Quinnipiac women’s basketball can’t overcome offensive woes

After winning five straight, the Bobcats fall 60-46 to Princeton at home

By on December 9, 2017

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team (5-4) was deadlocked with Princeton (6-2) for most of Saturday’s game. But the Bobcats offense was colder than the inches of snow outside Lender Court as they scored just two points in the final seven minutes and lost 60-46.

After over three minutes of scoreless play, Princeton forward Leslie Robinson, who was tied for the game-high of 16 points, hit a layup to put the Tigers up 48-44 with 3:12 left. On their next possession, guard Kenya Holland made a 3-pointer to put the Tigers up by seven and ignited a 16-2 run to end the game.

“(A) really great game by Princeton,” Bobcats head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “They didn’t make anything easy for us offensively… I liked us defensively, but we really struggled at putting the ball in the basket today, so credit Princeton.”

Even though the team lost, the bigger news for the Bobcats came from what happened after the game, when Bobcats head coach Tricia Fabbri announced that senior forward Sarah Shewan and sophomore guard/forward Vanessa Udoji are done for the season with ACL injuries.

The injuries to Udoji, who had started in the Bobcats first six games before she got injured, and Shewan, who averaged the most minutes off the bench, caused Fabbri to shorten the rotation to eight players, something that she rarely does.

“We made a decision to obviously shorten the rotation, and go with who we did to try, and close the gap and get it tied and go out and win it,” Fabbri said.

Four Bobcats played at least 34 minutes on Saturday, but Fabbri expects that Saturday’s game will be an anomaly for the rotation.

“I just think today, that’s what the game called for and that’s what we went and did,” Fabbri said.

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
On the court, junior guard/forward Aryn McClure had a bounce-back game, led Quinnipiac scorers with 16 points after scoring just two points against Providence on Wednesday. She also had a team-high nine rebounds.

“I got in the gym, a lot (in between games),” McClure said. “I know I had two points and I knew I had to come back into this game more aggressive because Princeton is way better than Providence and we needed a better outcome than we did.”

McClure, who played a team-high 37 minutes, said she was not exhausted at the end of Saturday’s game.

Despite McClure’s performance, the rest of the Bobcats couldn’t score. The team shot 30.9 percent from the field and committed 16 turnovers. Of the 69 possessions they had in the game, the Bobcats scored on just 23 of them (33.3 percent).

“I thought Princeton, unlike teams we have seen most recently, really did a great job of pressuring along the perimeter… They made it really hard to score around the hoop,” Fabbri said. “But with that said, we had our opportunities down two (points) a couple of times with the ball that were just empty trips.”

The Bobcats will have more than a week to fix their offensive woes as they don’t play again until Dec. 18 at Michigan State (6-3). The Bobcats will stay in Michigan to face Central Michigan (8-1) three days later.

“There’s no fun in losing, that’s for sure. But there’s great teaching moments this early in December and that’s what we’re really going to go back to the tape and look for,” Fabbri said. “In every win and loss there’s things that you do well and things that you want to improve on. This is going to be a good one for us moving forward, getting us better.”

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