By John Manley
Quinnipiac defeated Miami (Fla.), 86-72, in Storrs, Conn. on Saturday in first-round play of the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Tournament. Junior guard Edel Thornton from Gurranabraher, Co. Cork scored 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the floor (one 3-pointer) and 1-of-2 firing from the foul line. Quinnipiac broke open a close game in which they trailed, 60-59, with an 8-0 run, thanks to five points from Thornton.
The victory gave the Bobcats the task of going up against no. 1 Connecticut on the Huskies’ home floor on Monday evening. The result was the end of the ride for Quinnipiac, which suffered a 72-49 defeat. Thornton chipped in six points, as she connected on three of six shots from the floor. Her two steals were co-high for the game. The Bobcats, who saw their 23-game win streak end, finished the season 28-6.
MidAmerica Nazarene University made it through the first two rounds of the NAIA Women’s Championship in Billings, Mont. before they were eliminated. Whitney Moia, a 6-3 junior from Dublin, contributed eight points and five rebounds to the Pioneers’ 82-72 victory over Lindenwood (Belleville) in first-round action. She shot 4-of-6 from the floor. Then she was her side’s high rebounder in an 83-72 win over Providence (Mont.) in the second round. She took down 10 caroms, blocked two shots and chipped in seven points, hitting all three field goal attempts and one of two free throws. MNU’s run came to a halt in a 65-54 loss to Westmont. Moia was held to one point and five rebounds as the Pioneers finished the season with a 27-6 record. Moia finished the season averaging 5.4 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game, tops on the squad. Her 56 rejections were also a team high.
The America East Conference selected Hartford’s John Carroll to its All-Conference second team. The 6-8 junior from Dublin completed the season as the Hawks’ leading scorer, averaging 15.3 points per game, and top rebounder, good for 6.4 boards per game. The Hawks, who finished the season with a 19-14 record, are coached by John Gallagher, who earned co-Coach of the Year honors from the America East.
Bowling Green defeated Northern Illinois, 196.475-195.700, at home on Saturday. The Falcons’ India McPeak contributed a solid performance on the beam, earning a composite score of 9.850 (third best among the six on her team) from the judges. McPeak is a senior from Bangor, Co. Down.
Sinead Lohan of Miami (Fla.) won both her singles and doubles matches as the Hurricanes lost, 4-3, to top-ranked North Carolina on Friday and defeated North Carolina State, 5-2, on Sunday. Both matches were played in Coral Gables, Fla. The Waterford senior dispatched the Tar Heels’ Sara Daavettila, 7-5, 6-1, and teamed with Ana Madcur for a 7-5 win over Daavettila and Alle Sanford. In the win over N.C. State, Lohan defeated Claudia Witorkin, 6-3, 6-1, and with Madcur posted a 6-3 victory over Bianca Moldovan and Tayla Stenta. Lohan was slotted at second singles and second doubles on both days.
Arizona State sophomore Olivia Mehaffey was only a stroke off the lead going into the third and final round of the Clover Cup at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz., but a final-round 76 dropped her into a tie for sixth place. The Belfast resident shot rounds of 72, 70 and 76 to wind up two strokes over par and seven in back of Oklahoma’s Julienne Soo, the medalist.
Eoin Cunniffe shared the first-round lead in the Brown Golf Intercollegiate at Foxfire Resort in Jackson Springs, N.C., but the University of Charleston junior from Galway suffered a second-round 78 to quash his title hopes. He settled into a tie for fifth place, seven strokes off the winning score shot by Wayne State’s Nikolas Senkowski. Keith Murphy got 16th place in the Cape Fear National Intercollegiate at Cape Fear National Golf Club in Leland, N.C. The South Carolina-Beaufort senior from Dublin posted rounds of 74, 76 and 73 to finish seven strokes over par and 10 off the winning number shot by Sachin Kumar of Virginia Commonwealth.
The Spring Spectacular at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. ended with two Irish in the top 20. Bethune-Cookman’s Daniel Brennan, a senior from Shannon, Co. Clare, tied for 13th place at 6-over-par 222 (75-73-74), while Toledo’s Stephen Watts, a senior from Larne, Co. Antrim, got a share of 19th place at 226 (78-73-75). Texas Christian’s David Ravetto shot 209 for a four-stroke victory.
John Murphy tied for 44th place in the Lamkin Grips Classic at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, Calif. The University of Louisville sophomore from Kinsale, Co. Cork shot rounds of 74, 76 and 71 to finish the event five strokes over par and 20 behind Texas Tech’s Fredrik Nilehn, the medalist.