Quinnipiac Women’s Basketball Rolls Past Saint Peter’s Into MAAC Semifinals


(Photo: Connor Lawless/Quinnipiac Chronicle)

Jon Surratt

It wasn’t a pretty start for the No. 2 Quinnipiac women’s basketball team, but the Bobcats got the job done, defeating the No. 7 Saint Peter’s Peacocks 63-42 in the MAAC quarterfinals on Wednesday.

“It didn’t start out great in the first quarter,” head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “Today’s game was a testament to who we’ve been all season long in terms of facing adversity and not having it be a perfect 40-minute game and then how we do answer.”

The game didn’t start out in ideal fashion for the Bobcats, as the Peacocks jumped out to an 18-4 start after senior guard Mackenzie DeWees picked up two early fouls. Fabbri and her players were audibly upset about the team’s poor start, numerous turnovers, and some questionable officiating.

“Looking back to last year a lot of us had those jitters and nerves to just get that first win under our belt,” junior forward Mikala Morris said. “So, when we had the lead going into halftime, we knew we had the game and just had to focus and play like we do.”

After the rough first quarter, the Bobcats calmed down and found some confidence. After turning it over five times in the first quarter, the team only recorded nine more the rest of the way. This led to the Bobcats staying even keeled, outscoring the Peacocks 16-5 in the second, going into halftime up 26-23.

“Coach kept us calm in the huddle and at halftime,” DeWees said. “She knew we were a little frantic in the first couple of minutes in the first quarter. The first game jitters — everyone has them. She said ‘keep being gritty, get on the glass’ and that’s exactly what we did.”

After that, with DeWees back in the game, the team coasted to seal the victory. DeWees was also able to score the 1,000th point of her career after entering the day six points shy. She finished with a stat line of 15 points, five rebounds, two steals and one assist.

The 2020-21 MAAC Player of the Year and two-time All-MAAC First Team selection stepped to the free throw line in the third quarter to secure the milestone.

“It’s just a result of consistent quality play throughout the course of a career to date,” Fabbri said. “She’s earned quality minutes over time. Consistent production that has built up to this point. It’s a big milestone…that’s helped the program immensely. Today’s just a snapshot of that.”

The Bobcats did not win a MAAC Tournament game last year after finishing as the No. 2 seed, losing to the Rider Broncs in the quarterfinals, but Quinnipiac now has a different outlook after winning their opening game this time around.

“I’ve been around and done this and have a big picture approach,” said Fabbri. “For me, obviously, I love this. I say it’s a little bit of winning in misery, but at this point it’s been a great start going on and being able to do with the team and roster we have. These young ladies have put the program in a position to make a statement more than I have. It’s nice that it does continue especially with [Morris and DeWees].”

Now with the win, the Bobcats will move onto the semifinals on Friday to play either the No. 3 Manhattan Jaspers or No. 11 Canisius Golden Griffins.