Quinnipiac grabs first MAAC win of the season with 14-point victory over Manhattan


Casey Wiederhold

The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team moved to 6-5 on the season and 1-1 in MAAC play on Monday.

Zack Hochberg, Staff Writer

HAMDEN, Conn – A dominant performance all around, as the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team led for all, but 18 seconds en route to a 69-55 win over the Manhattan Jaspers Monday night. 

Manhattan knocked the Bobcats out of the MAAC conference tournament last season, so Quinnipiac came into the game looking for some revenge.

“It was a little bit of a chip on our shoulder, but we really just wanted to focus on us,” senior forward Cur’Tiera Haywood said.   

The Bobcats had the offense going from the opening tip. Graduate student guard Rose Caverly knocked down a wide-open catch-and-shoot three to put Quinnipiac up 7-2 early.

Freshman forward Ella O’Donnell looked like she stole Chris Paul’s vision, throwing two phenomenal passes to cutting Bobcats for easy buckets, widening the Quinnipiac advantage. 

O’Donnell was the Bobcats’ best player in the first quarter, putting up four points to go along with those two assists and a rebound. 

On the offensive end, the Bobcats continued to get everything they wanted hitting seven of their first 13 shots. 

The dominant offensive effort by Quinnipiac was supplemented by stout defensive prowess, as the Bobcats held Manhattan to just 3-for-15 from the field. 

As the offense continued to get great looks, the Bobcats opened up a double-digit lead early on in the second quarter.

However, Manhattan senior Dee Dee Davis wasn’t going down without a fight. The 2022 First Team All-MAAC guard absolutely cooked the Bobcats, scoring 24 of the Jaspers’ 55 points. 

“She is just instant offense,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said. 

A 7-0 Jasper run, largely due to Davis’ scoring, cut the Quinnipiac lead to seven midway through the second. Despite Davis’ elite scoring night, the Bobcats did a good job containing the Preseason MAAC Player of the Year. 

“I can’t even believe she had 24,” Fabbri said. “To me it felt like we did a great job on her.”

The Bobcats took a 31-20 lead into the half as graduate student forward Mary Baskerville hit a turnaround jumper with just four seconds to go. 

Baskerville continued to provide instant offense for the Bobcats, getting an and-one hook shot to fall. Taking advantage of a smaller defender off a set play helped to put the Bobcats up 16, their then-largest lead of the game. 

The Providence transfer dominated all night, calling for the ball almost every time the Bobcats had possession. She led all scorers with 17 points as she outmatched a smaller Jaspers defense. 

“She’s just keeping things so simple, and understanding what we’re trying to do offensively and defensively,” Fabbri said. “She is just unbelievable, she is just incredibly gifted, to have the luxury of just throwing the ball up to the rim and literally having her go up and get it for scores makes life a little bit easier for us and a challenge for teams getting ready to play us.”

However, just as she did in the first half, Davis continued to keep the Jaspers in the game. The Bobcats seemed content with letting O’Donnell guard her, a nod to O’Donnell’s defensive ability through her first couple of games as a first-year. 

“It was kind of an honor that they thought I was up for the challenge and they trusted me to do that,” O’Donnell said.

Manhattan sophomore forward Petra Juric, who came into the game as the Jaspers’ leading scorer, was held to just four points on the evening. 

Manhattan wouldn’t fold though, as the Jaspers used a 13-0 run to cut the lead to five by the end of the third. This came after the Bobcats had pulled out to an 18-point lead.

Baskerville snapped a five-minute scoreless drought with a turnaround jumper, which seemed to wake the Bobcats’ offense up for good. 

Throughout the second half, the Jaspers played two bigs, allowing Fabbri to play Baskerville and senior center Mikala Morris at the same time, which hasn’t happened almost all season.

Because of Quinnipiac’s size, every time Manhattan climbed back into the game, the Bobcats put their foot right back on the pedal. 

However, Manhattan just wouldn’t go away. The Jaspers showed a tiny bit of life with less than two minutes to go as they got the deficit back to single digits. But they fell asleep on the defensive end, allowing an offensive rebound as the shot clock expired and an easy putback for Morris to seal the game. 

The victory was the Bobcats’ first MAAC win of the season after they fell to Iona on a last-chance shot Saturday

Quinnipiac will be back in action on Dec. 29, when it travels to New Jersey to face Saint Peter’s at 2 p.m.