With a 62-56 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson University, the Quinnipiac Lady Braves are building up momentum heading into the NEC tournament. The victory brought the Braves back to .500 overall with a record of 12-12 (9-6 within the conference).
It was fitting that Kim Misisaszek and Colleen Klopp (both seniors) paved the way for the Braves on “Senior Day.” Misiaszek sparked the Braves with 15 points, 9 boards and 2 blocks, while Klopp added another 10 points.
With all five seniors getting the starting nod, the Braves seemed a little out of synch and fell behind early,12-7, following a layup by FDU’s Natallia Marchanka (Rechitsa, Belarus). Despite Marchanka’s 16 points and 6 steals, and Melanie Prol’s double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds), the Lady Knights were unable to maintain the lead.
The time came for the seniors to take a seat, but the underclassman entered and Quinnipiac didn’t lose a step. Sara Esidore, Katie Keilty and Ashlee Kelley keyed a 15-6 run in the first half to put the Braves up, 26-20. Quinnipiac extended its lead and went into the half ahead of FDU, 34-29.
Out of the locker room, it was evident that the Braves were unwilling to relinquish their lead. Continuing their solid play, Quinnipiac upped its field goal percentage to 43.5. However, after being criticized in the matchup against UMBC, it was the stiffling Braves defense that made the difference down the stretch. Quinnipiac held FDU to a miniscule 32.8 percent from the field and with a few last second free throws by Cassidy, the Lady Braves walked off with the win.
Up next for the Braves is a trip to Robert Morris College, and then away at St. Francis on Saturday. Then it’s off to Trenton in search of Quinnipiac University’s first ever Women’s Basketball NEC Tournament Championship.