Drexel spoils Quinnipiac’s season opener, winning 66-62

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Drexel spoils Quinnipiac’s season opener, winning 66-62

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

Bryan Schwartz, Sports Director

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Highlight by Bryan Schwartz

Postgame analysis by Eric Kerr

Game Story by Megan Maharry

The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team tipped off its 2019-20 season in a home match-up against Drexel. The Bobcats were unable to take the opener, falling 66-62.

This game was the fourth meeting overall between these two teams, and the second consecutive year they met for the season opener.

“It was great to get back out there,” head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “It was really great to see us start to become us because it’s been such a new team with a lot of new faces, so that was really good to see us start to mold and gel and become who we’re supposed to become. I really like what we were able to do against a really good team.”

The Bobcats took charge in the first quarter, getting on the board first with a 6-0 lead, and continued to lead Drexel throughout the entire first frame. At the end of the first quarter Quinnipiac led 15-13, going 7-for-18 on the floor.

Drexel, who trailed in the first, got within two by the end of the first quarter. Senior Bailey Greenberg, who won the CAA Player of the Year award last season, had seven points in the first quarter. She finished the game with 31 total points and a near perfect 19-for-21 on the free throw line.

A few minutes into the second quarter, Quinnipiac trailed for the first time. A three-point goal from Drexel’s sophomore Maura Hendrixson put the Dragons up 20-17. Drexel held onto the lead for most of the second quarter, but could not shake Quinnipiac off by more than a couple of points.

Two made free throws by freshman Cur’Tiera Haywood gave the Bobcats their first lead of the second quarter, but Drexel answered back quickly with a jumper from senior Niki Metzel to re-take the lead 27-26.

The back and forth battle between the two teams went into the final seconds of the first half. Drexel went into halftime with the 33-28 lead. The Dragons finished the second quarter shooting 40 percent from the field while the Bobcats finished at 50 percent.

In the start of the third quarter, a handful of Bobcat turnovers gave the Dragons the early 37-33 edge. Drexel took the largest lead of the game at 42-33 before Quinnipiac began chipping away at the lead. A couple of buckets from senior Paige Warfel and a three-pointer from senior Taylor Herd brought the Bobcats back within two.

At the end of the third quarter, Drexel held the lead at 47-45.

The game remained neck-and-neck throughout the fourth quarter. Drexel held the lead for the majority of the final quarter, but Quinnipiac never trailed too far behind. With just over two minutes remaining in the ball game, freshman Sajada Bonner banked one off the glass to put the Bobcats behind by only one, 56-55.

In the final minute of the game, Hendrixson hit a huge three-pointer, putting the Dragons ahead by six.

After a Quinnipiac timeout, Herd dropped a layup in while picking up the foul. Her three-point play put the Bobcats only three behind, 63-60, with 48 seconds remaining.

Behind in the final seconds, Quinnipiac had no choice but to foul intentionally. Two free throws made by Greenberg put Drexel ahead 65-60 with 14 seconds left. The Dragons held the Bobcats off in the final seconds, securing the 66-62 victory.

“We were hanging with them,” Herd said. “They’re an experienced team, they have veteran players back, Bailey is obviously a very talented player, so I think for us to hang with them is great, but it’s that next level. I think it stung a little bit more for us seniors because we’re so used to winning, so we just have to teach the freshman that sting, so get grittier and really emphasize that four points, we really could’ve had that game and that’s the difference between a win and a loss.”

Herd lead her team with 15 total points in the game, going 5-for-10 on the floor.

Warfel ended the game with a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Despite the loss, Warfel said it felt amazing to get back on the court.

“I could feel our energy was very high throughout the entire game,” Warfel said. “And just the steps we have taken from our scrimmages is tremendous, so that gives us a lot of hope for the future.”

Quinnipiac is next set for a road match-up with Yale in New Haven on Nov. 13. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.