Finishing the job: DeWees, Morris and Caverly lead hungry women’s basketball team


Connor Lawless

Graduate student guard Mackenzie DeWees averaged 13.8 points and 7.3 assists per game in 2021-22.

Zack Hochberg, Staff Writer

 Following a tournament run to the second round of the WNIT, its farthest postseason run since 2019, the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team will bring back a large part of that core into the 2022-23 season.

All three of the Bobcats’ leading scorers from last season will return to the squad in 2022, including graduate student guards Mackenzie DeWees and Rose Caverly and senior center Mikala Morris.

DeWees led the Bobcats in scoring last season, finishing top-10 in the MAAC in points (6th), field goal percentage (9th), assists (7th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3rd).

In addition to her offensive abilities, DeWees has long been a staple of the Bobcats’ defense, tallying 106 steals last year, good for fourth in the NCAA.

The ability to play on both sides of the ball is a large reason why DeWees was named to the preseason watch list for the 2023 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Award as well as the Preseason All-MAAC First Team. 

Outside of DeWees, the Bobcats are deep. Their depth played a large part in their postseason run, as they battled injuries throughout the season. But, it was clear those injuries were just too much to overcome as the final buzzer sounded on their season. DeWees missed all but 12 minutes in the season finale against Boston College and Caverly dealt with her own injuries as well.

Despite the fact that Quinnipiac will return a large part of their core, they will miss guard Amani Free, who graduated in the spring. Free played over 22 minutes per game and was one of its best scorers. Additionally, junior guard Halee Smith transferred to Lafayette and graduate student forward Sajada Bonner moved to in-state rival Sacred Heart. 

To combat those losses, the Bobcats spent time in the transfer portal ring the summer, poaching graduate student center Mary Baskerville from Providence College. Baskerville will join Quinnipiac with only one year of eligibility left, but that comes with a plethora of experience playing high level basketball in the Big East.

“We are excited to see the impact she will have on our program and are happy to offer her the opportunity to improve her education at Quinnipiac. She will bolster an already formidable frontline and make us even more competitive in both our non-conference and MAAC schedule,” head coach Tricia Fabbri said in a press release on May 23. 

As Fabbri said, Baskerville’s addition to the Bobcats’ front line will be a dangerous weapon. Baskerville and Morris make up undoubtedly one of, if not the best frontcourt in the MAAC. 

Baskerville was a dominant force in the Big East straight out of high school. She led Providence in rebounds, blocked shots and field goal percentage as a freshman before going on to lead the team in scoring as a sophomore.

She only got better as a junior, leading Providence again in scoring, as well as rebounding, blocked shots, steals and field goal percentage. In her senior season, she battled injuries throughout the year, but managed to appear in 23 games while still leading the Big East with 43 blocks.

The MAAC seems to have taken note of the Bobcats’ additions to their frontcourt and retention of the bench depth over the summer, as the conference named Quinnipiac as its No. 1 team in their pre-season poll, garnering eight of the 11 possible votes for first place. 

Following last season’s final game, DeWees said her favorite moment of the year was the first home game, which was a loss to then-No. 4 Indiana, as they beat Quinnipiac 67-59. 

“You could see it in our eyes and coach’s eyes, I think it really stunned (Indiana),” DeWees said. “I think the crowd really got into it, and that was the first time we really had a big crowd back in the arena. I really think that that is just like the most fun time.”

Albeit the game being on the road, the Bobcats will have another chance to matchup with an opponent of that caliber when they open their season against No. 10 NC State on Nov. 7, and have a rematch with No. 11 Indiana on Nov. 20.

Expectations are high for this team, but Fabbri has never shied away from expectations. She led the Bobcats to an NCAA tournament appearance in 2019, 2018 and 2017, and they expect nothing less than another NCAA tournament appearance this season.