LORETTO, Pa. - The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team dropped the first of its two-game western Pennsylvania road trip to Saint Francis (Pa.), 78-54, Thursday afternoon at DeGol Arena. The win clinches a berth in the Northeast Conference Tournament for the Red Flash, who improves to 8-7 in league play and 11-15 overall. The loss, combined with a win by Mount St. Mary's against Central Connecticut, drops the Bobcats out of the final postseason spot with a 5-10 NEC mark and 10-16 overall. Mount St. Mary's also has a 5-10 NEC record this season, but owns the tie-breaker with Quinnipiac, having swept the season series.
"I thought the execution was good, but we just ran out of gas down the stretch," head coach Tricia Fabbri said. "We had a good effort, but we just couldn't get anything going in the second half. This team is going to find a way in the final couple of games as they are very hard working."
Saint Francis held just a two-point lead, 32-30, at halftime. Allison Daly sparked the Red Flash in the first 20 minutes of play, scoring 11 points in the period and was the only player in the half to score in double figures. Samantha Leach was second on the team with eight points in the half.
Three Quinnipiac players combined for 25 of the team's 30 points. Junior Lailah Pratt (Palmyra, N.J.) was one point off her career high as she scored nine in the opening stanza. Sophomore Jacinda Dunbar (Edison, N.J.) and redshirt junior Courtney Kaminski (Dudley, Mass.) each had eight points in the first to keep the Bobcats down just two at the break.
The second half was a very different story as the Bobcats could not match the play of Saint Francis' Daily and Brittany Hodges. Both players finished with 20 or more points as Daily led all scorers with 23 points and Hodges adding 20 in the win. The Red Flash put distance between the two teams in the final 10 minutes to pull away for the 24-point win, 78-54.
Pratt scored just one basket in the second half to give her 11 points in the game, setting a new career high in scoring. Kaminski finished as the Quinnipiac's top scorer in the game, while adding a team-high seven rebounds in the loss. Dunbar was the third member of the Bobcats to reach double figures as she scored 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Freshman Shelby Sferra (LaGranville, N.Y.) scored six points in the game, but was key off the bench to add three offensive rebounds and four total boards in the game.
Saint Francis outrebounded the Bobcats by 11 in the game, 44-33. The Red Flash connected on 50 percent of their shots from the floor (30-60), while Quinnipiac shot 33.3 percent (21-63) of its shots in the game.
The Bobcats return to action on Saturday, Feb. 20 when they travel to Moon Township, Pa., to take on Robert Morris from the Sewall Center at 4 p.m.