Low Scoring Battle Leaves Bobcats Without Answers for Gaels

Connor Coar

HAMDEN, CT – The Quinnipiac Bobcats looked to avoid an in-season sweep against the Iona Gaels this Saturday afternoon. Poor shooting and inconsistencies cost the Bobcats the win in a 47-42 loss.  

Heading into the game, head coach Tricia Fabbri’s team were winners in their last four out of five games by an average win margin of 10.4 points. 

Quinnipiac only led for less than a minute and a half in the rematch against Iona. It did not take a basketball expert to tell that the Bobcats were fighting the woman in the mirror, rather than the person guarding them on the basketball court. 

“I liked our week of work,” Fabbri said.” We were really able to focus on us and take more time offensively…and then not seeing that translate against our opponent today was definitely disappointing.” 

Iona has worked their way to the top of the MAAC conference standings by slowing down the pace of the game and allowing a conference-best 54.7 points per game. Iona, who loves to turn defense into offense, ended up taking a team that loves to get out and run, like Quinnipiac, out of rhythm. 

When the Bobcats did get into their half-court sets, there seemed to be a lid on the hoop. Quinnipiac shot under 30 percent in two-point and three-point attempts. From behind the arc, the team has not made more than five threes in a game since their win against Mount St. Mary’s on the final day of 2022, just over two weeks ago. 

One of the biggest areas of concern from this game that Fabbri took away was the team’s lackluster performance from the charity stripe. 

“That’s really becoming a trend that we are just not making them,” Fabbri said. “That’s more of an urgency. Something that can be quickly remedied by wanting to be the one at the line knocking down the free throws.” 

When things did not go the Bobcats’ way throughout the game, they tried different personnel groups in order to find answers as to why this game was the first time the team has scored under 45 points in a game for the first time since Dec. 8th, 2018 vs. Princeton. 

In a typical game, senior guard Makenzie Helms would be spelling graduate student guard Rose Caverly to run the second unit. 

However, for a majority of the back half of the game, both Helms and Caverly were on the floor at the same time with Caverly playing the two guard and Helms facilitating from the point to put Caverly in positions to score despite only finishing with six points. 

The team had a 13-0 run at the end of the third quarter and early into the fourth to bring the team within three but it was too little too late as the Gaels were able to fend off the late-game heroics. 

Too many times throughout the game, all five players did not look to the basket to score when the team was down. Instead, they looked for each other to make a play. While it may be considered good team basketball to some, the team that scores more points will win the game. 

Whether or not the pressure of being named the preseason favorite in the MAAC is finally starting to affect this team, it appears to be an easy fix for coach Fabbri as they head into the second half of January and into February. 

“It’s just going to come from offensive production and getting good scores out of flow and out of playing in a rhythm.” Fabbri said. “I think that really is the bottom line.”

The team will have just under a week to reset, prepare, and compete against the St. Peter’s Peacocks for the second this coming Thursday after they defeated the Peacocks 58-48 on Dec. 29. Tip-off is set for 6:00 p.m. at the Lender Court.