Quinnipiac loses to Robert Morris, falls to second in NEC

Daniel Brennan

The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team will not be heading back to the drawing board but may be headed back to the gym for more repetitions.

In Saturday’s 72-62 loss to Robert Morris, the Bobcats shot 32 percent from the field and 21 percent from beyond the arc, hitting on just 5-of-24 attempts.

“I believe our missed shots really affected how we did play the entire game, offensively and defensively,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said.

Perimeter offense was the game-changer is Saturday’s match-up and the Colonials had the edge far and away. Robert Morris finished the contest shooting 43 percent from the floor and hitting 10-of-20 from distance.

“Credit Robert Morris, they came in here and shot the ball so well to start the game and got really hot and didn’t cool off,” Fabbri said.

Quinnipiac’s defense was stifled by the versatility of Robert Morris’ Artemis Spanou, who seemed to come up with a bucket every time the Bobcats put together a little run. Spanou, a six-foot sophomore from Greece, was able to have her way in the paint and also stretch the defense from the outside.

“(Spanou) is so talented because she has her size and she really plays like a guard,” Fabbri said. “We tried to limit her touches.”

For the game, Spanou finished with 24 points, pulled down 14 rebounds and handed out six assists.

The Colonials also received major contributions from Josette Campbell, who didn’t play when these two teams met in January and Quinnipiac won, 82-74. Campbell came out firing right out of the gates, knocking down three 3-pointers in the early minutes.

“(Campbell) came out and made those three 3s and I think from that point on we were on our heels and could never get our footing back to where it needed to be to make that push,” Fabbri said.

When all was said and done, Campbell poured in 23 points, hitting five 3-pointers in the process.

The Bobcats kept themselves in the game by taking advantage off turnovers and dominating in transition. Quinnipiac outscored the Colonials, 28-11, in points off of turnovers and 17-0 in fast break points.

Felicia Barron, the Bobcats’ leading scorer, did her best to set the tone early on, coming up with a steal and a bucket on the game’s opening possession. On Quinnipiac’s next possession, Barron hit a step-back 3 from the wing to put the Bobcats up 5-0. However, Quinnipiac cooled as Barron did. She struggled for the majority of the game, finishing 8-24 from the floor and 3-14 from deep.

Barron, the nation’s steals leader with 4.33 per game, had three takeaways before the first media timeout but had just two more steals in the remainder of the game.

Barron knows that a strong work ethic will be crucial to improving on offense in future games.

“We just have to go in the gym tomorrow and work on our shot,” Barron said. “We weren’t shooting well this game so we just have to keep practicing and hopefully they will fall next game.”

Brittany McQuain completed her 11th double-double of the season for the Bobcats with 12 points and 11 rebounds. She thought that the struggles evident Saturday were a result of the Quinnipiac’s performance in recent days.

“We haven’t practiced well the last couple days and I think it kind of carried over into the game,” McQuain said.

It was the wrong game for Quinnipiac to come out flat. Any time Robert Morris visits it’s a big deal, not to mention it was senior day for the Bobcats, as seniors Kari Goodchild and Jacinda Dunbar were honored before the game.

Quinnipiac went into Saturday tied for first with Sacred Heart, but their loss and a win by the Pioneers puts them in sole possession of second. The Bobcats will look to rebound in their last game of the regular season on Monday at home against St. Francis (Pa.).