Women's Basketball Edged By No. 17 Vanderbilt, 75-74
HAMDEN, Conn. - A double-double by Courtney Kaminski (Dudley, Mass.) and a last-second three-pointer by Kathleen Neyens (Jaffrey, N.H.) were not enough as the Quinnipiac University women's basketball team fell to No. 17 Vanderbilt, 75-74, Thursday night at the TD Bank Sports Center. In a game that saw 19 lead changes and nine ties, the Bobcats fell in the final seconds of play with the Commodores taking their biggest lead of the game at four with just six seconds remaining on the clock. The loss drops Quinnipiac to 2-5 on the season, while Vanderbilt improves to 9-1.
Four Quinnipiac starters finished in double-digit scoring, with Neyens' 15 leading the way. Sophomore Jacinda Dunbar (Edison, N.J.) scored 14, while redshirt freshman Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) finished with 13 and added seven rebounds and a career-high seven assists. Kaminski became just the second Bobcat to record a double-double this season as she scored 12 and pulled down 12 boards.
Vanderbilt's Rhoads and Jence scored a game-high 17 points. Lauren Lueders scored six points and added seven rebounds in the win, helping the 17th-ranked Commodores to their ninth victory of 2009-10.
"We played hard tonight," said Head Coach Tricia Fabbri. "I'm not into moral victories right now. The effort was good and the execution was also good at both ends of the floor. Right now this loss stings. To battle Vanderbilt and come up one point short is tough for this team."
The first half was all Quinnipiac in the early going. The Bobcats built their largest lead to 16, 29-13, less than 10 minutes into the first half, after freshman guard Lisa Lebak (Robbinsville, N.J.) connected on her second three-point field goal of the half. The Commodores began to chip away at the deficit, pulling to within seven heading into halftime, 41-34.
A quick burst to start the second half gave the Bobcats a 13-point lead, 47-34, less than two minutes in. Vanderbilt answered back with a 13-0 run over the next three minutes to tie the game for the first time since the opening minute. Both teams traded three-pointers with Vanderbilt's Gabby Smith giving her team the 54-51 lead before junior Alyssa Jann (Westford, Mass.) tied it with a three of her own.
The final six and a half minutes saw the teams tie the score five different times. After falling behind by two, 62-60, Neyens hit her second three-pointer of the game to give the Bobcats the lead. Both teams traded baskets in the final three minutes, with each taking the lead two times. A three-point field goal from Vanderbilt's Merideth Marsh gave the Commodores the lead, 71-69, with 1:32 showing on the clock.
Kaminski tied the game, 71-71, with 56 seconds left on a layup underneath the basket. A jumper by Jence Rhoads and two free throws by Hannah Tuomi gave Vanderbilt its largest lead of the game, 75-71, with six seconds remaining. On the inbounds, Kaminski pushed the ball up court and found Neyens open at the top of the arc. With a defender making contact, Neyens hit the jumper from long range as the clock expired. The shot counted, but was not enough as Vanderbilt held on for the one-point win, 75-74.
Quinnipiac will return to action as it continues its three-game homestand with the middle contest against Maine Saturday. The Bobcats and Bears are set to tip-off from Lender Court at the TD Bank Sports Center at noon.