PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team used a 50-point first half and key defensive stops late in the second half to defeat Morgan State, 68-57, Saturday afternoon in its first game of the Brown Bear Classic at the Pizzitola Sports Center. The win improves the Bobcats record to 2-3 overall this season and advances them to the tournament championship game against UMass Sunday at 1 p.m., after the Minutewomen dispatched the hosts from Brown, 69-54, in the first game of the day.
"We have been playing some great basketball in terms of the first half through all five of our opponents," said Head Coach Tricia Fabbri. "We came out and dominated the first, playing like we have been. You need every point to win the game and the difficult part for us all season has been the first five minutes of the second half. That is something that we are going to try and improve on moving forward.
The Bobcats led by 19 at the break, 50-31, shooting 57.1 percent (20-35) from the floor. Kathleen Neyens (Jaffrey, N.H.) and Courtney Kaminski (Dudley, Mass.) each led the way in the first half for Quinnipiac with 11 points apiece. Strong defense by the Bobcats caused Morgan State into 16 first-half turnovers.
The second half started strong for Quinnipiac as they built a 26-point lead, 58-32, just over four minutes into the period. That 26-point lead is the largest of the season for the Bobcats, but was short lived as the Bears began to chip away at the deficit.
Using an aggressive half-court press, Morgan State recorded eight second-half steals to pull as close as 10 in the final minutes. But, the large lead by the Bobcats in the first half was the difference as Quinnipiac held on for its second win of the season, 68-57.
Neyens finished with a game-high 17 points, while Kaminski and Jacinda Dunbar (Edison, N.J.) also finished in double digits. Jacki Mann (Rutherford, N.J.) finished one rebound shy of her career high as she pulled down nine in the game. Dunbar also grabbed nine boards, one shy of a double-double. For the third game in a row, Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) ended with six assists.
Morgan State was led by Corin Adams and her 15 points, five assists and five steals in the game. Eleven players scored points for the Bears as their second-half comeback fell just short, dropping the Bears to 3-4 on the season.
Quinnipiac returns to action tomorrow in the second game of the Brown Bear Classic. The Bobcats will take on UMass in the Championship Game at 1 p.m.