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Princeton ends Quinnipiac’s five game winning streak

Photo Courtesy Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Shane Dennehy

On Saturday afternoon a snowstorm rolled through Hamden, Conn. and along with it came a strong Princeton Tigers (6-2, 0-0 Ivy League) women’s basketball team that is expected to finish second in the Ivy League this season.

The Princeton Tigers beat the Quinnipiac Bobcats 60-46 with Bella Alarie and Leslie Robinson scoring 16 points each for the Tigers.

Alarie was a tough matchup for the Bobcats due to her size. Paula Strautmane had to guard Alarie all game despite being four inches shorter and she was still able to dominate the glass.

Quinnipiac showed that they still need time to adjust to the injuries that Sarah Shewan and Vanessa Udoji sustained last weekend against Richmond. Shewan and Udoji are both out for the remainder of the season due to torn anterior cruciate ligaments.

Aryn McClure says it’s now the “next man up” mentality for the Bobcats.

Due to these two major injuries, Quinnipiac is doing something a little unfamiliar; giving its players for more than 30 minutes on the court. McClure played 37 minutes this afternoon to lead the team.

Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said it was a game plan to only play eight players and the Bobcats focused on matchups. Quinnipiac also used its timeouts and media timeouts to give its players a rest.

The Bobcats started the game on a 6-0 run, but the Tigers received some support from the Princeton women’s ice hockey team who is also in Hamden to take on the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team. The Tigers used their new support to go on 12-3 run to finish out the first quarter.

Quinnipiac struggled to get into its offensive flow because Princeton did not allow it to get into the paint, and when the Bobcats did, they had trouble getting shots off.

“Unlike teams we have seen most recently (Princeton) did a really great job of pressuring on the perimeter and (Princeton) had (Bella) Alarie on the inside,” Fabbri said.

After struggling against the Providence Friars, Quinnipiac junior forward Aryn McClure responded with a strong performance. McClure led Quinnipiac with 16 points and she had nine rebounds, which was one, rebound short of a double-double.

“I knew I had to come back into this game more aggressive because Princeton is better than Providence and we needed a better outcome,” McClure said.

Princeton led 23-18 at halftime and Jen Fay looked like she was going to spark Quinnipiac’s comeback when she used a spin move to create separation from her defender and get a shot off. Fay missed her free throw but on the next Quinnipiac possession, Fay nailed a three pointer to tie the game at 25.

Quinnipiac led until the first media timeout of the game but it soon relinquished its lead and the Bobcats had to play catch up for the rest of the game.

Edel Thornton got a rebound off a missed three pointer from Princeton and her teammate Paula Strautmane yelled, “Go.” Thornton ran to the other side of the court and laid the ball up with her left hand.

Quinnipiac finally regained the lead for first time since the first quarter when Aryn McClure hit a jumper with 7:13 left in the fourth quarter but on Princeton’s ensuing possession, Carlie Littlefield hit a three and that was the end for Quinnipiac.

Quinnipiac’s defense stopped Princeton in portions of the game but when it mattered most they could not. Quinnipiac needed a stop after McClure’s jumper gave it the lead back but the Bobcats were unable to stop the Tigers.

“I thought Robinson did a good job of the glass and keeping possessions alive,” Fabbri said. “Alarie hit some big shots at the shot clock was winding down.”

Quinnipiac will have this week off due to finals, but once finals are over the Bobcats will fly out to Michigan to continue its non-conference schedule with Michigan State and Central Michigan before it starts Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play after Christmas.

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