Strong defense, Grisdale’s career night propel Bobcats to their third-straight win


Casey Wiederhold

Sophomore guard Jackie Grisdale recorded 20 points on Wednesday, the second-most she has recorded in a single game.

Santino Maione, Contributing Writer

HAMDEN, Conn – Coming off of what should’ve been a more convincing win over the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers on Dec. 4, the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team laid a beat down on its arch rivals, knocking off the Yale Bulldogs 75-59 on Wednesday. The showing made a massive statement on what type of team they are and will continue to be. 

Quinnipiac made a massive statement on the type of team they wanted to be and was hot right out of the gates, hitting four of their first five threes in the first quarter. The hot shooting combined with sophomore guard Jackie Grisdale’s season-high 20 points was more than enough to give Quinnipiac its third win in a row and fifth win on the season. 

Grisdale has stepped up in a huge way for this team, especially with senior forward Mikala Morris sidelined with an injury. If the sophomore’s elite play didn’t say it, you heard it from the horse’s mouth. Fabbri and the team know how important Grisdale will be, especially once the Bobcats enter MAAC play. 

“Jackie has been an absolute rock for us,” head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “Jackie has been one of our most consistent performers across the board on both ends of the floor.” 

While the offense was the major story in Quinnipiac’s victory, the other side of the ball was much more consistent. From the moment they stepped on the floor, the Bobcats  made everything difficult for the Bulldogs. Every shot, every catch and every pass was contested and defended aggressively. 

“We really feel as a staff and collectively as a team that since we have gone down and played in the Lehigh tournament and seen teams like Kent State, Lehigh, Brooklyn and now Yale, we are becoming a really good defensive minded team,” Fabbri said. 

The twenty-eight year veteran also broke down her team’s defensive schemes.

“It’s not just all man-to-man,” she added. “You saw them get the lead down to 12 or 13 and we went to our zone and it broke the game wide open. We’ve been opportunistic on the defensive side to have great curveballs to get teams off their rhythm, and because of that I think we’re becoming a very tough team to face defensively.” 

Fabbri talked about one specific player that helped set the tone with her defensive IQ on Wednesday. That player being sophomore forward Grace LaBarge.

“Grace really possesses, not only length, size and quickness which is a rare commodity, but also a strong work ethic,” Fabbri said. “She really puts the work in when it comes to studying  film and knowing what’s coming to put herself and our team in the best position to defend play by play. She really took advantage of an opportunity tonight and she really works hard and wants to be out there on the court.”

Despite only playing 63 total minutes this season and not putting up massive numbers, LaBarge is one of the most pivotal players on this team and showed it against the Bulldogs. She’s the kind of player you need to watch in person to truly understand the impact that she has on the court. 

“She was ready for the moment and you saw her go out there and be super productive, and that’s why good teams are great,” Fabbri said.

While the team did have a game to play and win, there is a member of the team that has helped everyone around her realize that some things are much bigger than basketball. 

On Wednesday night, the team honored senior forward Cat Almeida, who has had a massive impact on the success of this team despite not being on the floor. She will be graduating from Quinnipiac and joining the Canisius Golden Griffins coaching staff as a graduate assistant.

“Cat deservingly won the most inspirational Bobcat of the year last year at the Boomies,” Grisdale said.“I really think that just embodies the type of person she is. She’s been one of my closest friends on the team this past year and she’s just an outstanding person all around.” 

“She came in on the heels of a Sweet 16 team when we recruited her and then she had her battle with thyroid cancer,” Fabbri said. “It’s been well documented, but she’s just an outstanding human. She’s found other ways to be a really important piece to our program outside the lines.” 

The Bobcats will look to pick up their fourth-straight win against Rhode Island on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 12 p.m.