ALBANY – The second-seeded Marist women’s basketball team was defeated by top-seeded Quinnipiac by a score of 67-58 in the final of the 2018 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship at the Times Union Center on Monday.
The first 2:38 was scoreless until a basket by Quinnipiac’s Paula Strautmane.
After the Red Foxes went scoreless on their first four possessions, they got threes on back-to-back trips by red-shirt sophomore point guard Grace Vander Weide and red-shirt sophomore forward Alana Gilmer.
After the first quarter, Marist held a 15-12 lead. The Red Foxes went 3-for-3 from three in the first 10 minutes, and Quinnipiac was in front for just 21 seconds (between Strautmane’s opening basket and Vander Weide’s subsequent three).
Marist’s lead reached a first-half high of seven on a three-point play by sophomore guard Rebekah Hand at the 8:19 mark of the second quarter.
After a 6-0 spurt by Quinnipiac tied the game at the 5:25 mark of the second quarter, Hand’s three-pointer put the Red Foxes back in front.
Quinnipiac took its first lead of the second quarter on a driving layup from Aryn McClure, which put the Bobcats up 34-33 with 1:07 left until the half. But Gilmer answered with a 15-foot jumper on the next possession to put the Red Foxes back in front, and the Red Foxes took a 35-34 lead to the locker room.
Quinnipiac’s Jen Fay scored the first eight points of the third quarter to give the Bobcats’ their largest lead to that juncture. Marist had turnovers on its first four possessions of the period.
Marist answered with a 7-0 run, which tied the game at 42, but Fay answered with an 18-footer to put the Bobcats back in front.
Quinnipiac led 48-44 after three quarters. Fay scored 12 of the Bobcats’ 14 points in the period.
In the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter, the Bobcats’ lead hovered between one and five points.
Marist never led in the fourth quarter. The Bobcats’ final margin of nine points tied its largest of the game.
“Our kids played their hearts out,” Head coach Brian Giorgis said. “It was a tremendous game. I think down the stretch, we lost our legs. They are a little deeper than we are. They made big shots down the stretch – big threes – and we missed some shots.”
Up next, for the second time in program history, Marist will compete in the Postseason WNIT. The Red Foxes will learn of their first-round opponent and location on Monday, March 12.