LORETTO, Pa. The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team had an opportunity to clinch a berth in the Northeast Conference Tournament, but fell to Saint Francis (Pa.), 70-59, Monday night at DeGol Arena. Erin Kerner (Erie, Pa.) led the Bobcats with 19 points in the game, but the Bobcats' late second-half surge fell short. The loss drops Quinnipiac's conference mark to 7-7 and 14-10 overall. The Red Flash clinched a spot in the post season for the first time since winning the NEC Tournament in 2005 and improves to 8-6 in league play and 10-15 overall after splitting the season series with the Bobcats.
Kerner scored 19 points for the second-straight game as she shot 9-of-27 from the field, while also adding five rebounds and two steals. Kathleen Neyens (Jaffrey, N.H.) scored in double figures for the second consecutive game, dropping 15 against the Red Flash. Neyens also had a team-high six rebounds in the game, while Mandy Pennewell (West Chester, Pa.) added 12 points on 3-of-13 shooting. Saint Francis' Britney Hodges had 19 points, while Janie Killian had a game-high 10 boards for the Red Flash.
"You can't beat too many teams scoring 59 points," said Head Coach Tricia Fabbri. "We need to get back to the good shooting that we saw on Saturday at Robert Morris and when the senior guards play well we can usually get those wins.
Quinnipiac fell behind early, scoring just two points in the first 10:25 of play. Kerner had the Bobcats' first basket of the game at the 14:45 mark as the Red Flash built the lead to as much as 15 in the opening half. The Bobcats' 16 points in the first half was the lowest scoring total in a half this season as they trailed 30-16 at the intermission. Kerner and Mandy Pennewell (West Chester, Pa.) each had six points in the first half for the Bobcats, while Samantha Leach led all players with eight first-half points.
The second half was much like the first with Quinnipiac unable to sustain any real offensive pressure. The Bobcats cut the lead to nine points midway through the half, but were not able to get any closer as the Red Flash held on down the stretch.
For the game, Quinnipiac was outrebounded by Saint Francis, 44-29, while turning over the ball five fewer times, committing 18 to the Red Flash's 23 in the game. The Bobcats outscored the Red Flash, 43-40, in the second half, but were outshot 44.8 percent (26-58) to 37.3 percent (22-59) in the game. Saint Francis connected on 15 of their 20 free throws, including Hodges finishing 10-of-10, while the Bobcats hit 11-of-15 from the charity stripe.
The Bobcats return to action on Saturday, Feb. 21 when they travel to Brooklyn, N.Y., to take on the Long Island Blackbirds. The game can be seen live on the MSG Network and is set for a 2 p.m. tip-off.