Bobcats, Bears, and Blowouts… Oh My!
By: Kevin Lo and Jon Leach
November 11, 2007
HAMDEN — Many questions faced the Quinnipiac Bobcats women’s basketball team after they finished finished 16-12 last season. This season, their hopes are higher, now that Erin Kerner is back and healthy. The Bobcats have high expectations: chosen to finish third in the NEC. That ranking gives them a proverbial bulls eye on their back at home and on the road. The top two scorers from last season are returning for the Bobcats: Monique Lee (14.5 pts per game), and the previously mentioned Erin Kerner (17.7 pts per game). The Bobcats also return a mature contributing cast, including Mandy Penewell who averaged 11.7 pts per game last year. With a healthy Kerner and another year of experience these Bobcats look to really put their stamp on the NEC.
Today, the Bobcats hosted the Brown University Bears at the TD Banknorth Sports Center for their season opener. The Bobcats established their presence early on with a strong offense and a stifling defense. Senior forward Monique Lee led the way in the early minutes of the game on both ends, with six points and two steals in the first three minutes of the game. “I just took what the defense was trying to give me,” Lee claimed in her response to falling just shy of a double double with twelve points and nine rebounds.
The defense proved just as dominant as the offense as they held the Brown Bears to within at least eight points throughout the half. Erin Kerner played well throughout the first ten minutes of the game, shooting five of six from the floor and two of three from three, finishing with 21 points in just 18 minutes of action, before sitting out due to early foul trouble. The score was twenty to eight midway through the first half. Kerner’s offensive production was replaced by the hard work and hustle of Sarah McGowan. She proved to be a key contributor to Quinnipiac’s air tight defense throughout the first half. The Bobcats defense held Brown to only 25% shooting from the field and forced 14 turnovers throughout the first half.
The second half started out much the same with two points by Monique Lee and a three pointer by Erin Kerner, who attributed her 8-12 shooting from the floor to “long warm-ups and playing smart due to foul trouble.” The defense continued to dictate the game’s tempo with a strong defensive presence down low. During one possession the Bobcats recorded four straight offensive rebounds. The stifling defense was evident by the eight travels Brown committed and their 30% field goal percentage.
Coach Fabbri was pleased with her defense today and was able to make adjustments on the fly in order to keep the Brown offense on their toes. “We’ve practiced with each other for so long it was good to go out and play someone other than ourselves,” Coach Fabbri claimed when asked how her team was able to come out with the intensity of ten fully loaded pistols, guns ablazing. When asked how the team could make improvements for their upcoming tournament in Maine she responded with “everything, we need to put that intensity in a bottle and bring it to every game.”