Women’s basketball building chemistry

Zach Smart

Starting the season off against upper-tier, non-conference opponents is never an easy task. It is, however, an opportunity to build chemistry before league action opens up. For the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team, such is essential, as the Bobcats have many new faces and arguably the most talented recruiting class in the Northeast Conference.

The Bobcats have certainly become familiar with each other’s games thus far, as they have gotten off to a 1-2 start. NEC play begins on Wednesday, as they’re slated to go against Long Island University at the Burt Khan Court on campus.

The Bobcats recorded their first victory of the season on Nov. 29 with an 83-80 overtime thriller over the Big East’s Providence College.

Riding sophomore Monique Lee’s 26-point,11-rebound performance, the ‘Cats outlasted the Friars.

A pair of free throws by freshman guard Brianna Rooney, who finished with 16 points, did the Friars in during the waning seconds. After PC’s Chelsea Marandola was issued with a technical foul following a previous foul on Rooney, the former Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year was able to put the ‘Cats up, 81-80.

Rooney then forced a turnover at the other end of the floor. This helped set up Lee, who got free for a lay-in that put the finishing touches on the Friars. Lee missed Quinnipiac’s first two games of the season with an injury.

The season opener was a rude awakening for the ‘Cats as they were trounced, 90-42, by undefeated Dartmouth at Hanover, N.H. The reigning Ivy League champions shot 60 percent from the floor and received a 29-point outburst from Jeannie Cullen en route to the thrashing of the Bobcats.

The team followed this up with an 81-67 loss at home to the America East’s SUNY-Stony Brook. The Bobcats battled valiantly in the first half, but the visiting Seawolves began to pour it on in the second half. Senior Jackie Harris, of New Haven, led the ‘Cats with 12 points and six boards.

Having a healthy Lee in the lineup certainly re-installs some confidence. The ‘Cats were led by a pair of freshman scoring threats, Brianna Rooney and Erin Kerner, in Lee’s absence. Kerner has also emerged as the ‘Cats assists leader. Kathleen Neyens, another freshman guard, has also stepped into a big role this season.

The backcourt trio is a strong addition which aids the Bobcats’ experienced post players.