Quinnipiac women’s basketball heads to NCAA Tournament with win over Marist, 67-58

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Snip. Snip. The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team is going to the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row as it beats Marist 67-58 to repeat as the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champions.

The Bobcats and the Red Foxes both shot poorly from the field to start the game but this was nothing different for the Bobcats who have experienced slow starts in their previous games in the MAAC tournament.

Alana Gilmer got the Bobcats going in the first half as she scored 15 of her team-high 19 points in the first half. The Bobcats would claw back into the game but they could never get the stop they needed to try to put them ahead.

Quinnipiac’s defense could not stop Marist enough in the first half to get a lead but when the second half started the Bobcats run into the lead.

Paula Strautmane stole the ball and gave the ball up to Jen Fay who made a tough shot off the glass. On the next Marist possession, Aryn McClure stole the ball and Fay pounced and hit a three-pointer. A few possessions later Fay would make another three to put the Bobcats up 42-35 with 7:49 remaining in the third quarter.

Fay had a big game for the Bobcats and she finished with a game-high 23 points. For her performance in the tournament, Fay got the Player of the Tournament. All of this will come as no surprise as Fay often performs well in big games but she almost did not play in the game today due to pain in her knee.

“We weren’t sure even in shootaround,” Tricia Fabbri said when asked if she thought Fay would play against Marist. “She was just getting treatment and put through the paces with the treatment and procedures she was getting to be available to us this afternoon.”

Fay struggled offensively in the first half but like every other Quinnipiac player, she did not let the misses affect her confidence and she kept shooting.

“The first half I think I was 0-5 from three but coach Mountain (MacGillivray), no matter what practice, you miss the first 10 shots you’re going to shoot that eleventh one,” Fay said. “Even at halftime, he told me don’t stop shooting and I said I wouldn’t. Finally one went down.”

McClure finished with seven points and although that is a small number those points helped her become the newest member of the Quinnipiac’s 1,000 point scorers club with at least one game left in her season and her senior season next year.

The Bobcats will now have to wait a week to find out who and where they will play in the NCAA tournament. Last year Quinnipiac made a Cinderella run to the Sweet 16 but this season the Bobcats will not be underestimated by the team they will face in the first round.

“Hopefully they’ll be a little scared,” Carly Fabbri said when asked about what Quinnipiac’s opponents in the NCAA tournament will think when they see the Bobcats. “We love being the underdog in that situation. But we are confident in whoever we see. We are going to have a fairer chance of winning that game.”

Quinnipiac built quite the resume this season as it scheduled a tough out of conference schedule and it went undefeated in conference play. Quinnipiac is listed as an 11 seed in the most recent bracketology updates but whatever seed the Bobcats are they will give their first-round opponent a tough matchup.

This is Quinnipiac’s second straight MAAC championship win and it is third since entering the MAAC back in 2013. The Bobcats will continue to challenge for MAAC championships as it continues to be one of the top mid-major programs in the country.

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Quinnipiac women’s basketball heads to NCAA Tournament with win over Marist, 67-58