IRISH basketball star Edel Thornton is headed for March Madness after helping Quinnipiac Bobcats to the MACC Championship title in New York on Monday night.
Thornton, from Gurranabraher in Cork city, is presently in her second season on a basketball scholarship with the prestigious Connecticut university, and won her first title at the Times Union Centre in Albany, defeating second-ranked Rider University, New Jersey.
Edel Thornon from Cork with the MACC Championship Trophy having helped Quinnipiac University defeat Rider in the finals in Albany, New York.
Quinnipiac defeated the reigning champions Iona – with whom former Team Montenotte Glanmire star Michelle Fahy and Donoughmore’s Stacey Brosnan previously played with – in Sunday’s semi-final, to set up a showdown with second-seeded Rider Broncs on Monday.
The game was televised live on BT Sport, with a Thornton’s family and former Brunell Superleague teammates eagerly watching the game on Leeside as she lifted the trophy, for what was Quinnipiac’s second MAAC title in three seasons, but Thornton’s first.
The former Irish basketball international was named in coach Tricia Fabbri starting five, wearing number 11, and featured throughout the game at point guard.
Quinnipiac trailed in the first quarter, however they managed to come back in the second to take a one-point lead at the turnaround, 30-29.
Thornton in action against the reigning champions Iona in the semi-final of the MACC Tournament on Sunday.
A huge drive in the third quarter saw the Bobcats extend their lead 53-42, despite good resistence from Rider, whom the Bobcats have now defeated for the third time this season.
Quinnipiac and Thornton continued their dominance into the final quarter, eventually claiming the title on a scoreline of 81-73, following a threatening final minute comeback from Rider. The victory gives Quinnipiac automatic qualification into the 2017 NCAA Tournament, which is primarily known as ‘March Madness’, as the best colleges in the United States now begin their bid to take the overall national title.