NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University women's basketball team earned its 20th win of the season on Wednesday night, as the Bobcats topped Central Connecticut State University, 63-53, at Detrick Gymnasium in New Britain, Conn. Quinnipiac, now 20-2 overall and 11-0 in the Northeast Conference, achieved 20 wins for the second consecutive season and for the seventh time in program history. It also marked the fourth time under the direction of head coach Tricia Fabbri.
Junior Brittany McQuain (Independence, Mo.) was sensational for the Bobcats, as the power forward finished with a game-high 21 points and six rebounds. She paced the offense going 7-of-11 from the floor, 7-of-8 from the free-throw line and snatched three steals in the win. Fellow forward Camryn Warner (Keene, N.H.) joined McQuain in double-figures with 10 points while adding a block and two rebounds to her stat line. Gillian Abshire (Washington, D.C.) finished with nine points, two assists and two rebounds.
Quinnipiac's stellar defense propelled the visitors to a fast start, as the Bobcats forced five CCSU turnovers in succession to start the game. QU took the early lead and managed to sustain the advantage through the remainder of the opening stanza. The Bobcats went up by seven after a Shelby Sferra (Lagrangeville, N.Y.) jumper with 7:39 remaining and carried a 29-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Just like in the first meeting between the two rivals, CCSU cut into the deficit with a quick 6-2 burst in the second half. The two teams played within one possession for the majority of frame, until Quinnipiac took control for good. Ahead by three with 6:54 showing on the clock, the Bobcats rallied off a 12-2 run over the next six minutes to put the game out of reach. Abshire concluded the spurt with a fast-break layup – was fouled on the play – and knocked down the free-throw to seal the deal.
Quinnipiac's defense was the difference-maker, forcing 26 CCSU turnovers and holding the Blue Devils to just 36 percent from the floor. The Bobcats turned the ball over just 11 times while making over 40 percent of their shot attempts. Furthermore, after a dismal showing from the charity stripe in the first half, Quinnipiac responded with a 14-of-14 performance in the second frame. QU outscored CCSU, 28-24, in the paint and 22-8 in points off turnovers.
With the win, the Bobcats improved to 29-13 all-time against the Blue Devils, which now includes a 23-7 advantage in the Division I series. Quinnipiac also improved to 11-4 in New Britain and is 5-1 in their last six encounters.
Jacyln Babe led the Blue Devils with 13 points, picking up her 1,000th career point in the losing effort. Jessica Babe added 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Lauren Arbogast added seven points.
The Bobcats are back in action on Saturday, Feb. 16 with Senior Day at the TD Bank Sports Center. Quinnipiac takes on Saint Francis University at 12 p.m. – with a brief ceremony scheduled prior to tip-off to honor the senior class.
Fans interested in purchasing 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 season is also available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.