Quinnipiac continues its dominant stretch, defeats Manhattan 81-38 for sixth win in a row

Quinnipiac+continues+its+dominant+stretch%2C+defeats+Manhattan+81-38+for+sixth+win+in+a+row

Andrew Badillo

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Bryan Schwartz

The Quinnipiac Bobcats had won a season-high five in a row coming into Tuesday’s matchup against the Manhattan Jaspers. The Bobcats looked to stay undefeated in MAAC play and extend their winning streak to six. They did just that defeating the Jaspers 81-38 in Hamden, the least amount of points Quinnipiac has ever given up to a MAAC opponent.

“It was so great to be back home,” head coach Tricia Fabbri said after their two-game western New York road trip.

“We talked about setting the tone early,” Fabbri said. Quinnipiac came out determined, playing a full-court press defense, trying to put pressure on a young Manhattan backcourt.

“We usually like to see if there’s an opportunity for us to get after some teams and they have a rookie point guard,” Fabbri said. “We wanted to use a defensive intensity with our five in and five out and get after teams and be opportunistic.”

Manhattan was able to keep up with Quinnipiac in the first quarter. The Jaspers and Bobcats were tied at 12 with four minutes to go in the first. However, that’s as close as things would get.

The Bobcats switched their defense to a relentless half-court press, forcing two jump balls and a turnover within two minutes. They expanded their lead to 20-12 after the first quarter, and that was a lead they would not relinquish. Quinnipiac would go on a 29-4 run through the midway point in the second quarter.

Fabbri noted that the second quarter is where the Bobcats have opened up substantial leads in past games this season.

The defensive intensity really came about in the second quarter as Brittany Martin intercepted a Gabby Cajoi pass and converted a fast break lay-up to make it 38-16 Bobcats.

“We create a pace off our defense,” Fabbri said.

Martin scored again in the final seconds of the half giving Quinnipiac a 40-19 lead at the break.

 

“Every day in practice, our coaches are telling us to apply pressure on the ball and that’s what we do, so it’s easier to force turnovers,” Martin said.

Paula Strautmane came out hot in the third quarter. She scored four points early on to bring the Quinnipiac lead to 49-21 with over six minutes to go in the third quarter.

Forward Jen Fay has been impressed with the way Strautmane has played recently. “She battles every day in practice. No matter who she’s defending, she’s always going to get it done,” Fay said.

Tricia Fabbri mirrored what Fay had to say about her other key forward. “Incredible intensity and energy,” Fabbri said. “She’s always been a great defender, but she’s been in a different mindset offensively and more of an attack offensive mindset.”

The presence in the post was not only from Strautmane, but Jen Fay who strung together another quality game. Strautmane lead the Bobcats with 16 points, with Fay right behind her, notching 14 of her own.

Two straight 3-pointers by Johnson and Carly Fabbri extended the lead to 55-21 with 5:13 to go in the third quarter, as the Bobcats went on a 17-2 run to start the period.

With five minutes left in the game Tricia Fabbri used her third gold rush unit, the freshmen. Vanessa Udoji, Jaden Ward, Taylor Herd, Paige Warfel and Katie Grant all entered and outscored Manhattan, themselves, 5-4 within the final minutes.

Quinnipiac was without Morgan Manz for the third straight game. She has not appeared on the court for the Bobcats since playing one minute against Saint Peter’s Jan. 2.

“She’s (Manz) day-to-day. She’s slowly getting back in,” Fabbri said. She hopes to have Manz back by Monday.

This season-long win streak is something that the Bobcats know can continue for a long time.

“As long as we keep putting in the work every day in practice, I don’t see anyone stopping us,” Fay said.

Though, Fabbri wanted to take a slower approach.

“I certainly take it a day at a time,” Fabbri said. “What we’re really eager to do over the next couple of days is to concern ourselves with ourselves and getting better.”

The Bobcats, now 14-3 and 7-0 in the MAAC, will look to extend their win streak to seven straight games when they host the Fairfield Stags Monday at 2 p.m.