Marist defeated Quinnipiac 64-51 in the People’s United Center on Saturday afternoon for the first time since the 2013-2014 season.
Going into this contest, Marist had won eight straight in a row, giving the Red Foxes plenty of confidence. The team would look to lean on their experience to dig out a great performance against the Bobcats in the meeting.
For much of the first quarter, it was a back and forth affair resulting in a 15-14 score favoring Marist going into the second quarter. Grace Vander Weide led the team with 7 points after one quarter, which her play continued to be highlighted throughout the contest.
The second quarter was one of the biggest reasons Marist were able to pull away for Qunippianc, winning the quarter 21-11. The balanced attack from Marist played a huge part through two quarters with Alana Gilmer, Rebekah Hand, and Vander Weide combining for 31 points at half.
“We were able to rebound with them, allowing us to get out in transition,” Giorgis highlighted about the great second quarter by his team. “We got two big threes from Rebekah, taking it from a close game and giving us a 9 or 11 point lead,” Holding onto a 36-25 lead at halftime, the Red Foxes knew another solid twenty minutes would get them another MAAC victory.
To begin the third quarter, it was much of the same for the Red Foxes offense. An early 9-2 run in the first three minutes of the third gave Marist a huge lift, getting their lead to 18 points. After a Bobcat timeout to stop the run, the Red Foxes struggled putting the ball in the basket, only putting up five more points in the rest of the third quarter. While they went on their scoring drought, Marist played excellent defense, keeping the deficit for Quinnipiac at double digits for most of the third. Once again, Vander Weide proved to be an offensive weapon for Marist in this game, hitting a clutch three pointer with less than ten seconds to go in the quater to get the lead back to 11 going into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, Quinnipiac made a push close the gap, but the Red Foxes kept the lead near ten for most of the fourth. After 5:23 had passed in the quarter, Marist had only scored two points, but their defense had held the Bobcats to only four, keeping the lead at nine. Late in the fourth, the team continued to get big moments from their role players in the end.
“Sarah Barcello hit a big three when they were trying to make their comeback in the fourth quarter,” said Giorgis. “We got contributions for a lot of people.” In the last few minutes of the game, it turned into a free throw battle. Down the stretch, Marist continued to have their defensive intensity, winning by a final score of 64-51.
For big stretches of the game, Marist leaned on their point guard to put points on the board. Grace Vander Weide finished the game with 21 points as well as nine rebounds and three steals on the defensive end.
“She always seems to have good games against Quinnipiac,” said Giorgis. “She had 25 in the Championship game last year, 15 assists in the game at their place last year. She just makes big plays and takes people off the bounce. She hit a couple threes, including a huge three at the end of the third when they had cut it to single digits.”
Another big part of the success Marist had against the Bobcats was their excellent defense. The Red Foxes held their opponent to 29.5 percent from the field, as well as 21.1 percent from three. Rebounding was also a key part in Marist getting the victory, grabbing 43 rebounds to Quinnipiac’s 37.
“We tried to take away their inside game as much as possible and we took enough of their shots away,” said Giorgis. “We had six blocks and Willow Duffell did a great job with three blocks and six boards as well.”
The Marist Red Foxes currently sit at 23-4 with a conference record of 16-2. With two home games left in the MAAC, the team will look to continue their nine game winning streak on Thursday against Iona at McCann Arena. In their previous matchup, Marist defeated Iona 73-56. The Red Foxes will look to continue their winning ways in hopes of MAAC regular season title down the stretch of conference play.
Edited by David Connelly