Quinnipiac Women’s Basketball Falls in MAAC Semifinals to Manhattan


(Photo: Connor Lawless/Quinnipiac Chronicle)

Jon Surratt

On Wednesday, when the No. 2 Quinnipiac women’s basketball team was down big to start against Saint Peter’s in the MAAC quarterfinals, the team was able to bounce back. This time, the Bobcats were not so fortunate, as the team’s championship hopes were dashed on Friday to the No. 3 Manhattan Jaspers, 72-59, in the conference semifinals.

“[The Jaspers] were ferocious in their start, and held us off,” head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “They earned the victory today. The slow starts in these two games were uncharacteristic. I wish we didn’t dig a hole”

The Bobcats went down early to the Jaspers and just couldn’t claw their way back in. In the first quarter, Quinnipiac was down 27-14 after shooting 34% from the field to Manhattan’s 61%. The Bobcats felt disjointed, turning it over and getting out-rebounded.

“I don’t know what they did with second-chance opportunities,” Fabbri said. “I thought we had ample opportunities where we had our hands on the ball, 50-50 balls that we needed to get that we didn’t get. [Offensive rebounding] is a real strength of theirs…40% of their points come off that.”

That theme continued throughout, but Quinnipiac just kept getting back into the game, bit by bit. There were a few key plays down the stretch where the tide felt like it was turning, but Manhattan would keep its distance.

“I just thought we kept knocking on the door, knocking on the door, chipping away,” Fabbri said. “Had a good look at a three, a good look at a two. We just couldn’t get it to go down when we needed it the most. They just kept us at bay.”

With the end of the season now comes the speculation about former MAAC Player of the Year Mackenzie DeWees returning to the program or not. A 1,000-point scorer and two-time All-MAAC selection, the senior guard has the opportunity to play another year or decide to end her career.

“As a senior and not really knowing what I’m doing right now it’s tough,” said DeWees. “It’s tough because you are put in the position of a fifth year versus this is the last game of my career. For me, it’s remaining optimistic. I’m just so grateful for my family to come to every game.”

Despite the loss, DeWees credited how the team bounced back in the second half of the season. Earlier in the season, DeWees was on public record acknowledging the team’s lack of a ‘will to win,’ but there was a definite shift the second half.

“We met with Devin [Markle], our sports psychologist and I really thought the second half of our season we came out with a more of a fire, more of a togetherness,” DeWees said. “I think you saw that with our comeback win against Saint Peter’s. You see that when we hold up the fort at the end of the games, theres just that ability to come together and it has shown throughout the rest of the regular season.”

Now the end of the season and the team’s aspirations to win the conference are over. A team that won the MAAC Championship for four straight seasons has not won one for four years.

However, if the Fairfield Stags were to win the MAAC Championship on Saturday against Manhattan, the Bobcat’s would have the opportunity to play in the WNIT.

“I have no real horse in the race, but if Fairfield does win our season does continue in the NIT,” Fabbri said. “We would like to think we still have more games ahead of us.”