The conference-leading Sacred Heart Pioneers led early and never looked back in their 66-51 win over the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team on Saturday at the TD Bank Sports Center. Senior center Courtney Kaminski posted her third 20-point game in the last five games for the Bobcats, but, once again, it wasn’t enough to lift them out of their losing skid.
Quinnipiac (9-15, 4-7 NEC) kept the deficit to within 10 points in the first half, but Sacred Heart (17-5, 10-1 NEC) led by as many as 17 late in the second half.
“We did not get stops to put ourselves in the position to stop them, come down and chip away at that eight- to 10-point lead,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “We demonstrated some competitiveness and toughness, but not enough down the stretch. We were never able to close the gap.”
Fabbri said she tried to slow the game down by using up a lot of clock on possessions, as shown by Quinnipiac’s first four possessions ending with the ball just hitting the rim as the shot clock expired.
“We’re not healthy enough at this point in the season to play our style of play,” Fabbri said. “We had to limit their possessions and we are not healthy enough to go up and down the floor with them for 40 minutes.”
Sophomore forward Jacinda Dunbar provided a spark off the bench for the Bobcats to help keep the game close in the first half. She tallied seven straight points in fewer than two minutes, converting three layups, including a low-post finish while being fouled.
“We’ll take them any way we can get them,” Fabbri said. “When we needed some points she came through and gathered and gave us some nice looks at the basket.”
The Bobcats came into the second half playing like Sacred Heart did in the first, grabbing offensive rebounds and forcing turnovers on defense. After a brief run, however, Sacred Heart turned up its defense a notch, switching to a tougher full-court press and forcing the Bobcats into several turnovers. Midway through the second half, the Pioneers had jumped out to a 41-27 lead.
Kaminski scored 16 of her team-high 22 points in the second half, but she felt an improved defense could have altered the result.
“We had a little trouble on defense tonight,” Kaminski said. “Maybe if we had done a little better on defense it would have been a better outcome.”
Photo credit: Charlotte Greene