The Quinnipiac Bobcats earned their first ever NCAA Tournament berth with a 72-33 shellacking of Saint Francis (Penn.) in the Northeast Conference Tournament championship game on March 17.
Quinnipiac got things rolling offensively early in the contest scoring 11 of the game’s first 14 points. After Saint Francis (17-15) got within 13-7, the Bobcats went on a 17-5 run and the rout was on. Felicia Barron scored seven of her nine points during this run.
Quinnipiac took a 32-15 halftime lead thanks in large part to poor shooting by the Red Flashes. Saint Francis shot just 22 percent from the field (6-of-27) in the first half while recording a season-low point total.
The second half didn’t go much better for Saint Francis, which was looking for their 12th conference tournament crown. The Red Flash missed 16-of-their-first 17 shots and trailed 55-17 with 8:19 left in the game.
Saint Francis set the conference mark for the fewest points in a title game as well as the lowest point total in a conference tournament game. The Red Flash shot 24 percent from the floor for the game and committed 20 turnovers.
Brittany McQuan led the way for Quinnipiac (30-2) with 14 points. She shot 6-of-11 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds. Gillian Abshire collected eight rebounds and dished out six assists.
Alexa Hayward was the Red Flashes leading scorer with eight points. Alli Williams collected 10 rebounds for Saint Francis.
The Bobcats, who are on a 22-game winning streak, were seeded 13th in the 2013 NCAA Tournament on March 18. Quinnipiac will battle fourth-seed Maryland in the first round of Bridgeport, Conn., Regional.
Other game notes:
– Quinnipiac was making just their second appearance in the NEC title game.
– The Bobcats are one of just five teams Division I teams that have collected 30 wins.
– Quinnipiac’s 39 point victory is the largest in NEC title game history.
– Saint Francis is now 11-4 all-time in NEC championship games.