Quinnipiac Women’s Basketball Sweeps Fairfield, Move Into Second Place


Lo Yarnall

Game One Highlights (Eric Kerr)

Game Two Highlights (Quinton Hamilton)

Cat Almeida Wrap (Eric Kerr)

Story by Lo Yarnall

The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team secured the second-place spot in the MAAC with another home series sweep over the Fairfield Stags this weekend.

Quinnipiac took the Friday contest, 67-55, then carried that momentum into Saturday’s 60-44 dominating win. Fairfield came into the Hamden series in third place in the MAAC, but two losses to the Bobcats push it down one slot into fourth.

It was a season-defining series for Quinnipiac, improving its overall record to 11-5 and conference record to 9-3.

Bobcats’ Offensive Power

Junior guard Rose Caverly led Quinnipiac on offense in the series, putting up 18 points and seven assists in the first game just to turn around in the second game and drop another 17 points. Her weapon of choice was the three-pointer, shooting 8-14 for an impressive 57% from deep on the weekend.

“[I’ve] been in a bit of a rut for a couple of weeks now,” Caverly said. “Just getting in the gym and shooting extra outside practice, getting my confidence back from that and then I felt good all week and at practice.”

Caverly wasn’t alone in racking up the points. The dynamic guard/forward duo of Mackenzie DeWees and Mikala Morris also had impressive stat lines in both games.

Morris was good for a team-leading 19 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists in game one, just one rebound shy of her seventh double-double.

DeWees was the third-leading scorer in game one with 17 points and 12 rebounds, earning her third double-double.

In game two, Morris and DeWees both contributed seven points but combined for seven steals. DeWees tied her season-high of five steals, bringing her to 17 total steals over the last four games.

Those steals turn into wins, as the Bobcats capitalized with 23 points off of turnovers in game two of the Fairfield series.

“I feel that we have a great roster and we utilize different combinations,” head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “The willingness of the young ladies to be able to be very versatile, that’s been a strength of ours going back for at least a decade.”

Touching Moments

The second game in this Hamden series was Senior Day for the Bobcats. Guards Vanessa Udoji and Chiara Bacchini celebrated a full-circle collegiate career, both having battled through ACL injuries to reunite on the court for their Senior Day.

“It’s been a long journey coming and I wouldn’t have wanted to end it any other way,” Udoji said. “Having a coach put confidence in me, after battling two injuries and coming back, to give it my all for the minutes I was on the floor. I wasn’t taking anything for granted.”

The seniors were crucial in helping Quinnipiac secure the sweep over Fairfield. Both lead the team in scoring in game two, Bacchini with nine points and Udoji adding seven.

“Their development throughout the four years has been felt and culminating in this moment, [this game], as big as it’s been so it couldn’t have been any better,” Fabbri said. “They are really well-rounded, outstanding ladies who represent themselves, their families and our programs at the highest esteem.”

Game two also saw the return of sophomore forward Cat Almeida, who made her season debut after overcoming thyroid cancer. Almeida entered the game in the third quarter and shut down a jumper attempt with her 6’5” frame, earning her a block.

“I was waving the towel like crazy, I was so happy for her,” Bacchini said. “She deserves it a lot because she always brings so much energy, [she’s] always positive even after what happened to her. She’s just an incredible person.”

Mack Attack

It’s no secret that DeWees is Quinnipiac’s most valuable player so far this season. After earning two MAAC Player of the Week awards and NCAA Starting Five recognition for her performance in the Monmouth series sweep, there was no sense of slowing down for the junior guard.

DeWees put up 24 points, 19 rebounds, six assists, and nine steals in the Fairfield series.

Over the last four wins for the Bobcats, DeWees has totaled 54 points, 31 rebounds, 11 rebounds, and 17 steals.

“What she’s doing defensively to put pressure on teams and then offensively getting the ball in her hands and making plays for herself and for others has been really impressive,” Fabbri said. “For me, it’s hard not to talk about her as the player of the year in the MAAC at this point but we still have a long way to go.”

The Bobcats are riding a four-game winning streak heading into their last home game of the season against Siena on Wednesday. Tip-off in Hamden is slated for 1 p.m.