2020 MAAC Player of the Year Mackenzie DeWees’ selfless character brought her to the QU women’s basketball team, and the results have followed


Morgan Tencza

Mackenzie DeWees averaged 13 points per game as a part of her outstanding junior season.

Keith Savage, Staff Writer

MAAC Player of the Year, All-MAAC First Team, 2019 conference champion and more. What more can Bobcats senior guard Mackenzie DeWees achieve?

“There is never really a personal goal as in scoring or rebounding. It is all about winning as a team, losing as a team,” DeWees said. “ … As long as I am contributing to the team and being an asset to us, it is all about winning the MAAC tournament.”

The 5-foot-9 Westminster, Maryland native has been an all-around great player in her three years with Quinnipiac University. As talented of a player as she is, her character was a key reason for what attracted DeWees to head coach Tricia Fabbri.

Fabbri said she specifically recruits players like DeWees, who she loves being around because they have an incredible attitude.

“Mackenzie has been that (hard working) when she was younger, and that progress has led all the way to where we are today talking about the reigning player of the year of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference,” Fabbri said.

DeWees said that Fabbri is a mother figure to her, which is often said by the coach’s players.

“I’m a coach’s kid, I played for my mom in high school and I see (Fabbri) as a mom and an impeccable coach,” DeWees said.

Over the course of three years and now heading into her fourth, DeWees has completely changed her game throughout her time with the team. She said she always knew that she was a great player but just had to build confidence, and credits her former teammates like Jen Fay, who is now an assistant coach for the team, and former Quinnipiac guard Edel Thornton for acting as mentors to her.

“She always had the toughness piece but physically, she is a specimen out there now,” Fay said.

Fay also loved to see the improvement that DeWees has had mentally. She is excited to see the confidence that DeWees will have going into the season.

In the 2020-21 season, DeWees had her best collegiate season. The most improved part of her game has been her shooting. In her sophomore season, she averaged 8.7 points per game on 35.9% field goal percentage and shot only 20% from the 3-point range. She increased her scoring to 13 points per game on 50% shooting from the court and 36% from three.

Another part of DeWees’ game that’s improved is rebounding. In 2020-21, the guard averaged the second most rebounds on the team with 7.7 per game.

“I just want to win, and I think those little things are so important to the overall game,” DeWees said.

After an amazing junior season, DeWees was awarded MAAC Player of the Year. When the team was getting ready to leave for the 2020-21 MAAC tournament, Fabbri announced that forward Mikala Morris won MAAC Defensive Player of the Year. She then looked over at DeWees and animatedly announced that she won MAAC Player of the Year.

“I was so excited that all the hard work in the offseason had really paid off and all the lifts, grueling hours of blood, sweat and tears have gone into something,” DeWees said.

The Bobcats entered the MAAC tournament last year as the No. 2 seed but were upset in the first round to No. 7 seed Rider. This season, the team was named No. 1 in the MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. In DeWees’ first year with Quinnipiac, the team won the conference but she says that is not enough. But this offseason was a bit different for her.

In July, DeWees got surgery completed on her knee. The guard said she started to play back to full speed in late September and now feels like she is back to full health.

DeWees has one personal goal for the season: to end her career with another MAAC championship like how she did her first year as a Bobcat.

“She is a two-way player, I can not stress that enough,” Fabbri said. “She does not take a play off and she is unselfish and plays the game on both sides of the ball. She is a complete player.”