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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

‘Handle the hard better:’ Bobcats struggle in loss to Siena

Freshman+guard+Ava+Sollenne+scored+15+points+in+Quinnipiacs+78-60+loss+to+Siena+Saturday+afternoon.
Aidan Sheedy
Freshman guard Ava Sollenne scored 15 points in Quinnipiac’s 78-60 loss to Siena Saturday afternoon.

HAMDEN — There was an obvious hole in Quinnipiac women’s basketball’s 78-60 loss against the Siena Saints Saturday, as sophomore forward Ella O’Donnell missed her first game following an injury to her right wrist.

The Bobcats struggled all day in their fourth-straight conference loss, but especially in getting looks in the post. When head coach Tricia Fabbri decided to play freshman forward Anna Foley at the top of the key, the normal high-low action that the Bobcats benefit from became non-existent.

Foley struggled from the field, mustering nine points (five from the free-throw line) while going 2-14 from the field. Junior forward Anajah Brown did an excellent job shutting down Foley and decimating any chances for the Bobcats to generate offense in the post.

Quinnipiac stayed even with Siena throughout the first quarter. Freshman guard Karson Martin stepped up by laying the ball in the basket twice, then hit a circus-esque deep two to tie the game at 14 at the end of the first quarter.

The Saints established themselves early as a team that could shoot from three, with sophomore guards London Gamble and Teresa Seppala nailing one each from downtown.

Quinnipiac was lackluster on defense. Siena was able to expose the Bobcats’ zone defense and either find Brown in the post or drain a three from beyond the arc.

“We’ve really got to take some pride in our defensive effort and getting stops,” Fabbri said.

Over and over, Siena sophomore guards Elisa Mevius and Teresa Seppala found junior forward Anajah Brown in the post and took advantage of Quinnipiac’s lack of size. Those three combined for 41 of Siena’s 78 points.

In the second quarter, Quinnipiac found a home at the charity stripe, whereas Siena was able to begin to put this game out of reach.

The Bobcats went a perfect 8-8 from the line in the second quarter, but Siena outscored them 24-17 in the entire frame.

In the third, much like the game against Fairfield, the Bobcats lost it. The Saints pulled away and never relinquished their lead. Senior guard Ahniysha Jackson led the way for the Saints with 20 points, and scored 11 of them in the third.

“All five (need to) work together for the execution instead of freestyling and trying to get a bucket,” Fabbri said. “Let’s make the pass that gets to the play that leads to the best offense.”

In the fourth quarter, three-pointers from Martin and freshman guard Ava Sollenne sparked some offense, but nowhere near enough to start a roaring fire.

Despite all of the negatives in this contest, two Bobcats in particular shined on offense and proved themselves as leaders through this rough stretch of games.

Sollenne and freshman guard Maria Kealy both had exceptional days. Sollenne led the team with 15 points and went three for seven from beyond the arc. Kealy bested her career high in points she set Thursday, scoring 13 today.

“(Kealy) is just making the step and we need it … she’s doing everything humanly possible,” Fabbri said. “(Kealy and Sollenne) have been handling the pressure.”

The Bobcats go on the road to Marist on Thursday, Feb. 1, to continue their MAAC campaign. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Quinnipiac looks to get its fifth win in conference play and stop a four-game skid. How?

“Be better through this … handle the hard better,” Fabbri said.

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Aidan Sheedy, Photography Editor

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