HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team defeated St. John's, 75-72, at the TD Bank Sports Center on Saturday afternoon to improve to 8-1 on the season. St. John's drops to 5-5 on the year as the Bobcats knock-off the BIG EAST foe in their final home game of 2012 to improve to 3-0 on their home court. Quinnipiac featured five players in double figures, led by Felicia Barron's (Springfield, Mass.) 19 points and Samantha Guastella's (Red Bank, N.J.) 11-point, 10-rebound double-double.
Prior to tip-off, Quinnipiac and St. John's honored the 20 children and six faculty members from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Members of both teams were joined on the court with children, before placing the names of the victims next to ribbons affixed to seats in the North end zone of the arena. In addition, donations were collected in the lobby while children participated in the "Snowflakes for Sandy Hook" activity.
Quinnipiac last featured five players in double figures on Jan. 30, 2012 when Quinnipiac defeated Mount St. Mary's, 83-79. Barron's 19 points give her double-digits in Quinnipiac's first nine games while it is also her second straight game with three three-pointers. Guastella's double-double is her second of the season. Nikoline Ostergaard (Vaebeck, Denmark) had 13 points, coming off the bench, while Jasmine Martin (Sicklerville, N.J.) added 12 points, with eight coming in the second half. Brittany McQuain (Independence, Mo.) added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Bobcats.
For St. John's, Shenneika Smith had 21 points and 11 rebounds, as well as five assists and three blocks while Mary Nwachukwu had eight points and 11 rebounds. Nadirah McKenith tallied 11 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
Coming out of a timeout, trailing 28-20, Barron hit the first of a pair of free throws before McQuain snagged a crucial offensive rebound that led to a lay-up the first of three straight baskets by Ostergaard to pull Quinnipiac within a point, 28-27. Guastella missed a long three-pointer but outworked her defender to get her own rebound. The sophomore wing tipped the ball out to the top of the key to Boo Abshire (Washington, D.C.) who saw Barron cutting towards the hoop for an easy lay-up to tie the game, 32-32. The Red Storm scored twice before Ostergaard scored on a put-back off an offensive rebound and McQuain hit a turn-around jumper in the paint to send Quinnipiac trailing by a basket, 39-37, heading into halftime.
The Red Storm once-again used a big run to open the second half. St. John's took off on an 8-0 run to take a 47-39 lead before Quinnipiac countered with a 10-2 run and tie the game with 12 to play. Quinnipiac's first lead came with 11 minutes to play in the game. Its largest lead came with 8:25 to play when Lisa Lebak (Robbinsville, N.J.) and McQuain scored on consecutive trips down the court to give Quinnipiac a three-point lead, 60-57, with 11-minutes to play.
St. John's used a 9-2 run to take a 66-62 lead before McQuain followed a lay-up with a free throw for the three-point play to pull within a point, 66-65, with 4:57 to go in regulation. After St. John's converted on a pair of free throws, Guastella knocked down a three-pointer from in front of the Bobcats' bench to tie the game at 68-68. St. John's scored twice, giving them a four-point lead, before McQuain scored on a baby hook in the paint and Barron knocked down a three-pointer to give Quinnipiac a 73-72 lead with less than two minutes to play. After a Barron steal at the top of the St. John's key, Abshire nailed a jumper in the paint to give the Bobcats a three-point lead, 75-72, with 36-seconds to play. The Bobcats were able to stifle the St. John's offense down the stretch to hold on for the non-conference win.
After a brief holiday break, the Bobcats wrap up non-conference play with their second in-season invitational at the Florida International University Tournament. QU will join the Panthers, Northeastern and Georgia Tech in Greater Miami, Fla. on Saturday (Dec. 29) and Sunday (Dec. 30). FIU was alongside the Bobcats in the 2012 WNIT, while Georgia Tech was a Sweet 16 Contender in last year's NCAA Tournament, before being ousted by #1 seed Baylor University – the eventual 2012 NCAA Champion.
Fans interested in purchasing season tickets for the 2012-13 campaign can call the QU Ticket Office at 203-582-3905, visit the official website of Quinnipiac athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com or make a trip to the TD Bank Sports Center Ticket Office.
Quinnipiac fans should refer to the official website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for any schedule changes as well as the latest news, scores and highlights. The 2012-13 Women's Basketball Schedule is also available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.