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Friday, March 02, 2007

MU women's preview for Saturday Press/predictions?

My prediction...Q pac, 65-59


Note to all:....

The game will be video-streamed live. You may access it at the Q Pac web site or through a link at the MU web site.!!!


By TONY GRAHAM
STAFF WRITER

Opportunity would appear to be knocking Saturday for the Monmouth University women's basketball team. When the fifth-seeded Hawks (17-12, 10-8) visit No. 4 Quinnipiac (16-11, 10-8) 1 p.m (88.9 FM) in the quarterfinal round of the Northeast Conference Tournament leading scorer Erin Kerner (17.7 ppg., 3.5 apg.) of the Bobcats (16-11, 10-8) will miss her eighth game in a row with a season-ending knee injury.

Qunnipiac has gone 4-3 since the sophomore point guared went down, losing its last three in a row though two were to defending champion Sacred Heart.

However, Monmouth junior point guard and top scorer Brianne Edwards (10.1 ppg., 3.0 apg.)is less than 100 percent after hurting her knee two games ago vs. Sacred Heart. She did not play in Tuesday's defeat at Fairleigh Dickinson.

Team spokesman Eddie Occhipinti said Edwards practiced Friday and will probably play but may not start.

Monmouth is looking for its first NEC Tournament win since 2002-2003. It has not won the event since 1986-87.


Michele Baxter, Monmouth coach, said her team, which utilizes a pressing defense, will ""pressure the ball a lot"" Saturday in Kerner's absence.

""We'll do some full court man to man or full court press,'' said Baxter. ""Just to try to get them slowed down in transition. They're a team that scores a lot of points in quick shots out of their transition.''

In the Jan. 15 only meeting between Monmouth and Quinnipiac year when both point guards were healthy ,the Bobcats prevailed 69-57 providing them the seeding tie-breaker.

Baxter said Edwards, Monmouth's leading scorer, has been playing well. ""She's the one that controls our offense, and is a very good defender,'' Baxter said. ""She's usually the one guarding the ball handler and applying pressure that way.''

Baxter said if Edwards can't start or play Nyaimah Ware will start at the point with freshman Brooke McElroy filling in.

Quinnipiac coach Tricia Fabbri said several players have "'stepped up'' in Kerner's absence. Monique Lee, a 6-1 junior, leads the Bobcats in scoring (14.7 ppg.) and rebounding (7.8 rpg.). Lee had 15 points and 25 rebounds as a freshman March 3, 2005 when Quinnpiac ousted the Hawks in an NEC quarterfinal at Boylan Gym, 75-68.

""We faced a real brutal stretch in February,''said Fabbri. ""But I'm real proud of them securing that fourth seed and just getting ready for a great battle against Monmouth.''

Baxter said Monmouth would have preferred to play at home. ""But we can't worry about that,'' she said. ""A lot of time in tournaments you're on the road anyway and we've been a good team on the road this year (6-6).


also.. I will not be at the game as the Press does not usually staff most MU women
's road games (except DHs with the men).... even in the NECs....but I will be following it via the net...

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