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Marist, Quinnipiac to meet for MAAC women's basketball championship

Marist, Quinnipiac to meet for MAAC women's basketball championship

In semis, Marist tops Rider, Quinnipiac bests Monmouth
Marist, Quinnipiac to meet for MAAC women's basketball championship
Marist players gather during Sunday's semifinal.
Photographer: Michael Kelly

ALBANY — Marist and Quinnipiac, two familiar foes, are ready to square off again for a MAAC women’s basketball championship.

Quinnipiac defeated Monmouth 80-42, while Marist ousted Rider 62-52 in Sunday’s semifinals at Times Union Center. Marist and Quinnipiac will meet for the fourth time in the championship game, with Quinnipiac leading the championship series 2-1.

Marist had won 10 of 11 MAAC titles before Quinnipiac topped the Red Foxes in the 2015 championship game. Since that point, Quinnipiac — previously a member of the Northeast Conference — has taken control of the MAAC, but Marist (No. 3, 23-9) will try to deny Quinnipiac (No. 1, 25-6) its third consecutive championship when the teams play 2:30 p.m. Monday at Times Union Center.

Quinnipiac seized control of its semifinal early against Monmouth. The Bobcats jumped out to a 41-17 halftime lead, and had three different players in double figures by the game's end.

“Dominant performance for 40 minutes, both ends of the ball. We've been so good defensively,” Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “We've been a top-five team in the nation defensively, but offensively we matched that wire to wire."

Quinnipiac's balanced scoring was led by Brittany Martin with 17, Paula Strautmane with 15 and Taylor Herd with 14.  

“That was very important, it makes it harder for opposing teams to scout and prepare for our team,” Herd said. “The difference was keeping the consistency, which helped us to maintain the lead.”

In its semifinal, Marist led 12-5 after the first 10 minutes. A number of players contributed, which was much-needed after Marist was forced to play without standout players Maura Fitzpatrick and Hannah Hand because of injury. The Red Foxes were also without forward Alana Gilmer, who came down with an illness prior to the game. Marist had four different players score in double figures with Grace Vander Weide scoring 14, Rebekah Hand adding 14, Lovisa Henningsdottir with 12 and Sarah Barcello with 11.

Marist led 29-19 at halftime, but Rider stormed back in the third quarter and tied the game at 39 early in the fourth. Marist, though, answered with an 11-0 run fueled by a key Vander Weide 3-pointer.

"That was one of the top-five wins I've had in 17 years," said veteran Marist coach Brian Giorgis. "It's about everyone stepping up. Sarah Barcello had a tremendous first half — big 3s — and Molly Smith, who had two back surgeries and had been out about a year-and-a-half, has done a tremendous job for us. A lot of people have stepped up and that's what has made this such a special team. I can't tell you enough how proud I am of this team."

Having contributions from just about every player available turned out to be the deciding factor, turning the game in favor of Marist.

"What is so special about our team is that anyone can come off the bench and play just as good as the next person, which really showed today," Henningsdottir said. "The rebounds and loose balls, steals, were very important because Rider has some amazing shooters, we had to prevent the second-chance opportunities."

Now Marist aims to be the team that ends Quinnipiac's streak of winning 51 straight games against MAAC opponents.

“That would be the best win — best thing since the Sweet 16,” Giorgis said.

QUINNIPIAC 80, MONMOUTH 42

MONMOUTH

Middleton 0-6 3-4 3, Thomas 3-7 0-0 7, Wallace 1-2 1-1 3, Green 4-14 2-2 11, Barker 0-1 2-2 2, Graham 1-5 0-0 2, Balman 3-7 3-6 9, Nason 0-2 0-0 0, Simmons 0-0 0-0 0, Clough 1-5 2-2 5, Zelaya 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 13-50 13-17 42.

QUINNIPIAC

Strautmane 7-8 0-0 15, Fay 3-6 5-6 11, McClure 0-2 1-2 1, Thornton 0-2 2-2 2, Martin 5-11 6-9 17, Herd 5-10 2-2 14, Warfel 3-8 0-0 7, Ward 3-7 1-2 7, DeWees 2-6 0-1 4, Free 1-3 0-4 2, Bradley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 29-63 17-28 80.

Monmouth 11 6 4 21 — 42

Quinnipiac 27 14 21 18 — 80

Three-point shooting: Monmouth 3-13, Quinnipiac 5-20. Rebounds: Monmouth 33 (Middleton, Thomas 5), Quinnipiac 43 (Fay, Ward 6). Assists: Monmouth 4 (four tied with 1), Quinnipiac 14 (Fay 6). Turnovers: Monmouth 22, Quinnipiac 10. Total fouls: Monmouth 23, Quinnipiac 17. Fouled out: Graham. Attendance: 1,917.

MARIST 62, RIDER 52

MARIST

Henningsdottir 5-10 0-0 12, Duffell 1-3 0-0 2, Vander Weide 4-8 5-6 14, Hand 6-19 2-2 14, Barcello 4-6 0-0 11, Best 1-4 2-2 4, Smith 2-6 1-1 5, Oberdorf 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-56 10-11 62.

RIDER

Favre 5-10 0-0 10, Au. Johnson 0-3 0-0 0, S. Johnson 8-21 4-6 24, Posset 4-13 3-3 13, Am. Johnson 0-6 0-0 0, Farmer 1-6 0-0 2, Goodman 0-3 0-0 0, Mobley 0-0 0-0 0, Moses 1-4 0-0 3. Totals: 19-66 7-9 52.

Marist 12 17 10 23 — 62

Rider 5 14 17 16 — 52

Three-point shooting: Marist 6-20, Rider 7-27. Rebounds: Marist 47 (Duffell 11), Rider 33 (Am. Johnson 9). Assists: Marist 16 (Vander Weide 7), Rider 8 (Posset 4). Turnovers: Marist 17, Rider 9. Total fouls: Marist 14, Rider 19. Attendance: 1,917.

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