MAAC Tournament: Women’s basketball to take on Rider in semifinals Sunday


Photo: Liz Flynn

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The Quinnipiac Bobcats beat the Rider Broncs in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship game last year and the Broncs will look to get their revenge on the Bobcats in the MAAC semifinals on Sunday morning.

Stella Johnson and Kamila Hoskova will need to be better than they normally are if they want to beat Quinnipiac. Hoskova is a senior and she will want to continue to play in a Rider uniform for as long as possible.

“It’s my last opportunity to play, so I’m giving everything I have,” Hoskova said.

Rider, like every other team in the MAAC, will give Quinnipiac its best game because that is what it takes to beat one of the top mid-major programs in the country but Carly Fabbri and her teammates expect nothing less from their opponents.

“I think we are going to see everyone’s best shot,” senior guard Carly Fabbri said. “Everyone wants to see the number one seed and everyone wants to be the underdog to knock off the big guy.”

Quinnipiac knows that it will have its hands full with Johnson and Hoskova but Quinnipiac’s defense will be prepared for the tough matchup. This will be the Bobcats and Broncs third matchup of the season and both teams played in Lawrenceville last Friday, so the Bobcats will be familiar with the Broncs offensive plays.

“Stella (Johnson) is a player that has a lot of players in her toolbox as a sophomore,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “I think we’ve got some good defensive matchups and some good schemes against (Johnson).”

Although both teams will be familiar with each other’s plays offensively, the game will come down to each team’s ability to execute.

“We are familiar with it but it’s in the moment, who’s executing what,” Tricia Fabbri said.

Johnson is very motivated to play against Quinnipiac because Quinnipiac beat Rider in the MAAC Championship game last year.

“Oh yeah,” Johnson said when asked if Quinnipiac could be beaten. “We already talked about it in the locker room. We are very positive about the game tomorrow.”

The Broncs will have their hands full with having to stop the Bobcats because they have so many weapons offensively like Aryn McClure, Jen Fay, and Carly Fabbri.

“I think their depth is probably their top strength,” Rider head coach Lynn Milligan said. “They just have so many players they can play, that are capable of scoring and hurting you.”

Taylor Herd became a starter after Vanessa Udoji went down with a season-ending knee injury at the beginning of the season and she excelled quickly but over the final few game of the season, Herd’s shots have been missing. Herd is 2-25 from three in Quinnipiac’s past five games. Herd will keep on shooting because the ball will start going in again.

“Just keep shooting,” Tricia Fabbri said. “Just do what you do. You don’t tinker with too much right now…Just keep being who you are and keep playing through it.”

Quinnipiac and Rider will tip-off at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning and you can follow @qbsn on twitter for updates throughout the game. @BryanSchwartz15 and @ryanchichester1 will have the call on