The Qunnipiac women’s basketball team forced 30 turnovers out of the University of Hartford on Wednesday at home, taking the win 62-49.
Forward Brittany McQuain recorded a double double with 10 points and rebounds. She also added three blocks and four steals to her stat line. Guard Boo Abshire led the way with 14 points and six steals, as well.
Despite the large number of cough-ups by the other team, Quinnipiac only scored 23 points off of those takeaways. Both teams shot poorly as the Bobcats made 18-of-67 field goals while their opponent shot 17-of-45.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well, but you can win games when you defend,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said on the win. “Two weeks ago we wouldn’t have won this game because we were putting the ball in the bucket, but we weren’t stopping anyone. It’s the change that needed to happen and now we need to build off this defensively. ”
Defense was what saved the home team on an unusually poor shooting night as it recorded 19 steals and nine blocks. Both Fabbri and the players agreed that defense was the main agenda for the match.
“Going into the game the emphasis was completely on defense,” Abshire said. “We haven’t been very good this year on defense, at all. That’s what we talked about and worked on in practice.”
Hartford’s 49 points are the least Quinnipiac has given up all season, behind North Carolina A&T’s 63. Along with Hartford throwing errant passes throughout the game, the Bobcats defended post entry passes and baseline crosses effectively.
“We’re a good offensive team,” said Fabbri. “I just think that we really turned a page, defensively won that game, and that’s what we needed to do.
Quinnipiac started the game on a 14-4 run. Ellen Cannon hit a 3-pointer for the team’s first points. After Alyssa Reaves made a layup, the score at 3-4, the Bobcats rattled off 11 straight points. They would stretch their lead as far as 14 points in the first half, but the score at halftime was 38-30. Quinnipiac shot 10-of-33 from the field.
The offense slipped even further in the second half. It made a minuscule 8-of-34 shots, but held the Hawks to only five makes out of 21.
McQuain and Abshire helped close the deal after Hartford cut the gap to five. The starting point guard nailed a 3-pointer to extend the lead to eight. McQuain fouled Deanna Mayza, who hit both her attempts, but made up for it with a three-point play off a tough up-and-under inside. Four more Abshire free throw makes finalized the score.
Quinnipiac takes on reigning conference champion Marist Friday. Fabbri noted the team is “hard to defend,” as it reads and reacts very well. The players, however, are up for the challenge.
“There’s definitely a rivalry there already,” Abshire said. “We’re pumped up for this game.”