Women’s basketball falls in MAAC opener

Nick Palma

It was a well-fought contest for the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team in its inaugural Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game vs. the nine-time MAAC Champion Marist University. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, they fell just short in the match-up, losing 69-63.

Free throws helped change the outlook of the final score, proving to be the main difference maker in this evenly matched competition. Marist shot 85.3 percent from the line compared to Quinnipiac’s 64.3 percent

The Red Foxes stayed strong, driving towards the net and drawing 23 fouls. Quinnipiac women’s head coach Tricia Fabbri was disappointed in the home loss but feels strong about the team moving forward in conference play.

“We stormed out of the locker room, they still extended, and we still fought,” Fabbri said. “Tough one to lose at home but that’s a really good team and it was nice to see us tested against a really good team. We are a really good team.”

Trailing 33-27 at the half, Quinnipiac’s offense showed integrity coming out of the locker room at the start of the second. After a quick lay up by Boo Abshire, Jasmine Martin cut the lead to just one after nailing a 3-pointer 35 seconds into the second half.

“We just had to settle down,” Martin said. “Like coach said, we were tight. Everyone was really anxious, this was the first conference game and everyone needed to settle down and settle into the style that they were playing and just play our basketball.”

In order to keep the score tight throughout the second half, Quinnipiac needed certain players to step up. Senior Samantha Guastella came through with big shots, shooting two 3-pointers within a minute. She finished second on the team in scoring with 15 points.

Martin was the team’s leading scorer in the Bobcat’s first conference match-up this year, racking up 22 points.

Marist went on an 8-2 run late in the first half to go up 31-18 with 4:07 left in the half. This would be the largest lead of the game, a big part of the reason why Quinnipiac was never able to possess a lead at any point of tonight’s contest.

Along with the consistent lead, Marist’s free throw percentage didn’t help Quinnipiac’s chance of making a lead change at least once in the game.

“Clearly the free throw shooting was a major impact on the game,” Fabbri said. “I liked how we shot the ball better than them and what we were able to on the defensive end but clearly those free points were a big difference. A lot is us having to adjust and how the game is being called with the new rule changes but we got to learn to keep our hands off and play defense.”

The Bobcat’s first MAAC game gave the players a new outlook of what their conference may foresee further down the road.

“I wouldn’t say there was a different feel, it was good to see what we were up against the defending champs of the MAAC,” Martin said.