SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Marist women’s basketball team won its 10th Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship in program history, and its ninth consecutive, with a 70-66 come-from-behind victory over Quinnipiac last Monday afternoon.
The Red Foxes trailed by as much as 17 in the first half. Sophomore Sydney Coffey led all scorers with 23 points and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Seniors Casey Dulin and Emma O’Connor were named to the All-Tournament Team.
The opening nine minutes were very close, resulting in a tied score at 16 at the 11:08 mark. Quinnipiac surged ahead with a 19-2 run to take a 35-18 lead with 4:50 left in the first half. Marist scored the final six points of the half to trail the Bobcats 35-24 at the half.
Marist outscored Quinnipiac 8-2 in the opening minutes of the second half to cut the Bobcats’ lead to five with 18:05 to play. Quinnipiac scored the next nine points to Marist’s five to push ahead 46-37 at the 12:12 mark.
Coffey was the spark for Marist, scoring 16 of her 23 points in the second half. She aided the Red Foxes to take their first lead since the 12:14 mark of the first half with 5:45 left in the game. Brittany McQuain quickly tied the game at 59 at the 5:30 mark but a free-throw by Coffey put Marist back on top by one.
Marist junior Tori Jarosz hit a layup from inside to give Marist a 62-59 edge at the 4:02 mark. She then fouled at the other end and Quinnipaic’s Jasmine Martin went 1-for-2 to cut the Red Foxes lead to two. A perfect trip to the free-throw line by senior Leanne Ockenden pushed Marist ahead by four with 3:23 to go. McQuain hit a layup to pull her Bobcats within two and a perfect 2-for-2 trip to the free-throw line by Martin tied the game back at 64 at the 2:18 mark.
Jarosz had another clutch layup and free-throw to give Marist a 67-64 lead with 1:43 to play. McQuain hit a last minute layup to pull Quinnipiac within one heading into the final minute. McQuain fouled Coffey who then hit both free-throws, who finished the game 9-10 from the line, and Marist took a 69-66 lead with 14 seconds left. Gillian Abshire missed a game-tying three for the Bobcats on the next possession, and Ockenden hit one more-free throw for Marist as the Red Foxes defeated Quinnipiac, 70-66.