HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team fell to Mount St. Mary's, 59-53, in a Northeast Conference match-up at the TD Bank Sports Center Thursday night. The Bobcats' loss is their first in conference play as they drop to 1-1 in the NEC and 6-7 overall. Mount St. Mary's picks up its first NEC win of the season, improving to 1-2 in NEC action and 5-8 overall.
Junior Courtney Kaminski (Dudley, Mass.) turned in her second double-double performance of the season, dropping in 16 points, while grabbing 15 rebounds. Kaminski's 15 boards against the Mount were a new career high, surpassing her previous career best of 12 set earlier this season against Vanderbilt. That rebounding figure is the best by a Quinnipiac player this season and the most since Nicole Duperron had 17 against Wagner on Mar. 1, 2008. Senior Kathleen Neyens (Jaffrey, N.H.) also scored 16 points, including 12 in the second half, while dishing out four assists and pulling down four rebounds.
For Mount St. Mary's, Cassie Cooke scored a team-high 13 points, while also grabbing seven rebounds. Mary Dunn had 12 points and seven rebounds while Lauren Howell had 11 points in the win. Leah Westbrooks grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds in the game.
Both teams traded points over the first 11 minutes of the game before Kaminski and Jackie Mann (Rutherford, N.J.) converted on back-to-back attempts from the floor to give Quinnipiac a 19-16 lead with 8:11 remaining in the first half. The Mount outscored the Bobcats over the final eight minutes of the half, 14-8, to take a 30-27 lead heading into halftime. Cooke came off the bench to lead Mount St. Mary's with seven points and five rebounds in the first half. Westbrooks controlled the boards for the Mount, grabbing nine rebounds in the first frame. Through the first half, Mount St. Mary's outrebounded Quinnipiac, 26-18. Kaminski had eight of Quinnipiac's 18 rebounds to go-along with eight points.
It was Kaminski and Neyens pacing the Bobcats coming out of the half as Quinnipiac used a 9-5 run to take a 38-35 lead over the first five minutes of the second stanza. Kaminski led Quinnipiac with six of those points in the early part of the half, while Neyens filled the point guard role for the first time this season.
After both teams traded baskets over the next four minutes, Quinnipiac clutched to a 40-38 lead. Mount St. Mary's used a 15-2 run to take a 53-42 lead with just over five minutes to play. The 11-point lead by the visiting Mountaineers was the largest of the game. Quinnipiac was able to trim the Mount's lead to five points, 56-51 with 16.1 second remaining, with the help of an 11-6 run.
Fouls by the Bobcats and free throws for the Mount sealed the six-point win, 59-53. The loss snapped Quinnipiac's two-game win streak, while the Mount earned its first NEC victory as it held off a late Bobcat surge in the final minutes.
Quinnipiac returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 9 when it hosts Wagner College in a NEC match-up set for a 12 p.m., start at the TD Bank Sports Center.