FAIRFIELD, Conn. –For the second time in program history, the Quinnipiac women's basketball team won the Northeast Conference Regular Season Championship with a 67-62 win against defending champ Sacred Heart at the William H. Pitt Center in Fairfield, Conn. The Bobcats improve to 24-2 overall with their 16th straight victory while they also remain perfect in NEC play at 15-0. The Pioneers drop to 18-8 overall and 10-3 in conference play.
Quinnipiac was led by sophomore Jasmine Martin (Slickerville, N.J.) who poured in 22 points, on the strength of 3-of-5 from the three point line, while also tallying seven rebounds and two steals. Junior Brittany McQuain (Independence, Mo.) fell short of a double-double as she collected 16 points and nine rebounds. Gillian Abshire (Washington D.C.) contributed nine points and had four assists on the afternoon.
Martin ignited the first twenty minutes of action as she scored 15 of her 22 points for the afternoon in the first frame. Martin knocked-down 3-of-4 from long range to start the game. The Bobcats's largest lead in the half, six points, came with 7:17 to left to play before intermission. After Quinnipiac took a 23-19 lead, Sacred Heart outscored the Bobcats, 14-8, in the final seven minutes of the half to head into halftime with a two-point lead, 33-31.
The teams continued the battle well into the second half as they traded baskets early on. Quinnipiac junior Camryn Warner (Keene, N.H.) knocked back a pair of free throws in the opening minutes as the Bobcats chipped away at Sacred Heart's six-point lead out of the break. A back and forth battle, Sacred Heart was able go up by as much as five off of a three pointer by Gabrielle Washington with 16:57 left to play. Quinnipiac's Nikoline Ostergaard (Vedbaek, Denmark) answered back after converting off a layup to put the Pioneers up by only one point, the following play down the court senior Lisa Lebak ( Robbinsville, N.J.) drained a three to put the Bobcats up back up by two. From there on out, the Bobcats did not turn back with 5:26 left to play, McQuain was able to extend the Bobcats' lead to the largest of the game to eight points.
From the line the Bobcats shot 80 percent to convert 20-of-25 free throws for the game compared to the Pioneers 11 charity points. In the second half alone the Bobcats were able to add 15 points off turnovers to Sacred Hearts eight points. Gabrielle Washington led Sacred Heart with 22 points to go 9-of-21 from the field. Joining Washington in double digits was Kiley Evans with 13 points.
The Bobcats will return to action in their final home game of the regular season against Bryant University on Monday, Feb. 25. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.
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 Schedule is also available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.
Contact: Bethany Buckholz; Bethany.Buckholz@quinnipiac.edu