Balanced attack leads Quinnipiac over Marist for statement win

Photo courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

Jan. 21, 2013. Tricia Fabbri’s undefeated Quinnipiac squad met with Saint Francis University in a battle for first place in the Northeast Conference. The Bobcats shot almost 45 percent in the first half, knocking down four 3-pointers and entered the locker room with a healthy 17-point advantage.  They would go on to win 85-69, separating themselves by two games in the NEC.  Later that season, the teams met in the NEC Championship game. The victorious Bobcats clinched a bid in the NCAA Tournament for the first time.

Jan.22, 2015 – Quinnipiac welcomed nine-time defending MAAC Champion Marist to Lender Court at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Connecticut. The undefeated Bobcats shot about 45 percent from the field in the first half, sinking four treys, while the one-loss Red Foxes couldn’t muster anything up.  At the half, it was Quinnipiac 45 and Marist 19.

“I thought our first 20 minutes was just fantastic basketball,” a delighted Fabbri said.  “Stifling defense, taking away personnel, limiting their best players to anything free and easy. Offensively we continued to stay pretty much on a roll with what we’ve been able to do the last two weeks.”

Fabbri’s team is an absolute offensive juggernaut.  Nine players recorded at least five points led by monster performances in only 23 minutes of action, each from Nikoline Ostergaard and Val Driscoll. Ostergaard contributed 14 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Driscoll went for 12 points, nine rebounds, five steals and three blocks.

With the excitement surrounding the game, it was the poise of the senior leadership and experience of the second line that paid dividends for the Bobcats. Brian Giorgis, the long-time head coach of Marist agreed.

“They have the perfect formula,” he said. “Six seniors, five of which that start. They have a chip on their shoulder, because they feel they lost a game in which they should have won last year, in a championship.”

But was there any extra motivation from last year’s devastating championship loss, or was this just another opponent on the schedule?

“We really treated it like another game for us. Knowing that we had come up short last year and that this was one of the teams in the league, the last team that we had not had success against,” Fabbri said.

From the opening tip, Quinnipiac had the edge; it lead for almost 39 minutes.  But once the final buzzer sounded, there was not any cheering or any jubilation.  The motto stayed the same: one game at a time.

“We’re still not winning anything in January, ” Fabbri said. “We’re still hungry for what’s going to happen in March, but if we’re not taking business right now then that’s not going to happen.”

“Hats off to them. They are the team in the MAAC right now,” Giorgis said. “They have depth. When you play three games in March, you’re going to need to have depth.”

Depth is plentiful for Fabbri and her staff.  Nine different players logged at least 17 minutes with two more players logging eight and nine minutes respectively.  That’s 11 players at almost 10 minutes or more.

With the 73-55 win, the Bobcats improve to 17-3, 9-0 in MAAC play, and things are starting to feel very similar to two years ago (that year they finished 30-3, 18-0 in the NEC).

“I think for sure, it definitely feels the same. Kind of like a take over,” said “Boo” Abshire, a senior point guard who was an integral piece to the 2012-2013 team. “But we’re not satisfied at all. We’re talking about doing extra conditioning and getting in the gym.  We’re nowhere near where we want to be.”

Extras:

  • Marist never had the lead.
  • Quinnipiac outscored Marist 29-4 in points off turnovers.
  • Quinnipiac ranks seventh in the country in assist to turnover ratio. The Bobcats had 23 assists to just nine turnovers against the Red Foxes.
  • Giorgis did say afterward that Quinnipiac will face the team it saw in the second half (Marist outscored Quinnipiac 36-28) in Poughkeepsie, New York on Feb. 12 at 5 p.m.



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