Poor defense kills women’s hoops

Vagelis Perdikouris

Despite a team high 16 points and 10 rebounds from freshman center Ashlee Kelly, the Braves lost to UMBC 71-50 in Baltimore. The Lady Braves fall to 7-6 in the NEC and 10-12 overall, while UMBC improves to 8-5 in the NEC and 10-12 overall. The 50 points scored by Quinnipiac is the lowest the Braves have scored this season, shooting only 32.2% from the field.
Senior center Kim Misiaszek (Old Lyme, CT) moved to fourth on the Quinnipiac career scoring list at the 6:35 mark and finished with 13 points. Misiaszek currently has 1,326 points for her career. She is looking to pass Maria Holland, who graduated in 1986 with 1,358 career points. UMBC avenged an earlier 65-55 loss to Quinnipiac in Hamden on Jan. 11.
The first half started off slowly as each team exchanged baskets. The Braves held a brief 10-8 lead on jumper by freshman Katie Keilty (5 assists) with 12:45 to play in the half. The Lady Retrievers then decided to take advantage of Quinnipiac’s zone defense, which allowed them to shoot from the outside and take a 24-14 lead with 7:56 to play on a wide open three pointer by sophomore Shalayna Johnson, who finished with a team high 16 points.
The Lady Braves cut the deficit to 28-24 on a short jumper by Sara Esidore with 4:40 to play. UMBC then ran away with 12-4 run to close the half and go into the locker room pumped up on a trey at the buzzer by senior Maggie McDevitt, who finished with 11 points. The Braves trailed 40-28 at the half.
The Lady Braves continued to kill themselves with sloppy defense as UMBC opened the second half strong, taking a commanding 50-36 lead with 12:40 to play on a basket by McDevitt. The Blue and Gold fought back to close the gap to 52-42 with 6:22 to play on a lay-up and foul by the crafty southpaw, Theresa Sanchez (Haddonfield, NJ), who finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds.
Quinnipiac then continued to excessively foul for the remainder of the half, sending UMBC to the charity stripe for 26 free throws. Luckily, UMBC only shot 17 of 26, compared to the Brave’s 12 of 19. UMBC shot 41.4% from the field and were 6 of 13 from three point land. The Braves went 0 for 12 on three point attemps, but out-rebounded the Lady Retrievers 45 to 37.
Also scoring in double figures for UMBC were sophomore Jessie Brown with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals, junior Sheila Johnson with 11 points and 8 rebounds, and Yinka Bada who poured in 14 points. Playing well for Quinnipiac were sophomore guards Kara Cassidy and Megan Rooney. Senior Colleen Klopp was held to a career low 2 points, but managed to grab 7 boards.
The Braves take on the Fairleigh Dickinson University Knights on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 1:00pm in an exciting double header at Burt Kahn Court. The Men’s team follows against St. Francis (Pa) at 4:00 pm.