Quinnipiac Women’s Basketball Loses MAAC Home Opener to Marist

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Quinton Hamilton

The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team opened the new year with its conference home opener on Sunday against the Marist Red Foxes.

In the first matchup of the two-game series, the Bobcats struggled and Marist took advantage, spoiling Quinnipiac’s first conference game of 2021, 69-50.

After two promising games against Manhattan, one of the top teams in the MAAC, an added energy and bounce to Quinnipiac’s game was expected to solidify the fact that coming into the People’s United Center, one of the historically toughest home courts in the conference, would not be an easy task.

But the Bobcats just couldn’t get rolling. They started slow and never really found their footing in this one, bringing their record to 4-3 and 1-2 in conference play.

Another Slow Start

Starting slow has been a pretty deadly habit for the Bobcats this season and this afternoon’s game against Marist was no exception.

After an opening Mackenzie DeWees (14 points, five rebounds) layup gave Quinnipiac its first and only lead of the game, the Red Foxes went on a 6-0 run and didn’t look back.

The Bobcats struggled offensively. They put up just nine points in the first quarter and finished the game with 23 turnovers — not quite what head coach Tricia Fabbri had in mind when her team suited up to tip off 2021.

“(Offensively) we had to work way too hard and gave the ball away way too much today,” Fabbri said. “You can’t score nine points in the first quarter getting shots that you want and not be able to make them and think that you’re going to win a game.”

Trouble on Both Ends

The holiday season is usually one for giving but 23 turnovers and allowing 17 offensive rebounds in a basketball game is not going to put you in any position to win.

The Bobcats had their fair share of trouble getting back after going more than two weeks without a game and Marist capitalized. In addition to their prowess on the offensive glass, the Red Foxes outscored the Bobcats 15-7 in second-chance points.

There were many times when Marist would be up against the shot clock and rushed into a shot but would get the rebound and put the layup back in or kick out for a wide-open three-point shot.

Handling the Double-Teams

Coming off a career weekend, it was obvious the Marist defense wanted to zero in on Mikala Morris. They sent two and three defenders on her all game when she caught the ball in the low post and mid-post.

The strategy paid off as Morris finished with a season-low three points on 1-for-8 shooting.

There’s no doubt Marist will use the same strategy in Monday’s contest and if it is successful other teams will look at sending multiple players at Morris in the future, so making the necessary adjustments quickly will be key in the offense running smoothly again.

“For us we’ve got to really move without the ball. We were not really cutting and making the right cut.” DeWees said. “So I think if we create space for [Morris] to find that open slot, then we’re able to get buckets off that.”

One bright spot for the Bobcats was free throw shooting. It’s something the team has worked hard at improving and kept them within 10 points multiple times during the game.

Quinnipiac went 17-for-20 from the line, tying its season-high in makes.

The Bobcats will have a chance at getting that first home conference win on Monday in the second game of the back-to-back series against Marist. They will go into the game with three main keys on their mind: Offensive rebounding, defense, and limiting turnovers.