Bobcats go one-and-done for first time since 2011: Three Takeaways


Photos: Liz Flynn

Steven McAvoy

Welcome to March.

In what can only be described as a calamity, the No. 2 Quinnipiac Bobcats fell to the No. 7 Rider Broncs on Tuesday night by a final score of 62-50, abruptly ending their time on the boardwalk.

The Bobcats failed to make the MAAC Championship for the first time since joining the conference in 2014. The loss also marks the first time since 2011 that the Bobcats went one-and-done in a conference tournament.

A lot simply went wrong for the Bobcats. Here are the three biggest takeaways from the loss.

1. Defensive Breakdowns

Despite Mikala Morris winning the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year award earlier in the day, one player can’t win a game defensively.

The Bobcats allowed 22 points in the paint, 10 points off turnovers and allowed Rider to shoot 50 percent from deep, the Broncs’ highest figure this season. Prior to tonight, the Broncs’ highest clip from deep was 46 percent against, guess who, this same Bobcats team where the Broncs won 77-74 in overtime.

“We were stagnant against the ballhandler,” head coach Tricia Fabbri said.

The stat sheet shows that the Bobcats made up for their defensive lapses by forcing 16 turnovers and converting on half of their opportunities in transition, but that was just about the only bright spot on the defensive end.

2. Mackenzie DeWees

The 2021 MAAC Player of the Year simply didn’t show up, and to no fault of her own. The Broncs defensive unit shut down the junior guard, limiting her to only two points on 1-9 shooting.

DeWees did contribute her usual efforts on the glass, but another telling number from the contest was her turnovers.

DeWees was credited for three of the Bobcats 16 total turnovers, two of which went for points on the other end.

3. The Droughts 

The most apparent stat wasn’t as clear as simply appearing in the stat sheet.

The Bobcats in the second half spent over ten minutes without converting a basket, a cold streak that saw Rider drop twelve straight points from deep late in the fourth quarter.

“It really did us in,” Fabbri said. “It happened when we played them before and it happened again tonight.”

The droughts came at the hands of a very challenging 2-3 zone deployed by the Broncs which held the Bobcats to their second-lowest shooting performance from the field.

“We had difficulty scoring against the zone, we had good looks,” said Fabbri.

The Bobcats came to Atlantic City thinking they didn’t need luck.

They made the tournament every year they were in the MAAC. They had the MAAC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year on one roster. They had a top-three offensive and defensive unit in the MAAC.

It wasn’t until the third quarter, four minutes in, they realized they needed the luck.

When they turned to lady luck, she brushed them away.

The result was a press conference that felt like a funeral. Short answers, lack of enthusiasm, body language that screamed get me out of here.

Although the Bobcats metaphorically died tonight, it won’t be something they’ll want to forget.

“I’m going to bottle up these emotions,” junior guard Rose Caverly said.

2022 will be a new year. They’ll come back hungry, anxious, and ready to – hopefully – get back to where they belong; cutting down nets, hoisting trophies, and dancing once again.