Quinnipiac dominates defensively, completes weekend sweep against Monmouth


Photo: QBSN

Matthew Jaroncyk

In round two of the doubleheader weekend, Quinnipiac (9-5, 7-3 MAAC) dominated Monmouth (1-10, 1-6 MAAC) Sunday afternoon at People’s United Center, 53-38.

With the win, the Bobcats continue to stay scorching hot as they have won six of their last seven games.

The first quarter started very sloppily, as both teams committed turnovers to start the game. It took almost three minutes and a foul from Quinnipiac sophomore center Mikala Morris on Monmouth freshman center Belle Kranbuhl to register the first points of the game.

Within a few minutes, the Bobcats were able to claw their way back into the game with a 5-0 run, putting them ahead 7-2 before the Hawks made it a one-point game. But it was the Bobcats defense that was on full display, as it forced four steals — three coming from junior guard Mackenzie DeWees — to close the quarter with an 11-7 lead.

At the end of the first quarter and early into the second quarter, first-year guard Jillian Casey got going, as she scored a quick eight points to extend the Bobcat lead to eight.

“It definitely felt great,” Casey said. “There’s nothing like that feeling of going out and your shots are falling and you’re hot and keep going.”

With a layup from Monmouth freshman guard Jania Hall to close the deficit to eight, that is as close as Monmouth would get, as contributions from freshman center Tiera White, junior guard Amani Free and sophomore forward Cur’Tiera Haywood helped push the Quinnipiac lead to double digits.

Even with Hall’s seven points in the quarter that included a buzzer-beater three-pointer to head to halftime, the Hawks found themselves down by 14 points.

With 20 minutes played, the Bobcats were sitting pretty on both sides of the ball. On the defensive end, the team was able to force three steals in the second quarter, upping the total number of steals to seven.

Yet it was the bench scoring that helped the Bobcats in the first half, as the second unit scored 19 first half points, 15 coming in the second quarter.

“If you look throughout the course of the program’s success over the past decade, depth has been pivotal,” Fabbri said. “It’s like a real pillar to why we’ve had consistent success and it’s the ability to play multiple people a lot of minutes and not stress.”

“It’s really important to us on any given night that we’re going to have key players… but we’re also going to get that support from everybody and that’s been pivotal to our success…”

By the end of the third quarter, Quinnipiac continued to assert its dominance on both ends of the court, with the struggling Hawks only able to score nine points on 3 of 15 shooting.

While Monmouth was able to turn the ball over less and force Quinnipiac turnovers, it could not find any opportunities to score and found itself down by 17 after a buzzer-beater three-pointer from sophomore guard Sajada Bonner to close out the third.

As the Bobcats started to pull away with the game in the fourth quarter, more of the second unit started to play, and Mackenzie DeWees talked about how crucial the bench is going to be through the final leg of the season.

“I thought today we played a lot of our bench and we were able to get points from them,” Dewees said. “I really thought Jill [Casey] stepped up today and Tiera [White] today and yesterday and they’re going to be key just going forward through the rest of the games and the MAAC.”

Quinnipiac will look to continue to stay hot as they play the Fairfield Stags on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.