Marist Comes Close, Can’t Get Past Quinnipiac

Marist women’s basketball missed a chance to spring an upset on rival Quinnipiac, falling to the Bobcats 65-56 inside the McCann Center on Thursday afternoon in the Red Foxes’ fourth game in eight days.

“I thought it was a tremendous game,” Brian Giorgis said. “I can’t say enough about how well our kids played at both ends of the floor. That’s a very experienced Quinnipiac team and we fought tooth and nail and were right there near the end.”

The moral victory approach might be new to Red Fox fans, but there’s no denying that Marist is playing better down the stretch.

“It’s two games in a row where we’ve shot the ball better and with confidence,” Giorgis said. “We’ve been a different team over the last two games, and that’s when you want to be a different team when you’re going into March.”   

The teams had to get up extra early for a rare, 11 a.m. tip-off with the game getting the national TV treatment from ESPNU. The stands were devoid of college students, but the wooden seats on the far side of the court had somewhere around 150 Poughkeepsie-area elementary school students screaming for the Red Foxes.

With a win, Marist could have inserted itself into an already crowded bottom-half of the playoff picture for Atlantic City, pulling even in the win column with Siena. After the loss, the Red Foxes sit at 6-12 in the MAAC, and for now, are squarely entrenched in 10th position.

Trinasia Kennedy brought the Red Foxes to within 53-51 with a three-point play with just over seven minutes left in the game, but Quinnipiac’s Rose Caverly had the immediate answer with a triple to make it a five-point game.

Kendall Krick pulled Marist back to within 60-56 with a mid-range jumper with 2:11 left. The Red Foxes needed a stop on the defensive end but could not keep DeWees off the offensive glass. She earned a trip to the foul line and knocked down two free throws to make it 62-56 with 1:45 left.

A turnover deep into Marist’s next possession sealed the home team’s fate.

Marist (8-18, 6-12 in the MAAC) shot 40 percent from the floor and eight-of-19 from three. The Red Foxes played decent enough on offense to give themselves a chance, but couldn’t execute down the stretch, going scoreless after Krick’s jumper.

Poor foul-shooting proved costly, with the Red Foxes only hitting 2-of-the-5 attempts from the free-throw line. All but one of the attempts came in the final quarter.

Trinasia Kennedy came on strong in the second half and finished with a game-high 18 points on seven-of-14 shooting and added four assists.

Anabel Ellison has quickly become one of Marist’s top scoring options with the absence of Kiara Fisher. She finished with 12 points (10 in the first half) and also had four assists.

In the first meeting of the season, a 60-51 Quinnipiac victory in Hamden, Bobcats’ do-everything guard DeWees went out with an injury in the first minute of action, never to return. On Thursday, she finished with eight points and five steals. 

Quinnipiac’s Mikala Morris spent last season establishing herself as one of the best post players in the MAAC. Three weeks ago, she torched Marist for 15 points and 15 rebounds. She had another double-double with 10 and 11 rebounds, but didn’t have the same killer impact as she did on Feb. 4.

While the Red Foxes did a solid job containing Quinnipiac’s stars, the Bobcats’ depth was what allowed them to win the game. Sajada Bonner had a team-high 14, Amani Free added 11, and Caverly contributed 10.

The Bobcats had a 15-4 advantage in second-chance points and beat Marist 42-31 on the glass.

Quinnipiac shot 43 percent from the field despite a cold fourth quarter and made eight-of-23 from three.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair for the first 15 minutes. The Bobcats used an 11-2 run to grab a 33-25 lead with 4:35 left in the half and took a 36-29 advantage into the break.

Bonner had 11 points in the first half and drained a three on Quinnapiac’s first possession of the second half to extend the lead to 39-29. The Red Foxes weren’t ready to go away. Kennedy made a nifty up-and-under move to trim the deficit to 43-41 with 4:25 left in the third to cap an 11-4 run.

The Bobcats bounced back, finding a 51-45 cushion with 10 minutes left, despite a Krick layup at the buzzer.

Marist gets the weekend off before traveling down to New Jersey to face Monmouth on Wednesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. against the Hawks in West Long Branch. 

Edited by Connor Kurpat

Image from Marist Athletics

Author: Jonathan Kinane

I'm a senior from Syracuse, NY, studying sports communication and journalism. I consider myself a die-hard Syracuse University sports fan, but I also follow the Knicks, Giants, and Yankees in the professional ranks. Sports and writing have long been my passions and I am excited for another year with Center Field.

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