Women’s basketball topples Siena in MAAC Semifinals

Nick Solari

Ever since losing to Marist by just four points in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Finals in March of last season, the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team set its sights on another opportunity to play for the program’s first title in the new league.

And by downing Siena, the Bobcats will get exactly what they wanted on Monday at the Albany Times Union Center.

Quinnipiac held the Saints to just 27.9 percent from the floor, winning 64-47 to book its trip to a second-consecutive conference title game.

“I’m just really proud,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “We worked really hard since this time last year to earn the right to play for 40 minutes tomorrow in the championship game.”

Jasmine Martin led Quinnipiac with 23 points on 8-of-18 shooting while adding four rebounds and three assists. For Martin, it was her second-highest point total of the season.

“We’re willing to do whatever to win,” Martin said. “Throughout the season we’ve had so many people step up, and I just felt like today it was my turn.”

“Jasmine Martin is just going after it,” Fabbri said. “There’s a little chip on that shoulder, and I like her when she plays with that chip.”

Samantha Guastella added in with 20 points and six rebounds of her own, going 6-for-12 from 3-point range. The senior netted five 3-pointers in the first half.

“When I’m open, I get the ball. It’s a lot of fun when your teammates have confidence in you,” Guastella said. “This is our time to shine, we’ve worked really hard for it.”

The Bobcats sunk 12-of-32 from long range in total, while holding Siena to 0-of-13 from beyond the arc. Marin sunk three 3-pointers, Abshire chipped in with two and Ostergaard had one.

“We had to work really hard to get anything on the interior, credit Siena for taking that away,” Fabbri said. “It allowed us to really have the opportunity to spread the floor. It’s been in our arsenal all season.”

Quinnipiac held Siena’s top two scorers, Margot Hetzke and Tehresa Coles, to just a combined eight points on the afternoon. Hetzke and Coles went scoreless in the first half.

“I thought we did a tremendous job for 40 minutes defensively,” Fabbri said with a smile on her face.

Quinnipiac opened up a double-digit lead with 12:20 left in the first half, following an 11-0 run with the starting lineup of Martin, Guastella, Abshire, Ostergaard and Val Driscol on the floor. A 12-0 run at the end of the first half then put Quinnipiac up 42-24 heading into the break.

Siena would bounce back, however, going on an 8-0 run of their own before Abshire knocked down a deep 3-pointer to make it 45-32.

Quinnipiac went on to hold Siena to just 25.9 percent from the floor in the second half, booking its trip to the finals tomorrow.

With the win, Quinnipiac moves to 30-3 overall on the season. The Bobcats are now a perfect 22-0 in MAAC play.

“I’m just pleased with how we conducted our business one day at a time,” Fabbri said. “To not have a hiccup, is again to be commended by the seniors who have just stayed in the moment, day to day.”

The Bobcats will play either Marist or Fairfield tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.

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