Bobcats stake claim to top spot in conference

Bobcats stake claim to top spot in conference
by Kevin Lo
February 23, 2008

HAMDEN – A back and forth affair ended in a 59-48 win for the Bobcats. The game was much closer than the score indicated as the #1 (Bobcats) and #2 (Sacred Heart) teams fought to the final minute in today’s game.

After two missed Sacred Heart threes, Mandy Pennewell was fouled. She approached the line and calmly sunk two of her four free throws in the last minute of the game to make it a 12 point lead.

Sacred Heart tried to rally back after Lisa Moray sank a jumper from the corner but it wasn’t enough. Monique Lee was then fouled and sent to the line where her one free throw put Sacred Heart behind by 11 and ended the game 59-48.

After a back and forth first half, the Bobcats extended the lead to 8: the largest lead in the first 35 minutes of the game. The Bobcats growing momentum forced Sacred Heart to call a time out but it was too late.

Quinnipiac gained a 9 point advantage with 2:30 to go and never looked back. Sacred Heart was unable to cut the lead as both teams continued to exchange baskets until there was a minute left in the game.

The Bobcats did a great job of handling Sacred Heart’s full court press compared to the first half. In the first half the Bobcats were pressured by the Pioneers in the lane and in the backcourt which led to 9 turnovers. In the second half the team committed a mere 5 turnovers.

Quinnipiac’s 29 first half rebounds allowed them to keep the game close until they were able to take better care of the ball in the second half. Quinnipiac showed promise at the end of the first half with a 7-2 run with under 2 minutes left in the half, showing they were able to break the press.

The Bobcats sloppy play allowed Sacred Heart to jump to an early 17-14 lead with just under 10 minutes to go in the first half. Sacred Heart seemed more aggressive at times and reached the foul line 4 times in the first half whereas the Bobcats failed to reach the line at all.

Sacred Heart cooled off from the field in the second half as they saw their field-goal percentage drop from 28.6% to 22.8%. Quinnipiac on the other hand was able to take advantage of second chance opportunities and good shots down low as they were able to outrebound Sacred Heart 53-39.

Erin Kerner and Mandy Pennewell both finished with 17 points and Nicole Duperron added a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds. The Bobcats are now 22-3 (14-1 NEC), matching their largest win total in the program’s Division I history.

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