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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Inside the fourth quarter of Quinnipiac’s all-time win over Rhode Island

Zack Hochberg
The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team celebrates after sophomore guard Bri Bowen’s buzzer-beater Thursday night.

KINGSTON, R.I. – If you said that Quinnipiac women’s basketballs’ 61-59 win Thursday night against Rhode Island was anything but hectic, you’d be lying.

At one point in the second quarter, the Bobcats were up 33-20. But the Rams battled back with 17 points from senior forward Mayé Touré and 14 from graduate student guard Teisha Hyman.

Specifically, the fourth quarter was the cream of the crop in chaos.

Forwards Grace LaBarge, Anna Foley and Ella O’Donnell all fouled out in the frame. The junior, freshman and sophomore, respectively, collected a combined 18 points. They struggled defending Rams’ senior forward Tenin Magassa and Touré.

“They fouled out our whole front line and they didn’t need any help with the size that they have,” head coach Tricia Fabbri said.

But then the momentum changer came for the Bobcats.

In a quarter with four lead changes, the crowd of more than 1,100 at the Ryan Center in Kingston, Rhode Island, erupted when Magassa blocked freshman forward Kassidy Thompson at the net. The Bobcats got the ball back, passed it to freshman forward Paige Girardi. Then the game shifted.

Release. Airtime. Swish. The Quinnipiac bench exploded and the Bobcats had the 57-55 lead with one minute left.

“She has been so good, but tonight she was exceptional,” Fabbri said about Girardi. “That was an exceptional game.”

On the other end of the court, Magassa forced an and-one, giving the Rams a one-point lead with 48 seconds remaining.

Quinnipiac’s captain, junior guard Jackie Grisdale, put the team on her back and sprinted through the Rams defense to lay the ball up at the basket. 59-58 Bobcats.

Following a foul from sophomore guard Bri Bowen, Touré was able to go to the line where she hit one of two free throws which tied it up at 59 all.

The Bobcats are still young, for the last couple minutes of the game, four of the five players on the court were newcomers to the team. It was Grisdale, Bowen, Girardi and freshman guards Maria Kealy and Kassidy Thompson.

One of the main, and youngest catalysts for the Bobcats — freshman guard Karson Martin — was out with an elbow injury. She’s considered game-to-game.

Compare that to the Rams’ two sophomores, junior, senior and graduate student on the floor for the final possession — the Bobcats were underdogs.

“We are fighters,” Grisdale said. “We don’t give up, and we believe in each other. That was the word we broke on today … belief.”

Now let’s resume with 9.6 seconds left in the game.

Kealy receives the in-bound pass from the referee. She passes the rock to Grisdale who catches it at center court.

Freshman guard Maria Kealy inbounds the ball on the final possession of Quinnipiac’s 61-59 win over Rhode Island. (Zack Hochberg/Chronicle)

Grisdale dribbles the ball right into the mid-post, she falls and Rams sophomore forward Anaelle Dutat and Hyman barely touch the ball.

She fights for it, elbowing back and forth like a violent mother cradling a baby. She finds Bowen midway between the three-point arc and the paint.

“I just watched (the ball) and was saying ‘please go in, please go in, please go in,’” Grisdale said.

Release. Airtime. Swish. Buzzer. Quinnipiac won 61-59.

“It was surreal,” Bowen said. “I loved every part of it.”

As the Bobcats crammed into the locker room, Grisdale yelled “We won on three.” A loud, unified, exclamation of “We won,” and the ensuing chants filled the Ryan Center’s “Locker Room A.”

“This is as good of a win I’ve been a part of in a number of years,” Fabbri said.

The Bobcats get about a week off, then hit the road on Dec. 6 to western New Jersey to take on the Princeton Tigers. Tip off is slated for 7 p.m.

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