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No. 5 Louisville runs away from Quinnipiac, 100-82

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP)

Quinnipiac coach Tricia Fabbri wanted a do-over of the first half after the Bobcats' 100-82 loss to No. 5 Louisville in Monday night's second-round preseason WNIT game.

Stymied by Louisville's early full-court press, the Bobcats committed 22 turnovers before adjusting in the second half and holding Louisville (2-0) to 25 percent 3-point shooting.

''I wish we could take back the first 20 minutes of the game,'' Fabbri said. ''I thought our second 20 (minutes) was Quinnipiac basketball. ... We had 22 (turnovers) in the first half. They were unforced. They were us, nervous, worried about them getting us in the pace too quickly.''

Junior guard Gillian Abshire led the Bobcats (1-1) with 20 points and junior forward Nikoline Ostergaard had 14 points, both career highs. Sophomore guard Jasmine Martin added 11 points.

Junior Brittany McQuain had 12 rebounds.

The Bobcats had no answer for Louisville forward Sara Hammond, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds, the 6-foot-2 junior's second double-double in as many games. Louisville guard Antonita Slaughter had 19 points and made 5 of 8 3-point shots.

''She's one of the best players I've ever played against,'' Abshire said of Hammond. ''She's very tough to guard. She's a guard in a post (player's) body.

''In the beginning we weren't used to their pressure as much,'' Abshire said. ''We were expecting it, but I think it was more of just getting used to it.''

Quinnipiac racked up six turnovers in the first 4 minutes, and that allowed Louisville to build an early lead. After a putback by freshman Camryn Warner made it 17-10, the Cardinals went on an 8-0 run and never relinquished its comfortable lead.

Quinnipiac couldn't replicate the dominant 50 percent 3-point shooting it displayed in its 77-63, opening-round win over North Carolina A&T on Friday.

The Bobcats missed their first eight shots from beyond the arc before registering consecutive 3s by Abshire and guard Adily Martucci late in the first half.

The Bobcats were 7 of 26 overall from 3-point range.

''I think that was because we were rushed a little bit,'' Fabbri said. ''We were a little too anxious, playing a little too fast.''

As she did last year, Fabbri employed the ''Gold Rush'' strategy in which she substitutes all five players on the court at once. Fabbri used the tactic early against the Cardinals, replacing her starting lineup just over 2 minutes into the game. She plans to continue using the move throughout the season.

''We firmly believe in the style that we want to play and with the roster full of talent that we can utilize that to our strength,'' she said.

Quinnipiac is seeking to build off last season's monumental success in which the team recorded the best record in the program's history. The Bobcats went 30-3 - 18-0 in the Northeast Conference regular season - and won the conference title then lost to Maryland in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

This season, the challenges include facing foes such as Marist in a new conference, the Metro Atlantic Athletic. The Bobcats must also adjust to the loss of guard Felicia Barron, a senior leader last season who led the team in scoring and steals.

''Although it was an 18-point loss, I think we proved that we can play with anybody,'' Abshire said. ''We scored 82 points on the No. 5 team in the nation. If we would've played better defense, we would've been right there.''

The Bobcats trailed 82-68 with about 6 minutes remaining but got no closer as the Cardinals made timely baskets and hit free throws down the stretch.

Louisville will host No. 14 LSU in Thursday night's semifinal.

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