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Basketball makes push to NCAAs
Last week was a pivotal time for the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team as they played two intense games in which the were fighting for both their play-off seeding the their play-off lives.
The first of the two games was on Mar. 1 against St. Francis (N.Y.), who finished the season in the No. 8 among the NEC women’s basketball standings.
If the Bobcats could pull out the win, or Monmouth lost, they would clinch the No. 4 slot in the NEC Tournament.
Quinnipiac came out hot, going up 11-4 in the early stages of the game thanks to Kim Fitzpatrick’s hot hand from three point land. Freshman Monique Lee scored seven points and had a 11 rebounds in the first half.
The Terriers took a 28-24 lead at the half however, playing behind the inspired play of their star freshman Tiffany Hill.
St. Francis (N.Y.) increased their lead to as much as 11 in the second half, thanks to some shot clock beating shots and sloppy play by Quinnipiac.
The Bobcats continued to play hard and with a little over 11:00 left in the game, brought the deficit to 39-38.
The Bobcats took their first lead since the first half with less then :50 left in regulation after New Haven native Krystal Pressley converted a three point play, giving Quinnipiac a 56-53 lead.
This lead was quickly overcome by the Terriers who with :18 remaining St. Francis (N.Y.) hit a three-pointer, tying the score and sending the game to overtime, the first of such games for QU this season.
Senior Shirta Smith gave Quinnipiac a two point lead at the start of overtime. The two teams continued to battle back and forth for the remainder of overtime.
With 1:30 left on the clock Quinnipiac had a 61-60 lead after Fitzpatrick made one of her two free throws.
St. Francis (N.Y.) took the 64-61 lead after converting one free throw and grabbing the offensive rebound on the second missed free throw.
Senior Lindsey O’Neil missed a desperation three-pointer as the clock hit double zero, giving the Terriers the 64-61.
Because of the loss, combined with a Monmouth win against Wagner, the Bobcats were dropped to the No. 5 seed in the upcoming NEC Tournament.
The Bobcats first playoff game against the No. 4 seeded aforementioned Monmouth Hawks, was a better and more satisfying game then the one which they had played earlier that week.
In the first few minutes of the game the Bobcats took a six point lead after Pressley scored a team-high six points in the half, however Monmouth came back and took the lead for almost the rest of the first half and at the break, they had a 31-24 lead over the Bobcats.
The majority of the second half Monmouth kept the lead and with only a little under 12:00 left in the half they held an 11 point lead over Quinnipiac, 56-45.
Quinnipiac gained a second wind and with the help of Lee and Pressley, were able to gain their first lead of the second half, 61-59.
Monmouth put up a final fight for the lead with a little under 5:00 remaining in the game. Lee quickly brought Quinnipiac back on top, getting an easy bucket in the paint.
The Bobcats sealed the victory with their near perfection at the chairty stripe, hitting six of their last seven free-throw attempts in the weaning minutes of the game to lock up the 75-68 lead, advancing them to the semi-finals of the NEC tournament.
The Bobcats entered the NEC Tournament as the No. 5 seed, and faced the No. 1 St. Francis (Pa.) Red Flash.
For a game recap and box score go to www.quinnipiacbobcats.com or www.quchronicle.com