Bobcats drop non-conference match with Harvard 77-68

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Bobcats drop non-conference match with Harvard 77-68

Jacob Shiffer

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It was another year, another game between the Harvard and Quinnipiac women’s basketball teams, and another thrilling matchup. Unfortunately for the Quinnipiac Bobcats, this one went different than last year though, with no overtime and no victory as the Bobcats fell 77-68 to the Crimson.

“Defensively we’ve got to get tougher,” Bobcats head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “We’ve got to get grittier. We’ve got to grind out.”

In the first half, the Crimson shot over 50% from the field and from the 3-point line, scoring at will while leading for over 16 minutes. The Bobcats kept it close with 15 second-chance points, thanks to their eight offensive rebounds compared to just three from the Crimson.

The first half was highlighted by the play of junior guard Shaquana Edwards, who finished the half with 13 points in 6-11 shooting. She scored nine consecutive points for the Bobcats in the first quarter, bringing the team within one point of the Crimson.

“If no one stops you, keep going,” Edwards said. “That’s what my coach always says.”

For the Crimson, their leading scorer, first-year guard Lola Mullaney, continued her hot start to the season as she finished the half with 16 points on 6-8 shooting, including 4-5 from behind the arc.

The Crimson got off to a quick start in the second half, taking a 6-0 run to boost their lead to 45-37. Fabbri called a timeout to get her team back on track, and it worked, as sophomore guard Amani Free and first-year forward Cur’Tiera Haywood hit back-to-back 3-pointers to bring the game within two points.

The Bobcats kept the game close but couldn’t pull away whenever they started a run. Towards the end of the third, the team took a one-point lead off a steal and transition layup from sophomore guard Mackenzie DeWees, only for the Crimson to answer back with a 3-pointer by senior guard Mackenzie Barta.

With 2:55 left in the fourth, Crimson sophomore guard Maggie McCarthy hit a 3-pointer to bring the Crimson lead to eight. Just seconds later, she forced a turnover which led to a possession that ended with a 3-pointer from Barta to give the Crimson an 11-point lead, their largest of the game, with just over two minutes left to seal the victory.

With the barrage of 3-pointers from the Crimson, the Bobcats used offensive rebounding to keep the Crimson within striking range. Paige Warfel led the way with six offensive rebounds and 12 in total, helping the team earn 22 second chance points.

“It’s really just all effort,” Warfel said. “Anyone is capable of doing that but of course my height being six feet tall definitely helps me. That’s something I really love to do and is one of my main focuses when I step out on the court.”

Usually a strong point of the Bobcats, the team struggled with its perimeter defense and allowed the Crimson to shoot 55% from the 3-point line. Mullaney led the team with five 3-pointers and finished with 24 points.

“We were making improvements in our shell defense,” Fabbri said. “Just again not translating from practice to court on the game days where obviously it matters the most.”

The Bobcats will take on George Washington University Colonials in their next matchup which will take place at home on December 7. With conference play still over a month away, the Bobcats know there’s still work to be done.

“It’s grind time and it’s early in the season,” Fabbri said. “We’ve got a very new and young team. We’ll go right back to the film and these guys have to stay really hungry with it and get better.”