Christmas City collapse: Bobcats fall to Kent State 58-55 at Christmas City Classic


Casey Wiederhold

The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team fell to 2-3 on the young season after Saturday’s three-point loss.

Jennifer Moglia, Contributing Writer

After four quarters of back-and-forth momentum, the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team fell to the Kent State Golden Flashes 58-55 on Saturday in the 2022 Christmas City Classic. The Flashes will advance to play the Southern Illinois Salukis tomorrow, while the Bobcats will face the host Lehigh Mountain Hawks.

The first and second halves of this contest seemed like two different games, with the first centering around Kent State’s scoring struggles, and the second revolving around fouls. When all was said and done, two Bobcats, graduate student guard Rose Caverly and graduate student forward Mary Baskerville, fouled out of the game, and the offensive woes were transferred from Kent State to Quinnipiac.

Golden Flashes’ head coach Todd Starkey referred to the Bobcats as a “really good” team after the contest, and they were playing like one to start the game off. Senior forward Cur’Tiera Haywood kicked the scoring off and ended up leading the team in points for the day with 13.

There were nine fouls between the two teams in the first frame with five on Quinnipiac and four on Kent State, but the fouls weren’t as big of a presence until later. The first quarter ended with the Bobcats leading 16-11.

The momentum began to shift during the second quarter, as the Bobcats had a three-minute scoring drought followed by a foul on Caverly, allowing the Flashes to make up some ground. A last-second jumper by junior guard Casey Santoro tied things up at 24 going into the half.

At this point, despite the even scoresheet, Kent State was struggling offensively. It was 2-for-18 in three-pointers and was outscored 10-8 in the paint by the visiting Bobcats.

That was when Kent State’s offense woke up … in a flash.

About four minutes into the third quarter, graduate student guard Hannah Young and graduate student forward Lindsey Thall scored back-to-back three-pointers, pushing ahead of the Bobcats and leading 33-26. A Quinnipiac timeout taken by head coach Tricia Fabbri seemed to help the team wake up a bit, but the fouls started to rain down.

After the game, Starkey acknowledged that “the way the game was being called in the second half (was) a little different than the first.”

This became evident when 13 total fouls were called (six on Kent State and seven on Quinnipiac) in the final five minutes of the second quarter.

Those 13 fouls included two on Caverly, who ended the game tied with Baskerville for third on the team in points. They also ended the game tied for first on the team in fouls with five each. 

Despite the high foul calls, the Flashes headed into the final frame with a slim three-point lead.

Kent State’s early offensive trouble did not carry over into the fourth quarter. Instead, it was Quinnipiac who began to struggle. There was a stretch in the final quarter when the Bobcats were 1-for-13 on the floor, with their scoring drought only broken by free throws.

The fifth and final foul called on Baskerville came toward the end of the quarter; she was replaced by Caverly, who immediately got her own fifth foul. Both of their nights ended in under a minute of playing time, and it became clear that Kent State would come away with the victory.

A layup from Haywood and a three-pointer from sophomore guard Reiven Douglas were too little too late as the Golden Flashes won 58-55 for their fourth win of the season. They will play Southern Illinois, who Starkey described postgame as “the best 1-4 team in the country,” tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

The bright spot in this game for Quinnipiac was Haywood, who led the team with 13 points, followed by senior guard Mackenzie Helms, who also reached double-digits with 10. Thall and Santoro did the heavy lifting for Kent State with 18 and 15 points, respectively.

The Bobcats will face Lehigh tomorrow for only the fourth time in Division I history on Sunday at 12 p.m. Quinnipiac will be looking to bounce back from today’s loss and come away from the Christmas City Classic with something to feel joyful about this holiday season.