Fabbri’s ‘Gold Rush Line’


Credit: Rob Rasmussen | QU Athletics

Keenan Mills, Beat Reporter: Quinnipiac Women's Basketball

Quinnipiac women’s basketball head coach Tricia Fabbri doesn’t just have a team in her 28th season; she has a system. The Bobcats proved the potential and danger on both sides of the floor in an 80-35 victory against the Hartford Hawks on Monday night.

Fabbri implemented a “gold rush line,” her bench unit, coming in for all five starters which completely changes the way the Bobcats play.

“I love our ‘gold rush line’ there, I think it just baffles other teams with just how different a style that we play and our length and athleticism and rebounding and running,” Coach Fabbri said.

Tonight, the starting five for the Bobcats played straight-up man-to-man defense and created offensive sets designed for the offense to run through graduate student Rose Caverly. Fabbri commented on increasing Caverly’s assist-to-turnover ratio in both home press conferences thus far.

The starting five tend to attack early in the shot clock utilizing meticulously coached offensive sets, which attributed to the 80 points tonight.

The “gold rush line” is the polar opposite; like the miners of the gold rush, this line pushes the tempo with no sign of slowing: they are looking for the gold.

Fabbri set this collection of players into a 1-3-1 zone headed by Irish National team Alum, first-year Ella O’Donnell. Standing at 6-foot-3 with a scary wingspan, O’Donnell is poised to be a threat to opposing guards. O’Donnell had three steals tonight and helped hold Hartford to 15 points in each of the halves.

Offensively, after conceding a basket, the team immediately transitioned from defense to offense led by senior guard Makenzie Helms who capitalized on scoring in transition through her speed and accurate passing, finding her teammates under the hoop for easy layups sometimes from the backcourt.

“It’s been about pace, pressure defensively, and we are just giving different looks, different schemes defensively right now,” said Fabbri. “We are going to look to build off of that as well. Rebounding and outlet and play with pace has been really a cornerstone of our program.”

Although coming out to a 2-1 start, this team has nearly just started playing with one another. O’Donnell just arrived from Ireland just over a month ago, and graduate transfer Mary Baskerville is only in her third game in a Bobcats jersey. Baskerville has integrated into the system beautifully having only missed one of her 14 shots taken so far this season.

I am sure the “gold rush line” will not be a permanent season-long answer for these Bobcats every game however as new additions find their rhythm and the Bobcats have a missing star in Mackenzie Dewees, there becomes greater importance on the system. Sophomore Reivan Douglas has settled into a guard role and is able to execute in Fabbri’s system.

It’s worth noting, the Bobcats were impressive tonight shooting eight for 19 from three-point land while the Hawks were two for 26. The tale beyond the arc tells the story of the night leading to the Bobcats’ impressive 80 points.

On Nov. 7, they were held to 11 points in a half against #10 North Carolina State. Since then, the Bobcats have scored 157 points in the two games played outscoring opponents by 73.

Quinnipiac has another ranked opponent ahead of them facing the Indiana Hoosiers this weekend before they will head to Pennsylvania for the Christmas City Classic. Their next stretch will feature fiercer competition and will be a test for both Coach Fabbri and her system.

Bobcats close out a home stand with an impressive win over the Hartford Hawks, which a system-driven offensive can carry momentum into the next stretch of the season.