy when you start second guessing yourself," said Head Coach Tricia Fabbri. "I don't think we are playing at that confident level that we are used to. We need to just try to relax and find some offensive flow and get back out there against Mount St. Mary's on Monday."
After the Bobcats took an early lead, the Blackbirds used an 11-2 run to build their lead to nine points, its largest of the game, 19-10. A late lay-up by Brianna Rooney (Guilford, Conn.) cut the lead to four, but Long Island's Connie James followed with a lay-up of her own with two seconds remaining to push the Blackbirds' lead back up to six, 23-17, heading into halftime.
Quinnipiac tied the game at 30-30 on a jumper by Sarah McGowan (Red Lion, Pa.) almost eight minutes into the second half. Kerner gave the Bobcats their first lead of the game since the opening minutes on a hanging jump shot just over half a minute later.
The two teams exchanged baskets and the lead over the next four and a half minutes, before Mandy Pennewell's (West Chester, Pa.) only basket of the game came from behind the three-point arc on the left wing to give the Bobcats the lead, 42-40.
Long Island would once again take the lead, 49-45, sparked by a three-pointer by Johnson. Back-to-back baskets by Kerner in a span of 43 seconds pulled the teams even for the ninth time in the game with just under a minute and a half showing on the clock.
After Marika Sprow connected the first of two free-throw attempts for the Blackbirds, the Bobcats had an opportunity to win the game. A missed layup with less than 10 seconds remaining and two late free throws by Long Island sealed the win, 52-49.
For the game, the Blackbirds outshot the Bobcats, 39.6 percent (21-53) to 35.7 percent (20-56) from the floor, while both teams shot 2-of-11 (18.2 percent) from beyond the three-point line. Long Island shot 72.7 percent (8-11) to Quinnipiac's 58.3 percent (7-12) from the free-throw line. The Bobcats out-rebounded the Blackbirds, 42-34.
Quinnipiac returns to action Monday night at 7 p.m. when they play host to the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.