HAMDEN, Conn. - Freshman Jasmine Martin (Sicklerville, N.J.) and junior Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) combined for 28 points on Monday night, but the Quinnipiac University women's basketball team was upended by Saint Francis (Pa.), 77-71, at the TD Bank Sports Center. Needing a win and a Sacred Heart loss to clinch the NEC's No. 1 seed, QU's furious comeback bid fell just short, leaving the Bobcats with the No. 2 seed in the upcoming tournament.
With the loss, Quinnipiac falls to 21-8 overall and 13-5 in the Northeast Conference. The Bobcats will host the No. 7 seed Mount St. Mary's on Saturday afternoon on Lender Court. QU defeated the Mount, 89-73, in their lone encounter this season.
Martin led the Bobcats offensively tonight, as the Rookie of the Year candidate totaled a team-high 15 points and grabbed six rebounds in the losing effort. Barron chimed in with 13 points, six coming from the charity stripe, and snatched seven steals, adding to her nation-leading total. Kari Goodchild (Van Horne, Iowa) added double-figures with 10 points and Samantha Guastella (Red Bank, N.J.) tallied eight points and seven rebounds.
After playing the first half to a 31-31 deadlock, Quinnipiac opened the second half with an 8-0 run, compiled by points from Barron and Goodchild. QU sustained its advantage for the majority of the half, but saw its lead slowly slip away down the stretch.
Ahead by nine points with 9:49 seconds showing on the clock, the Red Flash boasted a 13-4 run, climbing all the way back to tie the score. The next four minutes of action proved to be the difference, as SFU tacked on another 10 points with a 14-4 surge.
Quinnipiac frantically pressured to cut into its deficit, eventually chopping the SFU lead down to just three points with 13 ticks left. However, the clutch free-throws from the visitors disallowed the Bobcats a chance to tie, leaving them with their sixth loss at home this season.
Turnovers plagued the QU offense all night, as the Bobcats committed a season-high 30 before the final whistle. SFU snatched 19 steals in the game, 12 from Alli Williams, en route to 36 points on the other end.
For the game, Quinnipiac outshot Saint Francis, 41.5 percent to 39.2 percent, from the floor and controlled the glass, 48-44. Each team snatched 16 boards on the offensive end, with the Bobcats converting the extra effort into 11 points.
Brittany McQuain (Independence, Mo.) finished with seven points and seven rebounds on the night. Camryn Warner (Keene, N.H.) had six points and six rebounds, while Lisa Lebak (Robbinsville, N.J.) had six.
Williams was a major factor in the win, compiling a triple-double for the Red Flash. She scored 18 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to go along with her 12 steals. SFU claimed the fifth seed in the tournament, heading to Robert Morris for the quarterfinal showdown.
The Bobcats return to action on Saturday with their quarterfinal match-up. Tip-off is tentatively set for 2 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center.
Contact: Lindsay Oliveri; firstname.lastname@example.org