ALBANY — The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team, winners of 21 straight games, took their second Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship in as many years Monday, defeating Marist 67-58.
The Bobcats, who finished regular season conference play at the top of the MAAC standings, were assisted added by an unlikely source in redshirt junior forward Jen Fay. The Lynbrook (Long Island) native was unsure if she would even play in front of the matinee crowd of 2,437 at Times Union Center, as she battled an injury on the back of her left knee.
“I woke up [this morning], and I wasn’t really feeling great,” Fay said of her injury. “My mind just wasn’t kind of in it, but my teammates were supporting me…it’s a championship game, and it would take a lot for me not to play.”
Senior guard Carly Fabbri noticed that Fay wasn’t at 100% early Monday, but said she was confident that the team’s leading scorer in total points would be ready for tipoff.
“I know Jen pretty well, she’s a competitor and obviously one of the best players on our team, so I was confident she was going to shake the nerves a little bit,” Fabbri said. “I talked to her this morning. She was still shaken up, a little bit in pain, but as the day went on—after shoot around—I could see her smiling a little bit, and there was just a lighter mood.”
Fay registered a game-high 23 points, but struggled in the first half—only managing to put up four points and shooting zero for five from three-point range.
“…coach mount (Mountain MacGillivray) in practice says, no matter what if you’re going to miss ten shots you’re always going to make the eleventh one, so even at halftime he told me not to stop shooting,” Fay said of her first-half performance “I said I won’t [stop shooting] and finally, some went down.”
In the second half, Fay netted 19 points, nine of which in the form of three-pointers. For her efforts, she was named tournament MVP.
Head coach Tricia Fabbri—mother of Carly Fabbri—credits Fay’s recovery to the university’s athletic training staff.