It might have been the final matchup between the coaches that have come to define MAAC women’s basketball.
On Saturday afternoon, Tricia Fabbri’s Quinnipiac earned a decisive 73-45 win over Brian Giorgis’ Red Foxes at M&T Bank Center in Hamden, CT.
All afternoon long, Quinnipiac was the more physically imposing team, outscoring the Red Foxes 34-12 in the paint and enjoying a 47-32 advantage over Marist on the glass.
As a result, the Bobcats never trailed and led by double-digits for nearly the entire second half, putting the game away with a 23-6 run that stretched the lead to 27 in the fourth quarter.
Without the presence of Kendall Krick, out after suffering a knee injury in the win over Mount St. Mary’s, the duo of Zaria Shazer could only combine for 18 points on 6-for-25 shooting.
The Bobcats have won the last five meetings in the series and have posted a 17-7 record against the Red Foxes since they joined the MAAC.
In what is sure to become the norm over the final month of the season, Fabbri presented Giorgis with a gift at mid-court before the game.
When the teams met in Poughkeepsie two weeks ago, Giorgis, who is known for collecting sports memorabilia, gifted Fabbri signed trading cards of her brother, who played quarterback at Penn State. He also presented her with a Miles Sanders card as she is a big Eagles fan.
“He brought me to tears before the game, I was just so deeply touched,” Fabbri said in an interview earlier this week.
On an afternoon when Quinnipiac celebrated the 10th anniversary of its team that won the championship in its final season in the Northeast Conference, Fabbri might have gotten the last laugh as she notched career win no. 497.
Quinnipiac jumped out to an early lead after DeWees scored on a layup to make it 18-10 toward the end of the first quarter.
The Red Foxes could only cut the first-half deficit to six on two separate occasions and Quinnipiac got its lead back up to double-digits at the half after Mikala Morris scored inside to make it 35-25 going into the break.
The Bobcats were able to get the ball inside easily, while Marist had to settle for more outside shots than it was accustomed to. Quinnipiac’s 18-2 advantage in points in the paint was telling over the first 20 minutes.
The Bobcats were the team that played with more intensity as the second half began. A putback layup from DeWees capped a 6-0 run and stretched the home lead to 41-25 early in the third quarter.
The Red Foxes responded by scoring the next seven, with a three from Julianna Bonilla cutting it back to 41-32 with 6:30 left in the period.
Marist couldn’t sustain the momentum and two threes from Grace LaBarge sandwiched between a layup from Mary Baskerville stretched the home lead to 51-33 with 2:05 left in the third. A jumper from Mackenzie Helms made it 55-35 heading into the fourth.
Marist (10-11, 6-6 in the MAAC) shot just 25 percent from the field and 5-for-26 from three-point range.
After putting up 29 points in the first meeting between the teams in Poughkeepsie, Zaria Shazer could only put up 10 points (still a team-high) on a 3-for-11 shooting day. She collected her second double-double in a row by securing a game-high 14 rebounds.
Kiara Fisher and Bonilla both added eight points in the loss. It was a tough shooting night for Fisher, who finished just 3-for-14.
Baskerville had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Bobcats with her frontcourt-mate Morris also scoring 12, making all six of her shots.
Quinnipiac had four players in double-digits on the afternoon.
The Bobcats have now won six in a row as they look to make a push toward the regular-season MAAC crown.
Marist will return to the McCann Center for a matchup against Rider next Thursday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Edited by Ricardo Martinez
Photo from Marist Athletics