Lady ‘Cats set high expectations

Jordan Brickman

Last season the Quinnipiac Bobcats women’s basketball team had a school-record 25 victories, falling two victories short of an NCAA tournament berth. However, with star players returning and a strong freshman class, the Bobcats have high hopes to make the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history.

The top two scorers for the Bobcats from last season, senior Erin Kerner (17.0 points per game) and Mandy Pennewell (13.7 PPG) are returning this season, and hope to continue to provide strong offensive performances for the Bobcats throughout the season. rated Kerner in the top 10 for seniors to watch in women’s basketball this season, saying that she could be drafted in the second round of the WNBA draft. Potential professional star power is something that Quinnipiac Bobcats have never seen, and Kerner will look to continue to improve her skills and lead the Bobcats to unchartered waters as the season progresses.

The freshman class this season provides a plethora of promising talent for the future. New Jersey native Jacinda Dunbar scored 1,312 points in her high school career, but is not likely to see much playing time this season. Even though she is not looking at a lot of time, the 5-11 forward is likely to have a large impact in the coming seasons. Dunbar certainly has the right genes to be successful, as she is NBA superstar Kobe Bryant’s cousin.

Freshman Felicia Barron, from Springfield, Mass., has been the sole freshman who is playing consistent minutes thus far into the season. Averaging 9.0 PPG is a nice addition to the team, however Barron’s defense is really what separates her from other freshman. This season, Barron is averaging 3.2 steals per game, tied for second in the Northeast Conference.

Thus far in the season the Bobcats are 5-1, losing only to the nationally-ranked Michigan State Spartans. The team has many challenges ahead, along, including a game against Duke, currently ranked 12th in the country.

However, the conference games will be the most important. In an NEC coaches poll, the Bobcats were predicted to finish second. Conference play does not begin until Jan. 3, so every game until then is to simply perfect the team’s skills and chemistry. With an NEC championship, the Bobcats receive an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.