Women’s Basketball Can’t Hold On and Loses Non-Conference Finale vs Rhode Island

Connor Wilson

Playing in their final non-conference game of the season, the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team fell to the Rhode Island Rams 63-55 in a neck-and-neck game on Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Arena in Hamden, Connecticut.

It was a very physical game from the opening tip, with the two teams trading three-pointers early. The offenses clicked for both sides and the Bobcats (5-4) led 18-14 after the first quarter. Sophomore guard Jackie Grisdale led Quinnipiac with five points in the period and finished with 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting overall.

“We were having a little trouble connecting with each other, which is something we’ll have to focus on more in practice,” Grisdale said. 

Despite the early deficit, the Rams (9-1) stayed persistent and pulled off the comeback. Graduate student guard Madison Hattix-Covington led the team with 19 points on 5-for-8 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds. Junior forward Maye Toure also finished in double figures with 10 points, two blocks, and three steals.

The Rams opened up the second quarter on a 7-0 run and caused Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri to call a timeout. Covington led the offensive attack for Rhode Island in the second and pulled the Rams all the way back to tie the game at 29 at halftime.

“That’s a team that’s scoring in the mid-70s and if you want to take away the free throws down the stretch we held them in the 50s,” Fabbri said.

The Bobcats turned the ball over 26 times this afternoon with four players turning it over at least four times. The Rams played suffocating defense and forced numerous shot clock violations including two in the first three minutes of the second half.

“I thought we were trying to work through instead of going to a call on the short shot clock,” Fabbri said. “That wasn’t effective early in the third quarter.”

As for the rest of the Bobcats, senior forward Mikala Morris led the team with 15 points and eight rebounds. Freshman forward Ella O’Donnell finished with a game-high nine rebounds and played a career-high 36 minutes in the loss.

“She brings such great energy to the floor,” Grisdale said of O’Donnell. “She’s a great player and an outstanding athlete and I know that the ceiling is the limit for her.”

The game was tied up again after the third quarter at 42 after senior forward Cur’Tiera Haywood hit a late three-pointer. After that, it was all Rhode Island as the Rams outscored the Bobcats 21-13 in the fourth. 

With the game being so physical all throughout, tempers flared early in the fourth quarter as Maya Toure and Bobcats graduate student forward Mary Baskerville got tangled up and into a slight altercation. The aftermath was a double technical foul call on Baskerville which led to her being ejected from the contest.

The Bobcats led by three with 3:40 to play, but the Rams closed it out on a 13-2 run to seal the deal.

The loss puts an end to Quinnipiac’s three-game win streak. Also, it signifies the end of the non-conference season, as the rest of the regular season, the Bobcats will play MAAC opponents beginning on Dec. 17 on the road in New Rochelle against Iona at 1 p.m.

“That’s going to prepare us and give us momentum going into MAAC play,” Grisdale said. “This whole non-conference schedule has been pretty tough and I think that’s going to show as we continue to play and get better.