Women’s Basketball Dominates No. 4 Monmouth, Advances to Another Conference Championship

Will Fowler

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Photo: Liz Flynn

Despite losing an hour of sleep last night due to daylight savings, No. 1 Quinnipiac looked anything but fatigued, as an 80-42 win against No. 4 Monmouth put them back in the MAAC championship for the sixth year in a row.

 

“[It was a] dominant performance for 40 minutes on both ends of the ball,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said.  “We’ve been so good defensively all year. [We are] a top five defensive team in the nation, but offensively we matched that all day today with our efficiency.”

 

Defensively, the Bobcats shut down the Hawks to only 17 first half points.  With Monmouth having a total of 42 points in the game, that is eight less than the 50.8 average that Bobcats hold their opponents to.

 

With 40 total minutes in the game, Quinnipiac held the lead for 39:50. The only time the Bobcats did not have the lead was the first 10 seconds of the game when the score was 0-0.

 

“If you get off to a good start you can keep that pace for the rest of the game,” Quinnipiac guard and 2019 MAAC Sixth Player of the Year winner Taylor Herd said.  “We came out and continued the pace of our game and it definitely helped us in the long run.”

 

Herd finished with 14 points off of the bench, while Brittany Martin led the Bobcats with 17 points. Jen Fay had a team high six assists and was tied for the team lead in rebounds with six.  Paula Strautmane shot 7-for-8 from the field and had five rebounds after struggling in the quarterfinal game against Fairfield.

 

“Paula was dominant with 7-for-8,” Fabbri said.  “I’ve never seen her play offensively as efficiently for the minutes she was in and she was outstanding. When she really plays well, we are tough to beat. She was so good today.”

 

No matter how good Strautmane has been, Quinnipiac has been tough to beat, especially in the MAAC.  This marks their 51st straight MAAC win, which ties Duke’s winning streak against ACC opponents from Feb. 22, 2001-Feb. 2, 2004 for the 10th longest streak in NCAA history.

 

This was also the Bobcats’ 20th win in a row, which is currently second in the NCAA behind No. 1 Baylor, who are currently on a 21-game win streak.

 

If the Bobcats make it 52 consecutive conference wins in the MAAC championship game, they will head to NCAA tournament for the third straight year.

 

“Coming into this program I wouldn’t have expected that,” Herd said.  “To see the growth of the program since my freshman year and now contributing on the court it’s just a surreal experience that I’m excited for.”

 

Before the NCAA tournament, Quinnipiac must win the MAAC tournament championship game, a game that they have reached every year since entering the MAAC in 2013-2014.  They claimed the championship trophy in 2015 and then won it in back-to-back seasons in 2017 and 2018.

 

The MAAC championship is nothing new to the Bobcats, and their experience keeps the team relaxed on the conference’s biggest stage.

 

“They’re very comfortable being here and being in these games,” Fabbri said.  “We’ve played our best basketball in the quarterfinals and the semi-finals. They’ve been here before and they’re unfazed and here is just a calm, confident and a comfortability being here this weekend.”

 

The Bobcats hit the floor Monday morning at 2:30 p.m., with only the Marist Red Foxes standing in their way of another trip to the NCAA tournament.

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Women’s Basketball Dominates No. 4 Monmouth, Advances to Another Conference Championship