Quinnipiac’s offensive struggles headline 64-51 loss to Marist


Ben Upson

It has been a developmental year for the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team, who continued the final stretch of their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) schedule, taking on the Marist Red Foxes  in front of a large crowd at the People’s United Center on Saturday.

 Coming off of a comeback win against Saint Peter’s on Thursday, the Bobcats were not able to persevere a strong Marist offensive attack. In a closely contested first quarter, both teams got off to good starts and the Bobcats would lead by 1 heading into the quarter break. From then on, Marist had the upper hand. 

The Red Foxes offense ran through seniors Grace Vander Weide, Alana Gilmer and Rebekah Hand, who all scored double digits in the points column. The second quarter made the difference in this game as Marist was able to score 21 of their 62 points on 8-13 (61.5%) shooting. 

They would outscore the Bobcats 21-11 in the second quarter and after a buzzer-beater from Marist’s Vander Weide, their lead was 11 points heading into halftime. They came out strong in the second half and grow their lead to as large as 19 points when junior Willow Duffell put home a lay-up in the mid-third quarter. Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri praised Marist for their season success.

“They hit threes in transition. That’s a better ball club and that’s what they do extremely well. I mean they’re averaging 77 {points} a game. That’s them at their best, we held them to six threes in the first half, two in the second half, so we got right back into it, just couldn’t capitalize.”

From there, the Bobcats cut it to a nine-point deficit in the early fourth quarter when sophomore guard MacKenzie DeWees laid one in with 6:12 remaining. Quinnipiac’s one shining moment was the third quarter, as they held Marist to just 14 points and scoreless for the final 5:41.

Quinnipiac struggled to find their rhythm from the floor, shooting a poor 18-61 (29.5%) overall and just 4-19 (21.1%) from 3-point range. Quinnipiac senior Paige Warfel commented on the struggles in the Bobcats’ loss.

“The first half, we just definitely came out flat and once we get more engaged in the game, and later on in the game we really picked up the energy and we just need to start things like that,” Warfel said.

Quinnipiac was also without MAAC Rookie of the Week Mikala Morris for this one as she was seen during pregame warm-ups in a walking boot. Morris has been a crucial part of this younger Bobcats team as she has been averaging 9.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game this season. Fabbri briefly spoke on her injury and any potential return.

“Yeah I don’t know, it’s just been ongoing. She’s a little sore, so we’ll see.”

Despite the loss to Marist and being without Morris, the Bobcats continue to push forward, aiming to hold their spot among the top teams in the conference. With the MAAC tournament around the corner, the top 5 will clinch a first-round bye, avoiding having to play on the opening day of the tournament.

Quinnipiac is close to clinching a first-round bye, but they will have to take care of business on the road next week and win one of their final regular season matchups. They will face Niagara on Thursday at 7 p.m. followed by Canisius next Saturday at 2 p.m., two teams who have struggled to find much momentum this season in the conference.