Bobcats set program record with 85-30 blowout against Hartford


Casey Wiederhold

Quinnipiac graduate student guard Rose Caverly tallied a season-high eight points against Hartford Monday.

Benjamin Yeargin, Associate Sports Editor

HAMDEN, Conn – The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team took its season-opening loss to then-No. 10 NC State on Nov. 7, personally, and chose dominance against the Hartford Hawks as it won 85-30 on Nov. 14. This win set the program record for margin of victory by the Bobcats. 

Quinnipiac made a bigger statement in the pregame however, wearing orange shirts that read “We Can End Gun Violence,” a day after three student-athletes were killed at the University of Virginia, according to The New York Times. The Bobcats wear these shirts during warm-ups before every game, but they felt more poignant today. 

“It’s an incredible privilege to have the platform for us to really bring awareness,” head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “The more we keep doing it, we hope that it will impact our community firsthand.”

The Bobcats tipped-off and action started in the first quarter, where Quinnipiac showed off an aggressive defense, double-teaming the Hawks in the backcourt. A fast, high-functioning offense matched it with cross-court passes and aggressive routes to the hoop forcing Hartford to match its physicality and commit three fouls early.

As Fabbri did last game, the Bobcats consistently ran a two-unit system, substituting all five players out at the same time. The starting lineup comprised graduate student guard Rose Caverly, sophomore guards Reiven Douglas and Jackie Grisdale and senior forwards Cur’Tiera Haywood and Mikala Morris. 

The second unit, nicknamed the “Gold Rush,” includes graduate student forward Mary Baskerville, redshirt freshman guard Rose Caso, junior guard Mackenzie Helms, sophomore forward Grace LaBarge and freshman forward Ella O’Donnell. 

Baskerville erupted for seven points early in the first quarter, finding the basket and solidifying her presence beneath the net. The Providence transfer emphasized how easy the transition to Quinnipiac was following the win. 

“Coming to (Quinnipiac) was very easy,” Baskerville said. “Being a veteran team, they were able to help me kind of show you the ropes of how their system works.”

At the end of the first, the Bobcats led the Hawks 23-8. A dominant start.

That dominance overflowed in the second quarter, as Quinnipiac started making it rain. Caverly and Morris made back-to-back threes, forcing the Hawks to take a timeout. 

The bombardment of treys continued in the second quarter as Caso buried two from beyond the arc, sending the Bobcats’ bench into a frenzy. Morris held up three fingers while jumping up and down, and everyone else on the bench was screaming in support.

“Coach always says to just push the ball if you have a shot, take it (and) feel confident taking the shot,” Caso said. 

Caso was perfect from the field in the first half, going 3-3 from three and 2-2 from the rest of the floor. Baskerville also was a perfect 5-5 as she led the Bobcats with 11 points at the break. On Nov. 12, against CCSU, Baskerville again was perfect from the field, going 6-6.

“We knew the game plan,” Baskerville said. “(We) just know what we wanted to get out of today’s game and just being able to deliver on that.”

In the third quarter, the team continued its consistent offense. Quinnipiac dominated in the paint, below and under the basket and continued to make cross-court passes leaving the Hawks in the dust.

The physical offense led Hartford to commit five personal fouls in the quarter, which the Bobcats capitalized on by shooting a perfect 100% from the free-throw line.

Despite the large margin in score, an 85-30 final in favor of Quinnipiac, the Hawks bench never rescinded its enthusiasm, still cheering and clapping for its teammates whenever they made a good play.

The Bobcats will next hit the road to take on No. 11 Indiana on Nov. 20, in a rematch from last year, where Quinnipiac led late into the third quarter, but ultimately lost.

“We can’t wait,” Grisdale said. “We’re going to take this week to prepare as well as we can … and see what we can do on Saturday.”