HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team defeated the University of New Hampshire, 68-54, Sunday afternoon at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Bobcats' victory in their home opener was the first of the season and improves their record to 1-2. The loss snaps the Wildcats' two-game win streak and drops their record to 3-2 in 2009-10.
Redshirt freshman Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) led the Bobcats with 14 points, while also dishing out a game-high six assists. Redshirt senior Kathleen Neyens (Jaffrey, N.H.) finished one rebound shy of a double-double as she scored 11 and pulled down nine in the win. Sophomore Jacinda Dunbar (Edison, N.J.) rounded out the trio of Bobcats in double figures with 12 points, while recording five boards and four steals.
"I think the two hardest wins to get are the first one and the one to get you to the championship game," said Head Coach Tricia Fabbri. "It was good to see our girls playing hard for a full 40 minutes today. We played well against Hartford and Providence, but we didn't play the full 40. I was happy to see us extend our effort and execute our plans."
Quinnipiac jumped out to the early lead and never trailed the entire game. Consecutive three-point field goals by Neyens, followed by another quick three-pointer by Barron in the span of 1:15 midway through the first half gave the Bobcats a 15-point lead, 26-11. A layup by Lailah Pratt (Palmyra, N.J.) with 3:44 remaining gave the Bobcats their largest lead of half at 18 before heading into the locker room up 12, 37-25.
The second half began much like the first half ended with each team trading baskets. New Hampshire would get as close as 11 in the final 20 minutes of play, but the Bobcats' offensive push and 12 second-half offensive rebounds helped them pull away late. Building its lead to as much as 22 late in the final period helped Quinnipiac cruise to the 14-point win, 68-54.
The Bobcats attempted 28 more shots in the game than the Wildcats, finishing 23-of-78 from the floor (29.5%) to New Hampshire's 18-of-50 (36.0%) shooting. Quinnipiac finished the game with 22 offensive rebounds and 51 overall, while UNH managed just six on the offensive glass and 41 in the game.
"I think that that was one of our better defensive efforts so far this season," added Fabbri. "We played an entire game man-to-man, which is very rare. I threw in a zone every once in a while to change it up, but I thinking playing the whole game in man helped our transition game."
Pratt finished one rebound shy of her career high, pulling down seven in the win. Freshman Shelby Sferra (LaGrangeville, N.Y.) came off the bench and in just 12 minutes of play pulled down five rebounds, the best figure of her young career. Ryann Simmons (Norwalk, Conn.) also came off the bench and made an impact, scoring seven points, while adding a block, steal and an assist in the game.
New Hampshire's Candace Williams finished with a game-high 18 points and pulled down six boards. Denise Beliveau also reached double-digit scoring with 13 points and added a team-high seven boards for the Wildcats.
The Bobcats return to action with another nonconference matchup on Wednesday, Dec. 2. Quinnipiac will take on St. Bonaventure at 7 p.m., from Lender Court at the TD Bank Sports Center.