Yet again, No. 6 Manhattan upsets No. 3 Quinnipiac in Atlantic City


Peyton McKenzie

The Bobcats were eliminated by the Jaspers for the second-straight year in the MAAC Tournament.

Benjamin Yeargin, Associate Sports Editor

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – The vibes were great for the No. 3 Quinnipiac women’s basketball team heading into Atlantic City. The Bobcats were poised for a long run, but the positivity ended with turnovers and a lack of baskets, as the No. 6 Manhattan Jaspers toppled the Bobcats for the second-straight year by a score of 50-43 Thursday afternoon.

Before the opening tip, the biggest question was finally answered as senior forward Mikala Morris suited up for today’s action despite missing the game on March 4 against Fairfield with an ankle injury.

Most of the first half were characterized by missed field goals. Quinnipiac started the game with a dismal 1-10 mark from the field. However, the Jaspers made their money from the field throughout the first quarter, besting the Bobcats 40% to 21% in field goal percentage.

“I think we didn’t get off to a good start and I think that really just snowballed,” head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “We were not in any type of flow.”

Sophomore forward Grace LaBarge temporarily changed that trend by hitting two threes on back-to-back possessions to tie the game at six in the first quarter.

Graduate student forward Mary Baskerville scored early, but also found herself in foul trouble early. Her two fouls forced Fabbri to bring Morris off the bench.

In the second quarter, Manhattan went on a 7-2 run in the frame, fueled by seven rebounds from sophomore forward Petra Juric and four points from graduate student forward Narrie Dodson.

The rest of the quarter was all Bobcats.

Baskerville came off the bench and smelled out feeds like a hound, scoring six straight points for the Bobcats and bringing them within five of the Jaspers 23-18. Whenever she was on the floor, good things happened as she had a +/- of seven.

Near the end of the second, graduate student guard Rose Caverly had an and-one that seemed like Quinnipiac would continue to hold the lead, and the Bobcats led 26-23 going into halftime.

“How resilient you are trickles down,” Caverly said. “Resiliency is what’s taught to us the day we stepped foot on campus.”

Going into the third quarter, Manhattan had a secret weapon on its bench: senior guard Dee Dee Davis, who was in foul trouble in the first quarter. She used her explosiveness to get the Jaspers back in the game and with 5:06 left, up 32-31.

She continued her dominance, as at the third quarter media timeout, the Jaspers led 36-31.

“Everyone knows how important of a player Dee Dee is for our team,” Juric said. “She brings a new level to our offense.”

But then Baskerville returned to the court and Quinnipiac surged back. Her ability to rebound and put the basketball on the glass bought the Bobcats within two by the end of the third quarter, 39-37.

The final frame was all Manhattan, with the Jaspers starting the quarter off with an 8-0 run. Juric put up four of Manhattan’s eight while Davis also found herself in the mix. Caverly laid up an easy bucket to pull even closer.

At the media timeout, the Jaspers led the Bobcats 45-39.

With 3:41 remaining in the game, Baskerville fouled out. From there, it seemed the game stayed out of Quinnipiac’s grasp. Manhattan’s defense was too much for the Bobcats.

“They definitely crashed the boards hard,” Baskerville said. “It hurt us in the long run.”

Quinnipiac rallied back a little with a Caverly layup and a bucket from freshman forward Ella O’Donnell that put the Bobcats within two. A Manhattan shot-clock violation gave Bobcats possession with 58 seconds left.

Poetically, with Quinnipiac only down two, senior forward Brazil Harvey-Carr stepped to the free-throw line. Harvey-Carr iced the game for Manhattan last year against the Bobcats and hoped to do the same this year. Both her free throws went in, putting the Jaspers up four with 24 seconds left.

Quinnipiac fouled Manhattan at the end, and the upset was complete. The Bobcats lost to the Jaspers for the second-straight year, 50-43.

The team slowly entered the tunnel and shuffled off into the darkness, as the lights turned off on the careers of graduate student guard Mackenzie DeWees, Caverly, Baskerville and potentially all the other seniors.

Manhattan will face No. 2 Niagara at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow for a chance to go to the MAAC Championship.