Bask in her glory: Baskerville dominates, Quinnipiac defeats Siena 68-63.


Peyton McKenzie

Graduate student forward Mary Baskerville notched a career-high 20 rebounds and 16 points in Saturday afternoon’s win.

Benjamin Yeargin, Associate Sports Editor

HAMDEN, Conn – In high school, most students experience a homecoming, a prom queen and wins for their team.

All three of these were found Saturday afternoon as the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team beat the Siena Saints 68-63.

To start, the Bobcats had graduate student guard Mackenzie DeWees return to M&T Bank Arena. The impact she brings is evident in her accolades: MAAC Player of the Year, two-time All-MAAC First Teamer, two-time MAAC Player of the Week and 1,000-point club member.

“Besides an emotional lift, (DeWees is) just a great player in the uniform,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “It’s been great to have her back.”

Starting in the first quarter, senior forward/center Mikala Morris and sophomore guard Jackie Grisdale both got on the score sheet early, drilling a two and three respectively within the first two minutes of the frame.

At the media timeout, the Saints came marching in with a 12-5 lead after a 10-0 run. Siena had five different scorers on the board, including junior guard Ahniysha Jackson and freshman guards London Gamble and Elisa Mevius.

Quinnipiac was its own opponent in the first quarter. Miscommunication in the post and airballs were common in the latter part of the frame.

But the Bobcats were truly resilient. Whether it was Grisdale spinning and laying the ball up or putting up stellar defensive possessions, Quinnipiac found itself only down 16-14 at the end of the first quarter.

M&T Bank Arena felt alive all afternoon. In combination with the three hockey games happening just down the hall, the men’s basketball team hollering and cheering and the return of DeWees, the arena was jumping.

Throughout the first half and the night, the queen of the court was graduate student forward Mary Baskerville. The Connecticut native notched 16 points along with a career-high 20 rebounds in the game.

Baskerville was on double-double watch with over eight minutes to go in the second quarter. At about 3:40 left, she had 10 points and 11 rebounds. The Enfield product went off today, and it means more to her being only about an hour from home.

“It means a lot knowing that I am right here at home,” Baskerville said. “Just having my mom there at every game, she’s kind of my motor.”

Quinnipiac and Siena constantly went back-and-forth, adding credibility to its even conference records of 7-3. The duel of the Bobcats using the three – Grisdale leading the team with two – and the Saints using pick and rolls and bumping off screens to spur their offense.

At the media timeout, Quinnipiac led 27-22, and at halftime, Quinnipiac extended its lead to 33-24.

Coming out of the half, the Saints possessed more energy. They consistently halted the Bobcats’ offense, running down the shot clock and forcing Quinnipiac to make tough shots and shoot tough takes. Siena was able to cut the lead down to six throughout the quarter.

The Bobcats used the post well, cutting into the Siena paint and catching it asleep. With a little over a minute left to go in the quarter, Quinnipiac led Siena 48-40.

A Grisdale lay-up and a deep two from Siena sophomore guard Emina Selimovic ended the third frame with the Bobcats leading 50-42.

The final quarter was representative of the entire game, showcasing what the Bobcats did exceptionally well. Grisdale knocked down a jumper, earning points No. 16 and 17 on the day.

The visiting Saints just couldn’t get over the hump that plagued them since the first quarter: taking the lead. Although freshman guard Teresa Seppala and Mevius both hit layups, they remained down 56-50.

DeWees’s homecoming kept getting sweeter. On top of the Bobcat dominance, the 1,000-point clubber hit both of her jumpers down the stretch and finished the game with 7 points in 21 minutes.

Siena put up another 13, but Quinnipiac outlasted the Saints, winning the game 68-63. The win stapled the Bobcats as a conference favorite along with Niagara and Iona, two teams the Bobcats have gone a combined 0-3 against this season.

“It’s a statement that we needed to make today,” Fabbri said. “If we want to win in March, this was a game that we needed to win today.”

The Bobcats will now face Rider on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 6 p.m. in their second of a four game homestand.