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Quinnipiac women’s basketball tops Canisius
College basketball. A tale of two halves. The old adage proved true for the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team. The Bobcats flipped the switch defensively and rallied to defeat the Golden Griffins 65-51 at the TD Bank Sports Center. Quinnipiac completed the season sweep of Canisius after beating them 65-55 in the Bobcats first ever Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game back on Dec. 21, 2013.
The Bobcats also improved to 13-2 when holding their opponent under 70 points and 8-3 at Lender Court.
Brittany McQuain led Quinnipiac as she poured in 18 points on 8-of-13 from the field and recorded seven rebounds to go along with three steals and one block. Jasmine Martin added 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting which included two threes. It was the junior guard’s fourth straight game in double-figures.
Down 30-19 at halftime, Quinnipiac came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders. The Bobcats went on a 12-0 run thanks to Napolitano’s two three pointers in transition. After a 3-pointer by Manz gave Quinnipiac a 34-32 lead, the Bobcats never trailed the rest of the game. Quinnipiac went on a 17-2 run and eventually put the game out of reach down the stretch.
“Unfortunately, It’s kind of been a theme of ours to let a team get off on a hot start in the first five minutes of the game,” McQuain said. “That is something we are continuously working on. Our defense has a been an emphasis throughout this entire year. We just need to make sure that the way we play the second half is the way we start every single game and play 40 minutes not 20. “
With the win Quinnipiac sits in a tie for third with Fairfield. Iona leads the conference with 13-2 record, while Marist sits in second place with 12-2 record. Quinnipiac heads to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to take on defending MAAC champion Marist next Friday for a 5 p.m. tipoff.
Samantha Guastella added nine points and four assists while Maria Napolitano chipped in with seven points, including two from long range.
The Bobcats also got solid contributions from two bench players. Nikoline Ostergaard tallied seven points and five rebounds in 20 minutes and Morgan Manz scored eight points in just 16 minutes.
McQuain credits the team defense for the second half domination. The Bobcats outscored Canisius 46-21 in the second half. The Bobcats held the Golden Griffins to just 36 percent in the second half. Quinnipiac also won the battle on the glass in the second half, 19-14. Canisius controlled a 26-15 advantage at halftime.
“We just to have to make sure the heart is there,” McQuain said. “Defense isn’t really talent, the best defensive players aren’t really the best offensive players. The best are the ones that want to win the most and are down in a stance every position and don’t give up.
Despite winning seven of their last eight games, the Bobcats started slow. Quinnipiac shot a woeful 20 percent in the first half on 6-of-30 from the field including 2-of-14 from 3-point range in the first half.
“Scoring 19 at home and shooting 20 percent is unacceptable,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said. This time of year we cannot be as inconsistent as we have been. We have to build for 40 minutes of basketball.”
Martin and McQuain both echoed their coach’s displeasure.
“It’s not us,” McQuain said. “It’s not who we are. Basically she [Fabbri] told us to wake up or we were going to lose.”
The Golden Griffins closed out the half on a 11-0 run to take a 30-19 lead at halftime.
“It was bad. It wasn’t good we knew it wasn’t good,” Martin said of the first half.
Jamie Ruttle’s nine points and six rebounds led Canisius, which remains in a tie for fifth in the conference. Kayla Hoohuli added 11 points and Tiahana Mills chipped in with nine points and six rebounds.
“When we play against a good team we are not going to be able to dig ourselves out of that hole,” Martin said. “We can’t get in that situation.”