Women’s Basketball struggles

Eric Yutzy

After a solid 5-4 start, the Quinnipiac Women’s Basketball team struggled over the winter break. After an 89-54 loss to Boston College, the former lady Braves are 4-6, dropping them to seventh place in the Northeast Conference.
“We are in a bit of a funk right now,” said junior guard, Megan Rooney. “We have hit the low point of the season, we are in a dogfight for a spot in the playoffs.”
Only the top eight teams make the playoffs with seven games remaining. The Quinnipiac women have a chance to climb back into one of the top five seeds, if they go on an incredible run.
Here is a rundown of the games that took place over the winter break while most of the Quinnipiac student body was on vacation.
On Dec. 19, coming off a loss to BC, Quinnipiac lost a tough one to Colgate. They were behind by as many as 18 points in the second half, but could not get any closer than three.
Senior captain Theresa Sanchez scored a career high 25 points, and added 10 rebounds, Ashlee Kelly had 20 points.
For their first game back during the New Year, Quinnipiac hosted the Wagner Seahawks. They again lost a nail-biter, falling 77-75. For the second straight game the women were down double figures in the second half, came back and actually held a 75-74 lead.
However, Wagner freshman Jackie Fournier nailed a deep three point shot that sealed the victory for Wagner.
Sophomore Sara Esidore led the team in scoring in the game against Wagner with 21 points. Sanchez scored 12 points and co-captain, junior Kara Cassidy scored 11 points respectively.
Sophomore forward Katie Kielty added 12 points and 10 rebounds for her first collegiate career double double.
Quinnipiac’s early woes would continue against St. Francis (PA), as they would drop a win. The Saint Francis Women’s Basketball team outscored Quinnipiac by a margin of 36-23 in the final 12:33, allowing them to come away with an 84-81 win.
Quinnipiac led the Red Flash for nearly the entire first half and seemed to be well in control through the midway point in the second half.
However, with Quinnipiac ahead, 64-55, the Red Flash went on an 11-0 run to take a 66-44 advantage.
Five players scored in double figures for QU, the first time the feat has happened this season. Sara Esidore tallied 20 points to lead all the scorers. Charmaine Steele added a season and career-high 13 points, while Katie Caputi and Theresa Sanchez each added 12 points. Kara Cassidy chipped in 10 points and five assists.
QU would break the winless streak in their next game against Robert Morris. Sanchez tallied her second double double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Esidore led Quinnipiac in scoring with 19 points, as they would get the 78-67 win. Kelly (13 points) and freshman Charmaine Steele (10 points) were strong for QU.
Winning ways would again leave Quinnipiac as quickly as they found them, as the women would drop their next contest against in-state rival Sacred Heart.
They were down at the half, 38-14, but would again come back. They scored 47 points in the second half, but it wasn’t enough for the win, which Sacred Heart took 72-61. Kelly recorded her fourth double-double of the season as she scored 19 points and grabbed ten rebounds.
Quinnipiac would then jump back on track with Kelly leading the way. In one of the greatest performances in Quinnipiac Women’s Basketball History Kelly scored 31 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to pace QU on their way to a 77-75 overtime victory.
QU was down 66-64 with under a minute, but a jumper by senior Katie Caputi with 23 seconds remaining and one second left on the shot clock tied the game, and sent it into overtime.
Wagner had two chances to pull out the win, but was unable to find the bucket.
The women would again follow a win with a loss, as they would lose to Monmouth 89-72. Esidore paced Quinnipiac with 22 points, along with Sanchez who had 15 points and Kelly who had ten. Michelle Capadonna led Monmouth with 28 points and 11 rebounds.
The girls would get the next game however and would squeeze out a 74-72 win at home against Fairleigh Dickinson.
The game was tied at 72 with two-tenths of a second remaining, when Steele was fouled and was sent to the line. She calmly sank two free throws, taking QU the extra step to the win. Kelly scored 27 points and Esidore had 14. Steele added 13 points in the winning effort.
Next, Quinnipiac went off to Pennsylvania to take on Robert Morris and St. Francis (PA).
Robert Morris freshman Missy Spangler was too much for the Quinnipiac Women to handle, tossing 30 points along with eight rebounds and eight assists.
Sanchez scored 18 points for QU and Caputi would add 12 of her own. Robert Morris would get their first win in 14 months.
Next, in a hotly contested first half, St. Francis jumped out with a 12-4 lead off a three pointer by Allison six minutes into the first half.
Quinnipiac battled back and would use a 9-3 run in the next four minutes to pull within two points, 15-13, with 10:09 left in the first half. St. Francis would them take control and grab its largest lead as they headed into the lockeroom 36-25.
Sophomore Kelly led Quinnipiac in the scoring effort with eight points, shooting three for six from the floor and a perfect two-for-two from the free throw line. St. Francis broke open a close game with eight minutes left in the game.
Leading 54-44 the Red Flash reeled off a 14-11 run to push out a 68-55 advantage with 2:51 remaining.
With seven games remaining the Quinnipiac Women’s Basketball team is in a similar situation as they were last year. Last season they were sitting 10-12 before they came back and won six of their seven remaining games.
“We got off the team concept,” said Rooney, “but now we are looking at it as a seven game season. Our goal was to be the top seed, but now we just have to get back on track as a team, and we know we can make the playoffs.”
The Quinnipiac Women’s Basketball team returns to action on Feb. 9, away at Fairleigh Dickinson.