Quinnipiac won its fourth straight game, the seventh of its past eight, over conference opponent Wagner, 77-62, Monday night.
The time when the Bobcats were 0-5? Well in the rearview mirror. Now the Bobcats need to prepare for a big weekend when they play Robert Morris Saturday and St. Francis (Pa.) Monday in two conference home games.
“We had to grow and figure out who would do what and when,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said of the team’s turnaround. “We had a lot of young people and we were trying to find ourselves. We’ve fought through adversity and put ourselves into good position.”
Five different Bobcats scored in double figures, led by Felicia Barron’s 22 points.
“She’s playing so well for us and makes the game a lot easier for us to play and win,” Fabbri said.
After scoring a career-high 25 against Mount Saint Mary’s Saturday, Barron continued her stretch of consecutive 20-point games on 6-for-17 shooting. She hit three shots from long range and was 7-for-8 from the free throw line.
Barron has averaged 23 points in the last three games and has emerged as a threat on the Bobcat offense. She nailed a game-winning three at the buzzer in Quinnipiac’s 76-75 win over Central Connecticut State and has now scored in double figures for the twelfth time this season.
Barron and Kari Goodchild combined for seven steals, three and four respectively, for the Bobcats (10-9, 7-1 NEC), while the rest of the team combined for six. The Seahawks (9-10, 2-6 NEC), that have dropped five of their past seven, turned the ball over 25 times.
The Bobcats outscored Wagner 33-25 in the first half and scored 17 of their points off turnovers, but went on a 22-9 run that lasted nine minutes for a 61-39 advantage.
“I like how we’re really coming out,” Fabbri said. “Right from the beginning, we’re playing with authority and taking control of the game. We came out on fire in the second half and I liked everyone’s performance.”
Barron scored 16 of her 22 points in the second, and hit all six free throws in the period. She shot 2-9 from the field in the first half, but was 4-for-8 shooting in the second, including 2-3 from outside the arc.
Freshman Brittany McQuain recorded her second double-double of the season, piling up 11 points and bringing down 11 rebounds. The Bobcats outrebounded the Seahawks 38-33 in the game, 22-17 in the second half.
Jacinda Dunbar scored 16 points for Quinnipiac, while Goodchild and Courtney Kaminski each scored 11 points.
Wagner’s Ashley Olsen scored 22 points and notched a game-high 13 rebounds.
Quinnipiac’s defense held Kelly Clark and Megan Mahoney, Wagner’s top scorers, to seven and five points, respectively.
Despite being down by 22, Wagner went on a 13-1 run to cut the deficit to 10, but QU hit 11 of 12 free throws over the last 3:30 to extend its lead.
The Bobcats have averaged 78.7 points in the last three outings, and will need to continue that type of offense their next two games. QU, Robert Morris and St. Francis (PA) are all tied atop the Northeast Conference, and Fabbri is excited for the rest of the conference schedule to play out.
The Bobcats are now in a three-way tie atop the Northeast Conference and will host Robert Morris on Saturday.
“We just set the stage for a big weekend back home,” Fabbri said. We’re going to find out if we’re for real or if we’re a pretender.”