With a nine-point cushion going into half in last Saturday’s road contest in Hamden, Conn. against Quinnipiac, it seemed evident that the Canisius Women’s Basketball team would be picking up its third win of the season. However, the MAAC powerhouse showed their dominance in the second half, mounting a 35-23 run in the second half to spoil any hopes of the Griffs picking up their first win against the Bobcats in program history.
After both teams found themselves tied at the end of the first quarter at 22, the Blue and Gold put up an impressive 26 points in the second to make the score 48-39 heading into the intermission. Canisius was shooting extremely efficient in the first half, 56 percent from the field, lights out from three at 70 percent, and 5-6 from the free-throw line.
Coming out of the break, the team cooled off, shooting a shaky 3-14 field goal percentage and 0-4 from beyond the arc. The Griffs did a great job on the defensive end slowing down the offensive juggernaut, just leaving the door slightly open for Quinnipiac to creep back into the game after a slow third quarter that saw both teams combining for a dismal 19 points.
A heavily contested final quarter of play saw both teams fighting for the lead as Quinnipiac tied the game at 61 apiece with seven minutes left. The Bobcats took the lead for good after an eight-footer found the bottom of the net for Mikala Morris at the 5:14 mark. Canisius did not go down without a fight as AJ Timbers hit a three from the wing with 15 seconds left in regulation, cutting the lead to two. The Griffs had to foul after the inbound, and as the final buzzer sounded, Quinnipiac came out victorious, 74-71.
Key to the Bobcats success was Cur’Tiera Haywood, Mackenzie DeWees, Shaq Edwards, and Mikala Morris coming off the bench all eclipsing double-digit scoring. Haywood had herself an afternoon, scoring 19, grabbing six rebounds, (four of them offensive) shooting 7-11 from the field, 3-4 from three-point land, along with two steals and a block.
Morris continued to be a spark plug for the Bobcats off the bench as she scored 18 points in just 25 minutes of play. Quinnipiac had the advantage in field goal percentage (38.9 percent) from 3-point land, (26.95 percent) and rebounds (45-42.)
Senior Griff’s guard D’Jhai Patterson-Ricks continued to do Patterson-Ricks things, putting up a game-high 23 points on 9-16 shooting with two assists and two steals. Timbers played meaningful minutes as the stretch-big had 15 points, all coming off three-pointers, six rebounds, and three assists. Danielle Sanderlin continued to be a presence down low with eight rebounds and seven points, along with strong contributions from Shaunae Brown putting up a career-high 11 points. Shannon Conely also added six points off the bench for the Blue and Gold.
Head coach Scott Hemer said postgame that he was proud of the team continuing, “…improving on both sides of the floor, which is a great sign, and the team is not settling for anything, especially following a loss. We are getting closer, and I am proud of their resilience.”