WOMEN'S BASKETBALL VISITS QUINNIPIAC MONDAY NIGHT AT 7 P.M.
Live Stats: QuinnipiacBobcats.com
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The Bulldogs will begin the daunting task of playing four games in eight days beginning with NEC-leader Quinnipiac, Monday evening in Hamden, Conn. Tip is set for 7 p.m.
Monday will mark the ninth meeting between the two teams since Bryant joined the Division I ranks in 2008 and the second showdown this season. The Bobcats and Bulldogs faced earlier this year in Smithfield with Quinnipiac coming out on top, 85-62.
EARLIER THIS YEAR IN SMITHFIELD
Junior forward Naana Ankoma-Mensa (Brampton, Ont.) posted 15 points and 20 rebounds but it wasn't enough as Quinnipiac raced past the Bryant University women's basketball team on Monday night, 85-62, in a Northeast Conference matchup at the Chace Athletic Center.
In their first home game of 2013, the Bulldogs were unable to snap their five-game losing streak and have lost five-consecutive games to the Bobcats.
Picked to finish first in the preseason poll, Quinnipiac featured four double-digit scorers and forced Bryant to turn the ball over 22 times, converting them into 25 points. Preseason all-conference selection Felicia Barron posted a game-high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Brittany McQuain posted a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Despite the lopsided score, Bryant only trailed by 10 at the half, thanks to the stellar play from Ankoma-Mensa. She finished the first half with 11 points and 14 rebounds, registering her seventh double-double of the season. Ankoma-Mensa reached the 20-rebound plateau for the second time this season and now has 159 on the season. Senior Katie Whittington (Twinsburg, Ohio) was the only other Bulldog in double figures as she posted her highest point total in over a month with 16.
Monday's game ended like it started for the Bobcats. Thanks to some hot shooting and stellar defensive play, Quinnipiac built a 19-point lead, 23-4, over the first 10 minutes of the contest. Over the course of the 10 minutes, the Bobcats were 3-of-5 from long range, while holding Bryant to 2-of-13 from the field.
Senior Danielle Douglas (Silver Springs, Md.) finally stunted the run with a jumper at the 9:57 mark, starting a 10-0 Bryant spurt. The jumper also gave her 878 career points, tying Kelsey O'Keefe for the most points scored in the Division I era. Douglas's free throw a minute later gave the most points for a Bulldog in the DI era. Whittington followed Douglas's lead and came to life over the next two possessions, racking up a quick five points. Douglas corralled an offensive rebound and found Whittington for an open triple to make it 23-12, before Whittington canned a foul-line jumper to the Bulldogs within nine with 7:46 to play. With the deficit at 13, Tiersa Winder (Baltimore, Md.) knocked down a trifecta and Whittington sliced through the defense to hit a layup with just four seconds left to make it 34-24 at the half.
That was as close as Bryant would get, however, as Quinnipiac came out scorching hot in the second half. Gillian Abshire and Jasmine Martin hit back-to-back threes to push the lead out to 14, 40-26, in the first minute and a half. Barron's triple with 17:17 left pushed the lead to 17 and started a 13-2 run the Bulldogs would never recover from. By the time Courtney Schissler's (Branford, Conn.) three hit the bottom of the net with 14:24 left, the Black and Gold was down by 22, 57-35. Heavy fouling allowed Bryant to keep the deficit at 17 but another 9-2 spurt by the Bobcats pushed the lead to 24, 73-49, with just over seven minutes to play.
On the night, Bryant finished 21-of-65 (32.3) from the field, 4-of-13 (30.8) from beyond the arc and 16-of-24 (66.7) from the line. Off the bench, Winder had a career-high seven points on 2-of-3 shooting. For Quinnipiac, Abshire finished two points shy of a double-double, finishing with eight points and 10 assists.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS
The Bobcats enter Monday night boasting an impressive 24-2 overall mark, a perfect 15-0 in Northeast Conference play. Quinnipiac has rattled off 16-straight victories, including a 67-62 win over Sacred Heart on Saturday.
Senior Felicia Barron leads the balanced Bobcats with 14.2 points and 3.5 steals per game, while sophomore Jasmine Martin puts up 13.2 ppg. Junior Brittany McQuain puts up 11.8 ppg and leads the Bobcats on the glass at 8.2 rebounds per game. Interestingly enough, seven players on Quinnipiac average more than 19 minutes per game, but not one plays more than 28 mpg.
The Bobcats lead or rank near the top in almost every statistical cateogry in the NEC including points per game, points per game allowed, field goal percentage, assists, steals and 3-point percentage.
The Bulldogs will continue their stretch of four games in eight days as they host Sacred Heart on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Chace Athletic Center.