March 23, 2013

Women’s Basketball Falls in First Round of NCAA Tournament; Bobcats Defeated by Nationally-Ranked No. 10/12 Maryland, 72-52

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The No. 13 seeded Quinnipiac University women's basketball team fell short in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament to the No. 4 seed Maryland, 72-52, on Gary Williams Court at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md. With the loss, the Bobcats conclude their historic season with a 30-2 record, while the hosting Terrapins advance to the tournament's second round to face the winner of the later game between No. 5 Michigan State and No. 12 Marist.

Quinnipiac was led by Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.), who finished with 13 points and seven steals in her final game in a Bobcat uniform. She climbed to fourth place on the all-time scoring list with 1,464 points and finished third in steals with 356 for her career. Fellow senior class member Lisa Lebak (Robinsville, N.J) was also terrific in her final game, pouring in eight points; while Ellen Cannon (West Chester, Pa.) was one point shy of a season high with nine. Brittany McQuain (Independence, Mo.) led the front court with six points and nine rebounds.

Despite playing in one of the nation's toughest places to play, Quinnipiac didn't show any nerves early on. Sparked by three triples from Cannon, Quinnipiac went up early, 15-8, midway through the first half. Brittany McQuain bumped the lead to nine, the largest of the game for the Bobcats, 21-12, with seven minutes remaining, as Quinnipiac held the Terrapins to just 24 percent (5-21) from the floor during the stretch.

A quiet Maryland crowd soon came back to life though, as the Terrapins erased the nine-point deficit with a 9-0 run over the next two minutes. UMD scored six of the game's next eight points and carried a 27-23 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Maryland scored six quick points to start the second half, putting the Terps up by double-digits, 33-23. Lisa Lebak buried a three to cut it to seven, but the Terrapins, spearheaded by Alyssa Thomas, boasted an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 15 points, 41-26, with 13:30 remaining. Quinnipiac wouldn't get closer than 13 points for the remainder of the game.  

After the quick start, Maryland's size and length caught up to the Bobcats attack. Quinnipiac was held to its lowest shooting percentage (23.0 percent) and point total (52) of the season, while missing 19-of-27 from long range. It was the longest team that Quinnipiac had faced all season, evidenced by a 59-41 rebounding margin in favor of the Terps.  

Alyssa Thomas, a two-time All-ACC Player of the Year honoree and John Wooden Award Finalist, led Maryland with 29 points and 13 rebounds. Fellow ACC First Teamer Tianna Hawkins finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds and Alicia DeVaughn had eight points and 17 rebounds.

Outside of its shooting woes, Quinnipiac kept to its game plan of pushing the tempo and high pressure defense. The Bobcats forced 25 Terrapin turnovers which resulted in 13 points on the other end. Quinnipiac, who boasts the nation's second best turnover margin, garnered a plus-seven edge for the category.

With their win in the NEC Championship game, the Bobcats joined the likes of nationally-ranked opponents No. 1 Baylor, No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 4 Stanford and No. 5 Duke as teams with 30 or more wins this year. Furthermore, Quinnipiac also shares a distinction with 14 other schools with 52 or more wins over the last two seasons.

Quinnipiac fans should refer to the official website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for all the latest news, scores and highlights of the women's basketball program. 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.

NOTES: Ellen Cannon was the second player this season (Jasmine Martin) to go 3-3 in the first from long-range in the first half…Cannon was one point shy of a season high…Quinnipiac posted a season low for points (52) and shooting percentage (23.0) in a game...Quinnipiac featured one player with 10 more points for the second time this year; every other game had at least two players in double figures…Lisa Lebak had a season high eight points.

Contact: Tony Distasio; ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu