QU stuffed by Bryant’s big second half

Tim Pelrine

Sophomore forward Jacinda Dunbar scored a career-high 21 points and matched a career-high in rebounds with 13, but Bryant, led by senior Kelsey O’Keefe’s 34 points, burst for 49 points in the second half to beat the Bobcats, 72-62, Saturday afternoon at the Chace Athletic Center in Smithfield, R.I.

Senior center Courtney Kaminski also had a double-double for the Bobcats with 16 points and 11 boards. But Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri missed contributions from senior guard Kathleen Neyens.

“We really missed Neyens’ production today,” Fabbri said after the game. “Dunbar really came alive right before halftime, but we were just too choppy offensively.”

Quinnipiac turned the ball over 21 times, but Fabbri did not attribute the loss to her team’s lack of ball control.

“O’Keefe played a career game,” she said. “She was fantastic. It wasn’t a letdown on our part. O’Keefe put her team on her back. Today was O’Keefe’s day.”

The first half ended with the Bobcats holding a six-point lead while holding the Bulldogs to 23 points – 15 of which were from the bench – and 24-percent shooting in the first half. But Bryant came out of the locker room as a totally different team in the second half.

An energized Bulldog team fought back and tied Quinnipiac five minutes into the second half and then established a lead minutes later during a 13-4 run. O’Keefe began to take over the game by nailing three 3-pointers to help Bryant to a 20-6 run against Quinnipiac to blow the game wide open. O’Keefe scored 28 of her 34 points in the second half.

With the loss, the Bobcats fell to 9-8 overall and 4-2 in the Northeast Conference, putting them in a three-way tie for third place. Quinnipiac will get another chance against Bryant, this time at the TD Bank Sports Center. Tipoff is set for tomorrow at 5 p.m.