Banged up Quinnipiac still too much for Rider

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Banged up Quinnipiac still too much for Rider

Photo Credit: Morgan Tencza

Photo Credit: Morgan Tencza

Photo Credit: Morgan Tencza

Photo Credit: Morgan Tencza

Katie O'Keefe, Women's Basketball Beat Reporter

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By: Katie O’Keefe

A veteran is someone who knows the ropes. Someone who has gone through all the different routes. Someone so experienced in doing something that it becomes just normal. With it being Super Bowl Sunday, and the game featuring the most successful team in all of the NFL, a similar dynamic happened when the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team faced yet another conference opponent.

The dynasty that is the Quinnipiac Bobcats looked for its 41ststraight conference win on Sunday afternoon against the Rider Broncs. And now, they’re already looking for their 42ndwin, after defeating the Broncs 72-56.

Never in school history have the Bobcats lost to the Broncos, but this game was anticipated to be a tough matchup; No. 1 Quinnipiac (9-0 MAAC) and No. 2 Rider (7-1 MAAC).

Like always, Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri and her army took the floor for warm-ups, despite the fact that the team in red was a real contender to break the Bobcats’ conference streak.

In the first couple minutes of the game, though, the Broncos went on a 7-0 lead, something the Bobcats weren’t used to. MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, senior forward Aryn McClure, knew what needed to be done and single-handedly tied the game with seven points of her own in the first quarter.

“I love playing against Rider. They play tough, they’re physical,” McClure said.

As time ran out in the first quarter, senior guard Edel Thornton hit a three-pointer to give Quinnipiac that comfortable edge they liked, 17-13, heading into the locker room. This was a routine Quinnipiac was used to. Winning.

The Bobcats found their best rhythm in the third quarter, effectively using their shots for a 42.1 field goal percentage compared to the Bronco’s 38.5.

Quinnipiac led at the end of each quarter, but only by an average of four points. Though the difference in score wasn’t the big lead the Bobcats usually have, Coach Fabbri later explained this game was “a really incredible effort.” The reason was because junior forward, Jaden Ward, came back after a hand injury nearly a month ago on December 31st, and was able to open up the team’s offense.

“Just having the opportunity to have Jaden back in a uniform, to give us depth in that front line, that allowed us to go right back to our full systems in terms of how we do everything. We really were very short handed and very lean for Monmouth,” Fabbri said , referencing their most recent game.

While Ward is back, there is one player that’s still missing, Jen Fay. The senior star shooter was injured in a game against Siena on January 25thand hasn’t suited up yet. When asked about the timetable on Fay’s return, Fabbri was very optimist saying “hopefully it’s the next game.”

But despite who is injured or who is on the court, this team always finds a way to get it done. Quinnipiac will host Niagara on Thursday night at 7 p.m.