The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team didn’t have an answer for the Saint Joseph’s Hawks in the second half of Sunday’s game, and the Bobcats will need to figure out what went wrong before conference play begins later this week.
Saint Joseph’s went on a 43-15 run in the second half, spanning more than 13 minutes, as the Hawks beat the Bobcats 84-69 at TD Bank Sports Center.
Quinnipiac (3-4) led 42-31 at halftime, but the Hawks (6-1) started the second half on fire, hitting 13 of their first 18 shots out of the gate.
“The game was a tale of two halves, and obviously their second half was better than our first half,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “They just came out and couldn’t miss, we couldn’t stop them, we were searching and it totally went Saint Joe’s’ way. They’re a good ball club. They really took care of business in that second 20.”
Three of Quinnipiac’s starters — Brittany McQuain, Samantha Guastella and Jasmine Martin — went a combined 4-of-22 shooting in the second half. The Hawks, however, dominated down low, outscoring the Bobcats 52-30 in the paint.
“We just didn’t get back on D, transition,” McQuain said. “They outplayed us, ran us right off the floor. Basically came down to work, and they outworked us.”
The Bobcats, who joined the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference this season, play Hartford, one of three teams that beat them last season, on Wednesday and Marist, who has won the MAAC eight straight years, on Friday.
“We don’t have time to sulk about this one,” McQuain said. “We just have to grow from it and pick up from that second half.”
Saint Joseph’s had four players in double figures, led by Ilze Gotfrida’s 20 points and nine rebounds. Erin Shields scored 19, and Sarah Fairbanks totaled 17 points and nine rebounds. Natasha Cloud scored nine and recorded 13 assists for the Hawks, who outrebounded the Bobcats 39-31.
Martin scored 15, McQuain and Maria Napolitano 14 and Samantha Guastella scored 10 for Quinnipiac, which lost its first home game since March 6, 2012.
“We just couldn’t stop the bleeding. We didn’t have any answers for them,” Fabbri said. “They did run a little of a back screening action that really left us high and dry, and once they got the momentum and they were able to run, it led to a landslide in that second half.”
The Hawks outscored the Bobcats 16-2 to start the second half, highlighted by Shields’ 3-pointer from the right wing with 16:04 to play. Fairbanks then led the Hawks on a separate 13-6 run, hitting back-to-back layups with 12:17 remaining for a 60-52 lead.
“I don’t think our ball pressure was good,” Fabbri said. “I think we allowed their heart-and-soul player Shields get off, and once she was able to hit some big 3s and they were able to run and we weren’t able to get back in transition, they were really feeling good about everything that they were doing.”