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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac women’s basketball caps off 2023 with ‘disappointing’ loss to Yale

Zack Hochberg
Quinnipiac women’s basketball falls to 4-6 on the season with its 72-48 loss to Yale Saturday afternoon.

NEW HAVEN — Who’s going to carry the boats?

For the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team, that question remains unanswered in its 72-48 loss to Yale on Saturday afternoon.

Along with it being the final non-conference game of the season, the Bobcats played their second game without their best player and leader: junior guard Jackie Grisdale. Quinnipiac played seven different guards with freshmen Paige Girardi, Karson Martin and Ava Sollenne assuming the ball-carrying responsibilities.

Losing someone as integral to the team’s foundation as Grisdale leaves a big hole in many aspects of the game including ball carrying, perimeter defending and making buckets beyond the arc.

The guards mentioned above take on ball-carrying duties and the lack of perimeter defending allowed the Bulldogs to pass the ball cross-court and score in the corners of the court. Yale sophomore guard Kiley Capstraw scored eight of her 15 total points in the corners.

However, Quinnipiac found some positives in its three-point shooting. Sophomore guard Bri Bowen was perfect, going two-for-two from downtown.

Sollenne played her first collegiate minutes and knocked down her first three collegiate baskets, all from beyond the arc. She finished with nine points.

Head coach Tricia Fabbri, the Bobcats assistants and all of the players have to work to fill that hole. Although “disappointing,” today was part of that process.

“It’s just flipping the switch,” Fabbri said. “Competing against Princeton, beating Rhode Island. We need that mindset back in the absence of Jackie.”

From the get-go, the Bulldogs pawed out any chance of Quinnipiac winning. Yale started off getting a 2-0 lead and never relinquished it.

Why? Lackluster play from the starters, the Bobcats’ failure to match Yale’s compete level and not getting to the charity stripe enough.

Besides Martin — who dropped 10 with four boards and two assists — the remaining starters: freshman forward Anna Foley, Kealy, Girardi and sophomore forward Ella O’Donnell combined for nine points.

Kealy and Girardi handled bringing the ball up-court, but besides that were non-existent offensively. Neither registered a single point, assist or rebound.

O’Donnell and Foley co-led the team with four turnovers. Foley was a presence in the paint, however, providing four thunderous blocks for the Bobcats.

The Bobcats failed to match Yale’s intensity throughout the game, immediately giving them a disadvantage.

“Their physical toughness led to our emotional mentality be(ing) affected,” Fabbri said. “We really stopped playing together and moving the ball.”

Yale was quick on defense, whether on or off the ball and pressured the Bobcats offense into making poor decisions. It also led to a lot of shots not falling.

The Bulldogs had nine different players score, with senior forward Brenna McDonald, Capstraw and senior guard Jenna Clark leading the way with 16, 15 and 11 points, respectively.

Quinnipiac also didn’t get to the line enough, managing a measly five free throws compared to Yale’s 13.

Looking onward, the Bobcat’s main job is to find a way to fill the hole Grisdale left. They will continue to experiment with Martin, Sollenne, Bowen and the remaining guards on the roster.

The Bobcats aim to start 2024 with a clean slate by beginning a full schedule of MAAC play on Thursday, Jan. 4 against Saint Peter’s. Tip-off is slated for 11 a.m.

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