Women’s basketball sneaks by Sacred Heart, 61-56

Chris Leary

The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team took sole possession of third place in the NEC standings Saturday, defeating Sacred Heart 61-56.

Sophomore Felicia Barron led the way for the Bobcats with a game-high 17 points, hitting all six of her free throw attempts. Senior Courtney Kaminski contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds, her fourth double-double of the season.

After jumping out to a 33-22 half-time lead, the Bobcats were unable to pull way and nearly allowed the Pioneers to steal the victory.

A 20-7 scoring run with just over five minutes left in the game gave Sacred Heart a 49-48 lead.

“That’s Sacred Heart, that’s the way our games are,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “Every game we go into we are prepared to go back and forth. The fact that we were able to take and extend a 14-point lead against this team shows how well we’re doing on our end.”

After exchanging baskets in the final minutes of play, the Bobcats led 57-56 with just over a minute to play. With the shot clock down to one second, Barron forced a 3-point jump shot that missed, but junior Kari Goodchild snagged the offensive rebound.

“In Kari, I see a player that is a winner. She held (Maggie) Cosgrove to one 3-point attempt and she blocked it, and comes up with the huge rebound at the end,” Fabbri said. “She’s played at the highest level, and her experience is paying off huge for this club right now.

The offensive rebound gave the Bobcats a new shot clock, forcing the Pioneers to foul with 30 seconds left in the game.

Two free throws from Barron gave the Bobcats a 59-56 lead with 15 seconds left in the game.

Coming out of a timeout, Callan Taylor’s three-point shot for the tie hit the front rim and came up short. Following the miss, Quinnipiac junior Jacinda Dunbar hit two free throws to seal the game for the Bobcats.

The Bobcats went 15-for-20 from the free throw line. In each of the Bobcats’ 12 wins this season, they have outscored their opponent from the free throw line.

With the win, the Bobcats pull one game ahead of Sacred Heart in the NEC standings. At 9-4 in NEC play, the Bobcats are two games behind first place Saint Francis (Pa.).

The Bobcats will travel to Sacred Heart on Monday to play the second game of a two game series with the Pioneers. Tip off is scheduled for 5 p.m.