Quinnipiac women win third straight MAAC championship
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Jen Fay had 25 points and 13 rebounds, Aryn McClure added 18 points and eight boards, and top-seeded Quinnipiac beat Marist 81-51 on Monday to win its third straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth.
Quinnipiac (26-6) has won 21 straight games, second in the nation behind No. 1 Baylor, and 52 consecutive conference games, dating to the 2016-17 season.
Quinnipiac has played in the MAAC championship game every year since joining the conference in the 2013-14 season, including a matchup with Marist last season. The last time the MAAC title game didn’t involve Marist or Quinnipiac was the 2002-03 season.
Fay was 9 of 15 from the floor, including five 3-pointers, for Quinnipiac. Edel Thornton had 16 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Paula Strautman added 10 points.
Quinnipiac led 38-29 at halftime behind Fay’s 16 points, five rebounds and three assists. The Bobcats made 7 of 16 shots from 3-point range in the half and finished 11 of 29. Fay sank a 3-pointer on the first possession of the second half for the first double-digit lead of the game at 41-29.
Fay and Thornton started a combined 8 for 13 from 3-point range and Quinnipiac opened the third quarter on a 15-6 run for an 18-point lead and the Red Foxes couldn’t mount a challenge.
Grace Vander Weide led Marist (23-10) with a career-high 25 points. All-MAAC selection Alana Gilmer, who did not play in the semifinals, started and scored nine points in 26 minutes.
Coach Brian Giorgis has led Marist to all 14 MAAC championship games in program history.